Thousands of demonstrators have marched through the New York financial district in a protest against Wall Street. They accuse the big banks of making record profits on the backs of ordinary Americans.
One of the organisers said Wall Street had fuelled the economic downturn and its speculations had destroyed eleven million jobs. Yet the banks had not been held accountable and for them it was business as usual.
Others turned their fire on Congress which has begun debating reform of the financial system.
“We want to send a clear message to them, ‘which side are you on?’,” said George Goehl of the community association National People’s Action. “Are you going to side with Wall Street and the bankers, the same bankers that got us in this mess? Or are you going to do what we think would be the obvious thing, to side with the American people?”
Earlier this week a Senate panel grilled executives from the bank Goldman Sachs. They were accused of marketing bogus investments and then betting that they would fall in value, spreading toxic mortgages throughout the financial system.
The chief executive Lloyd Blankfein denied Goldman had acted improperly. He said clients came looking for risk in the housing market, “and that’s what they got”.