…if I were in charge I would probably reorganize the movement around a single, achievable goal: a financial boycott of the six “ too big to fail ” Wall Street firms: Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo. We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks. We would stigmatize anyone who invested, in any way, in any of these banks. I’d try to organize college students to protest on campuses. Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks…I think we could create a run on a bank. [TDB]

Comments (85)

  1. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    1) Encourage the masses to withdraw their deposits from GS (huh?)
    2) Make too big to fail banks fail
    3) Financial collapse
    4) ???
    5) Write book on bank run
    6) Profit

  2. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    ….. Says the art history major

  3. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 12:43 PM

    Serious question- is this supposed to be some kind of jab at Michael Lewis? If so, how? I understand that many people like to mock those who were liberal arts majors and suggest that they're setting themselves up for a lifetime of not making money, being unemployable, etc but not sure that particular zinger works here? Considering, you know, Lewis, despite his degree in art history, has become a wildly successful author who has made millions off of his books. Just sayin.

  4. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Wouldn't it be easier to just send novelty grenades to each banks HQ's on a daily basis?

  5. Posted by GUest | April 18, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    Hair helmets are the NKI.

    -Sam Donaldson

  6. Posted by Macallan12 | April 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    How about a nice spelling contest?

  7. Posted by Aaron | April 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    I think the point is not that his degree makes him less successful, but that it makes him less than an authority of the financial, economic, and social ramifications of what he's suggesting (his two years Soloman Bros notwithstanding – let's face it, he's no macroeconomic guru).

  8. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    You suck… just sayin

  9. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    Great Idea, can I just first have a name of the bank we intend to start the run on?

    -Bank CDS trader

  10. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Yeah… novelty ones.

    - V. McCrudden

  11. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Who would have ever guessed that Michael Lewis was a Crip?

  12. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    He said "boycott", not "withdraw deposits from"…
    I'm assuming he means moving all OWS prime brokerage activities to Barclays and Deutsche Bank.

    Just a guess

  13. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    "Their first goal would be to force the university endowments to divest themselves of shares in these banks…I think we could create a run on a bank."

    Sounds about right.

    - UBS FIG Banker

  14. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Also, let's smash the windows of every Starbucks in Fairfield County

  15. Posted by Comprehender | April 18, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Well, yeah, and in another part he said: 'We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them, and put them in smaller, not “too big to fail” banks.'
    But whatevs.

  16. Posted by hated one | April 18, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Haters gonna hate…

  17. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    -Assistant to the regional manager, OWS

  18. Posted by ShortNaked | April 18, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Reminds me of the South Park episode where they tried to kill Wal-Mart. This will just create 6 new TBTF banks.

  19. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:15 PM

    Bring it on!
    -Apple Bank

  20. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    But I'm long peanut butter spreads!
    -OWS chef

  21. Posted by triplejjjackson | April 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    plus, he's taggin tabitha soren

  22. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    The words "swag" "just sayin" and "cheers" (when closing an email) and the people that use them, need to die a horrible death.

  23. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    ** Argument assumes hipsters have money
    -ML

  24. Posted by Ty to Carl Spackler | April 18, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    "Yeah, we have a comment section and a thumbs up/ thumbs down section. Thumbs down section is good for you."

  25. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Sometimes I too only read the first sentence of a multiple sentence paragraph and then posit guesses in contrast to facts.

    – RBS Data and Accuracy Quant

  26. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    "We would encourage people who had deposits in these firms to withdraw them"…

  27. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Anyone think this plan might not work given the fact that the hard working members of OWS have no money, thus making a run on the banks slightly difficult. Not to mention, universities are less likely to meet the demands of the hippies that live in a tent in the quad who chased their donating alumni away with a stick

  28. Posted by Delusional | April 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    I think he may be on to something. We all know that the folks who run smaller regional banks will do a much better job at pricing risk/credit.

    Washington Mutual Risk Mgmt

  29. Posted by Snarky McSnark | April 18, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I can't believe we've gotten this far into the commenting and no one has yet mentioned that OWS probably =/= big depositors!

