. . . Piled silver / Throwing gray spatter of light… pale without heat… (“Wall Street,” by Lola Ridge, 1920)


NEW LABOR FORUM 22.3 (2013): 81-85.
“Mobilizing To Hold Wall Street Accountable.”
By Peter Dreier

[. . . .] In 2005, Rose Gudiel bought a 1,200-square-foot, one-story three-bedroom house in La Puente, a working-class suburb of Los Angeles, where she, her father (a warehouse worker), and her brother cared for her disabled sixty-three-year-old mother. They made steady mortgage payments until 2009, when her brother died unexpectedly. The family lost his income and was two weeks late on the next mortgage payment. When they sent in the payment, OneWest Bank would not accept it, and soon began foreclosure proceedings on Gudiel. “I was the first person in my family to graduate from college, and I worked hard so that I can own a home,” said Gudiel. “And now these banks are taking my dream away.”
___In 2010, Gudiel asked the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) for help. Soon, she, her family, neighbors, and others were protesting at the bank’s Pasadena headquarters and at the nine-bedroom, ten-bathroom, 22,721-square-foot, $26 million mansion in Los Angeles’ swanky Bel-Air neighborhood owned by Steve Mnuchin, OneWest’s CEO. They also organized a round-the-clock vigil at Gudiel’s house to prevent the sheriff from evicting the family. Gudiel, who had not participated in political activities before, also joined Occupy Los Angeles protests and was one of nine people arrested for engaging in a sit-in at Fannie Mae’s regional office. These actions generated so much media attention that in October 2011, OneWest and Fannie Mae agreed to renegotiate Gudiel’s loan so her family could stay in their home. Gudiel became an ACCE leader, pledging to help other homeowners facing foreclosure.      Source.

William Cohan interviewed by Paul Solman
December 8, 2016

William David Cohan is an American business writer. He was an investigative reporter for the Raleigh Times. He then worked on Wall Street for seventeen years as a mergers and acquisitions bankerCohan is a graduate of Duke University, Columbia University School of Journalism, and Columbia University Graduate School of Business.    

WILLIAM COHAN: Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross are deal guys. They are Wall Street deal guys.
PAUL SOLMAN: What is a deal guy?
WILLIAM COHAN: That means that you are very transactional.
In Steve Mnuchin’s case, he made his fortune by buying a bank that the FDIC had foreclosed upon during the financial crisis of 2008, renamed it OneWest, and sold it eventually to CIT, that was run by another ex-Goldman banker named John Thain. And they all made billions as a result.
Wilbur Ross did the same thing buying a business that was in the ashes of the financial crisis and, like a phoenix, resurrecting it from the ashes.
PAUL SOLMAN: But isn’t a major reason that Donald Trump got elected the idea that he was the ultimate change agent, that he would disrupt things as they are? So, who better than deal-makers to do that?
WILLIAM COHAN: Absolutely, the selection of Steve Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross fit into this vision of people who cut through bureaucracy. I mean, you know, one of Trump’s great accomplishments is, you know, fixing Wollman Rink in Central Park.
PAUL SOLMAN: The skating — the skating rink.
WILLIAM COHAN: The skating rink. Right.
     DONALD TRUMP: I got together with everybody, the city, the council. Everything
had to be done fast. And we got it done. And you can do that with this country.

WILLIAM COHAN: Is America Wollman Rink? I don’t think so.
PAUL SOLMAN: No, America isn’t Wollman Rink, but I think almost everybody watching, and certainly the people who voted for him, have had frustrating experiences with bureaucrats and bureaucracy, private as well as public, pushing them around.
WILLIAM COHAN: It’s really hard to know what a Steve Mnuchin or a Wilbur Ross will do.
I mean, their firms, they’re small, 10, 20, 30 people. Now they’re commanding battleships. The Treasury has 80,000 people. Commerce has 50,000 people.
You know, you have to start miles away to turn a battleship around. There’s nothing in their background, nothing, that would indicate that they would have any skill at running these bureaucracies.

Steve Mnuchin: Trickle Downer of the Week”
By Justin Miller
December 7, 2016
“Trump Treasury pick made millions after his bank foreclosed on homeowners”
Steven Mnuchin’s OneWest filed to take a 90-year-old woman’s house after a 27-cent payment error.
By Lorraine Woellert
December 1, 2016

MSNBC – The Rachel Maddow Show / The MaddowBlog
“Trump’s Treasury pick faces accusations that can’t be explained away”
By Steve Benen
December 1, 2016

“Wall Street at Night,” by Lola Ridge     
Long vast shapes… cooled and flushed through with darkness…
Lidless windows
Glazed with a flashy luster
From some little pert café chirping up like a sparrow.
And down among iron guts
Piled silver
Throwing gray spatter of light… pale without heat…
Like the pallor of dead bodies.

Born in Dublin on December 12, 1873, Lola Ridge grew up in mining towns in New Zealand and Australia. When she was thirty-four years old, she immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in New York City.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poet/lola-ridge

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