Largest Organized TAKE DOWN WALL STREET Program In The World Launches

Largest Organized TAKE DOWN WALL STREET Program In The World Launches

The Occupy movement has grown up — and looks to inflict real pain on big banks


People gather in Washington Square Park in New York in 2012 during a Occupy Wall Street anniversary. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/GettyImages)
Capitalizing on populist anger toward Wall Street, a coalition of more than 20 labor unions and activist groups plan to announce on Tuesday the launch of a new campaign to reform the financial industry.

The group, Take On Wall Street, plan to combine the efforts of some of the Democratic Party’s biggest traditional backers, from the American Federation of Teachers and the AFL-CIO to the Communications Workers of America. The group says it will aim to turn the public’s lingering anger at the financial sector into policy initiatives that could change the way that Wall Street works.Among its biggest targets will doing away with a law that allows private equity managers to pay lower taxes through something known as the “carried interest loophole.” These managers receive a share of profits for any gains they create for their clients, and this income is treated as long-term capital gains and taxed at a lower rate.Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a vocal critic of Wall Street, is to be the headline speaker at an event to launch the formation of the group Tuesday afternoon at the U.S. Capitol.

The group is pouncing during a period in which Wall Street has found itself the target of both Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders has called for breaking up the big banks and criticized rival Hillary Clinton for accepting money from Goldman Sachs to deliver speeches, while Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump has been critical of carried interest.
“I think the tone of the election has reminded many people just how deeply felt the frustration and anger is about the way that Wall Street has shaped the economy in its own interest,” said Lisa Donner, executive director of Americans for Financial Reform, a coalition of more than 200 civil rights, consumer, labor, business, investor, faith-based, and civic and community groups.Unlike previous anti-Wall Street campaigns such as Occupy Wall Street this group hopes to organize a campaign that will span state houses and as well as the halls of Congress, potentially forecasting a big fight on financial reform in 2017. “We are going to make this an issue in congressional races. No one will be able to run from this,” said Richard L. Trumka, president of the labor union AFL-CIO. People are saying “that they are fed up with Wall Street writing the rules.”
In addition to the issue of carried interest, the group expects to galvanize support for breaking up the big banks and reviving a version of the Glass Steagall Act, which prevented the combination of commercial and investment banks. It is also expected to push for a transaction tax, which would force some Wall Street traders, particularly high-frequency traders, to pay a fee every time they buy or sell a stock or bond.