  30. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    Cruelty Free Bank & Trust

    - Organic checking and savings accounts

    - Low carbon footprint mortgage and small business loans

    - Artisanal trust and wealth management services

    - Fair trade CD's and money markets

  31. Posted by BeefandCheese | April 18, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    This sounds like a bit more effort than I'm ready to put forth. Banging bongos and gettting empathy is about my speed….

    - OWS member 6-months strong

  32. Posted by Left Koast | April 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Hey Bess – when we gonna see another vending machine challenge?

  33. Posted by Carl Lewis | April 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Bess's inbox is a god damn federal reserve!

  34. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 18, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    ^ This.

  35. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 18, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    …because disinvestment worked really well with South Africa…

  36. Posted by one | April 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

    Hey, isn't the JP Morgan run coming up soon?

    - Wesley Korir

  37. Posted by chrls | April 18, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    Guest:
    Michael Lewis is a pretty swagged out Art History major. Just sayin'.

    Cheers,
    Chrls

    [**Oh no, please, not into L. Tilton's dirty laundry bag and dragged behind KL's pickup after a Boone's binge!**]

  38. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Add "yolo"" to the list.

  39. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    If this was supposed to be sarcastic, then bravo

  40. Posted by Bunting Instructor | April 18, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    If he thinks these banks are too big to fail (i.e., ultimately backed by the taxpayer), why would he want to cause a run that would force the taxpayers to bail out these banks (again)?

    If he doesn't think taxpayers will bail out these banks after he triggers his run, then he must not actually believe that they are too big to fail, which raises the question as to what his beef is with these banks.

  41. Posted by Helicopter Ben | April 18, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    Most of the guys I know who work in Big Finance studied liberal arts in college. They only got into those places because they went to schools that start with H-Y-S. It's a mafia, for the most part.

  42. Posted by Stacy Hessler | April 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    Rami? Rami? How come you havent responded to my emails or text messages? Rami?

  43. Posted by Helicopter Ben | April 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Studying C-L-S (crew-lacrosse-squash) also helps.

  44. Posted by PermaGuestII | April 18, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    You do realize that Economics is a liberal arts major, right?

  45. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    There's a reply button, chief

    - guy who knows buttons

  46. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Is this wi-fi organic?!?

    -Drunk uncle

  47. Posted by Tanker2Banker | April 18, 2012 at 2:12 PM

    Never trust a guy who can't even get a four seam fastball grip right to come up with a plan to overthrow the top financial institutions. Now a president that failed as a baseball owner, now THERE'S a guy that can fuck up a buncha financial institutions

  48. Posted by Indubitably | April 18, 2012 at 2:18 PM

    No that they could do it, but are any of these people remotely aware of the implications of a run on the banks? You'd think a few of them would have heard of the Great Depression

  49. Posted by Cut Me | April 18, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Pish posh!

    -The London School of Economics

  50. Posted by K.Loder | April 18, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Divorcing your wife to marry Tabitha Soren in the 80s is the OKI

  51. Posted by guest | April 18, 2012 at 2:51 PM

    He looks like a redneckish unsuccessful version o Charlie Sheen…

  52. Posted by The Nuge | April 18, 2012 at 2:58 PM

    Who wants to build a tree house?

  53. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    Didn't know the Hispanic Youth Symposium was a feeder program to Big Finance

  54. Posted by justa guest | April 18, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    i hope his obama puff piece vividly describes the bj he gives obama in AF1

    -B. Frank

  55. Posted by TheodoreBallgamePhD | April 18, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    In America, it says, "in God we trust" on our money. In Russia, we have no money!

    -Y. Smirnoff

  56. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    At least Bush's first pitches make it across the plate…

  57. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    Ok we get it…

  58. Posted by Kweku Adoboli | April 18, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Thats the bank! Thats the bank! My parents played by the rules! Thats the bank!

