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Goldman Sachs CEO said he's sorry for their role in the crisis, yet Rep. Barney Frank is ignorant about what to do about them. He said, "People have said break 'em up. Well, I don't know anybody who can tell me in the abstract how to break 'em up". At A New Way Forward, we know exactly how - it's on our front page with 50,000 signatures on it and it came from our public discussions and discussions with experts.

Write them to sign the pledge. IT IS THE PUBLIC PLAN and we don't want anyone to say they don't know.

Something effective now? Please, tell blogs, newspapers, Congress and friends that the public has the plan! Use the "Write them" center - it will send letters to the editor and Congress for you, make a FOIA request to substantiate the need for bailouts, help reach out to your favorite bloggers, allow you to post results, and reach all the angry people around the country. There's a press release below that you can use, it's on the grassroots network we have built and the all the work we have done as a group.

Our call to break up the big banks is gaining momentum. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont introduced a bill in Congress that literally calls for the breaking up of the dangerous, too-big-to-fail banks. Pretty good, huh? It's worth rallying Congress on this one. Everyone can lead on this issue simply by talking and guiding our communities. Ramp up our PR machine and get the ones we lone on board. Every little bit has counted and continues to count.

If you're interested in becoming a project manager on this campaign, email us to get started.

Your organizing team,

A New Way Forward

For more information on breaking up the banks visit A New Way Forward for easy to understand analysis and the much needed layout for reform.


For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2009

Activists, internet users, lawyers and economists have solved the problem that Too-Big-To-Fail banks pose to society, while Congress is still coddling the technocrats.

It is an unlikely occurrence that an organizationless, unfunded, underresourced public leads on economic issues. Yet, activists, internet users, lawyers and economists have come together to pose the winning solution to the problem that Too-Big-To-Fail banks pose to society, while most of Congress is still living in a world run by the technocrats. It seems that policies that can help citizens thrive in a large economy must come from those not covered in the concentration of power and breaking up the biggest banks seems to be the only way forward now.

A year after the economic meltdown, the public has gotten involved with a formidable issue - economics - without any organization behind it. Activists are proposing the winning, most popular policy solutions to too-big-to-fail and with a new bill in Congress mandating a similar break up of the bailed-out banks, reform is starting to get on the right path. Yet, most of Congress seems to need more guidance. In defense of his "too-big-to-fail legislation" against criticism Congressman Barney Frank recently said, "People have said break 'em up. Well, I don't know anybody who can tell me in the abstract how to break 'em up". Tens of thousands of people have shown Rep. Frank they know exactly how - their plan is posted on the front page of, while volunteers are spreading it on the internet. To show that breaking up the banks must get done, the public is planning to divest from the extremely concentrated financial brokers. To see the full prescription, you can visit and sign on to support breaking up the banks here:

Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research has contributed to the public's too-big-to-fail policy prescription on how to break up the banks, "Banks will be responsible for developing a plan to break themselves into components with less than $100 billion in assets by a fixed date, or they pay a fine or must keep higher reserve requirements. If no working plan has been reached after the first 90 day period, fines get larger.. Banks will have a very powerful incentive to come up with a good plan." Zephyr Teachout, Assistant Law Professor at Fordham University is lead writer on the prescription - "We support new, straightforward size-based laws for banks, with enforcement power given to the DOJ, which is less likely to get coopted by pressure from the industry."

There are many reasons why the largest banks need to be broken up. They have dominated the market, leading to an overconcentration of assets in just a few companies. The industry is anti-competitive with barriers to entry harder for medium to small-sized banks. And the largest banks charge the highest credt card fees and interest rates because they dominate so heabily in the market. Small banks do much of the local lending and have been doing a fine job at it -- most credit unions return the best interest on your deposits because they're not investing your deposits in risky activities and members usually vote to give back the extra profits to members instead of CEO pay and bonuses. And finally, the largest banks create an unstable market - they hold less cash to back up their risky activities leading to even riskier behavior and are so large they take taxpayer dollars to bail themselves out. Unemployment is just one result of their large and unstable market power.

People are looking for ways to realize a more equitable political economy than the one Congress has helped make, while also looking for ways to dissolve the relationship between politicians and their moneyed interests. Things have become too grim with unemployment at 10.2%, foreclosure victims in every social circle outside of Washington DC, and healthcare and credit card rates continuing to cut into the average person's standard of living, half-measures or bills in name only won't do.

"How long can Congress get away with doing almost nothing to end their addiction to their corporate giants? We're smartening up and Congress is looking more and more like a lame duck to everyone. The public has become its own watchdog over the economy and related policies, and it's on duty into the future. These public advocates are serious about pushing forward rigorous economic policy but their organizing campaigns are about public activity and discourse. They will run an anti-big bank sticker campaign and divest from Wall St. and the largest banks.

It is the public that is proposing the economic policies to rebuild a safer economy for everyone. Instead, new "systemic risk legislation" guarantees government coddling for the "too big to fail" firms to the detriment of competition. The public has to this day found just one approved measure in Congress with Senator Sanders' recently-revealed legislation to break up the largest banks, yet the public continues to disavow the biggest, most publicly-detrimental banks.

John S. Reed has recently said, "I'm sorry" for his role in creating the largest financial institution we now know of as Citigroup and that is should be broken up. "We learn from our mistakes. When you're running a company, you do what you think is right for the stockholders. Right now I'm looking at this as a citizen." Frank Banks agrees, "we can have a modernized Glass-Steagall with three classes of banking- commercial, investment, and "casino"'. It seems that policies that can help citizens thrive in a large economy must come from those not covered in the concentration of power and the public has found a platform to realize the best of their ideas.

From 3 to 10,000 in one month to 25,000 active members in two weeks, a petition to democratize the Federal Reserve, the largest national grassroots-coordinated protests in the country since the meltdown, 50,000 signatures in support of breaking up the banks, nationally-coordinated economic town halls, a policy proposal for breaking up the too-big-to-fail institutions, hundreds of coalition and aligned organizations, and hand-written letters to Congress are just a few ways the public, unified under A New Way Forward's platform, is building their new grassroots-coordinated economic network and movement. ANWF emerged as the "thinking man's" call for structural reform of the financial sector in March 2009 and has become the website for the public to become active in economics. ANWF has made the call for reorganizing and decentralizing our ailing financial system in the most coherent public policy prescription for breaking up the banks.


A New Way Forward is a national, public interest platform organized by the public and grassroots volunteers. For more information, please visit

a project of A New Way Forward
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I am absolutely dumbfounded that it hasn't yet dawned on the big wigs in DC that the banks - or any other institution - should not be allowed to grow to a size that will enable them to bring down the entire financial industry of the country. Whoever makes these laws? Clowns?

It stands to reason that when any monopoly or oligopoly grows to such a size - and I would think especially in the banking industry -  it is detrimental to the overall well being of the country.

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