  59. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    He still hasn't recovered from selling $86 million Olympia & York's to the Frenchman. Michael, I know you're reading this, get over it!

  60. Posted by Wire | April 18, 2012 at 4:39 PM

    First CityWide Change Bank to the rescue.

  61. Posted by Jamie Dimes | April 18, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    BWAHAHAHAH, you want to start a run on my bank with a group of people who's primary motivation is lack of the aforementioned money?

    I mean, forget the whole run concept, I can save you the exercise and pay out all your deposits right now!

    …..that is, if you can break this C note?

  62. Posted by Drums banging | April 18, 2012 at 5:32 PM

    We need a Stacey Hessler update and we need it yesterday!

  63. Posted by GDA | April 18, 2012 at 5:51 PM

    yes yes….or…or… we could "stigmatize" people who think they are "entitled" to benefits they never earned and teach our kids to stop being a bunch of whiners and learn how to work for a living….even though sometimes, things get really hard.

  64. Posted by GDA | April 18, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    so cynical! have you no faith in the good virtues of others man?

  65. Posted by Whoops | April 18, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Ugly Nathan Fillon SMASH BANKS!

  66. Posted by gifted | April 18, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    clearly not the smartest in the room, only in his mind

  67. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Hipster's Poker

  68. Posted by OWS protester | April 18, 2012 at 9:47 PM

    I'm taking my $200 acct somewhere else

  69. Posted by TGFBV | April 18, 2012 at 10:00 PM

    Never work. They have no money, and therefore, no influence. Instead, they start their own bank; OWS Bank.

    –Asset balances are low, but the NSF and low balance fees would rock.
    –Special loan programs to finance remodeling your parents basement, or for purchasing a new bicycle; use backpacks and Starbucks cards as collateral.
    –Open an account and get a free "Rage Against the Machine" t-shirt.

    Put the bad guys out of business in no time. Plant the seed, ML; a ten-bagger for sure.

  70. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    You do realize there's a difference between the liberal arts and art history, right? In most universities, they aren't even part of the same undergraduate school/college.

    There are rigorous majors within liberal arts (even if they aren't really useful, though economics would be for finance) and, in particular, more rigorous majors than art history.

  71. Posted by Guest | April 18, 2012 at 10:24 PM

    I wonder if it occurred to Michael that if a university starts boycotting a bank, that bank might suddenly become less inclined to hire its graduates.

    And if it were successful…and the bank went under…that would guarantee more unemployed alumni.

  72. Posted by Time | April 18, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Zuck threw Instagram a cool 1B while Vickles is passing around the hat for a few mil. The times are a-changing.

  73. Posted by Bazinga | April 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM

    -Sheldon Cooper

  74. Posted by Darkstar | April 19, 2012 at 12:29 AM

    Most universities add no educational value and apparently you went to one of those.

    1. Hsart is almost universally liberal arts.
    2. Whoever says Hsart is less rigorous than econ hasnt been around econ in the ivies in the last 50 years (excluding Penn, maybe Columbia).
    3. If you want a major that ties closely to a profession, try the hard sciences, animal science or accounting

    – Econ's fine but you're a moron

  75. Posted by Bristol Airport Hotels | April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM

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  76. Posted by Arlette Banks | April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM
  77. Posted by Arlette Banks | April 19, 2012 at 4:03 AM
  78. Posted by Herman ze German | April 19, 2012 at 6:57 AM

    Debt = negative deposits = banks run you. Your argument is invalid

  79. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    If Michael Lewis would have just landed in the Equities in Dallas group where he belonged we wouldn't have to deal with his bs. We all owe the Solly HR Team a big: Thank You.

  80. Posted by Guest | April 19, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Look, Mike, I realize this is a touchy subject for you, but:

    1. You're wrong

    2. Nobody respects an art history major

  81. Posted by Tanker2Banker | April 19, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    Yep. And that's probably the best thing about his presidency. Not exactly a Rushmore moment, but he did throw a strike or two.

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