Locals gather to demand federal investigation into banking industry

Randy Bernard addressing attendees at the rally. Photo by Jake Frankel.

About 15 people gathered Jan. 19 in Pritchard Park across from the Bank of America and Wells Fargo offices in downtown Asheville to protest Wall Street’s involvement in the foreclosure crisis and to demand that President Barack Obama hold the big banks accountable by ordering a federal investigation into their practices

Referencing the president as he addressed the group, organizer Randy Bernard declared: “We sent you to Washington to fight for the 99 percent, not to coddle the 1 percent!”

The event was part of a national day of action organized by the MoveOn called “Yes He Can,” taking place across the country at Obama for America (OFA) campaign offices in all 50 states and at local offices of some of the biggest banks.

The rallies come “after state attorney generals have temporarily blocked a sweetheart deal that would have given broad immunity to the banks for their role in the housing crisis,” according to a press release by the progressive activist group. “The president now has the power to decide whether or not to move forward with a full federal investigation that would finally hold the banks accountable,” it continues.

Organizers also touted a Jan. 20 rally in the same park to protest the “Citizens United” 2010 Supreme Court decision that has led to unprecedented corporate spending by “Super Pacs” in this year’s GOP presidential primary race. The event will start at 4:30 p.m., they said.


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Jake Frankel
Jake Frankel is an award-winning journalist who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, from politics and government to business, education and entertainment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

17 thoughts on “Locals gather to demand federal investigation into banking industry

  1. Tim Peck

    The government caused the foreclosure crisis. Now the forcible occupiers want the government to look into the matter. That’s rich.

    • Christopher C NC

      Mr. Peck are you suggesting that the big banks and the geniuses who run them and Wall St. were completely clueless and utterly powerless to prevent themselves from going bankrupt while making record profits and record pay for the upper management? The government made me do it is your excuse for them? I wish the government would make me do something to get that stinking filthy rich..

      Why in the face of this would you be so hell bent on allowing such incompetent managers complete free reign in the economy?

  2. “Why in the face of this would you be so hell bent on allowing such incompetent managers complete free reign in the economy?”

    I’m not hell bent on any such thing. I believe in a free market that allows incompetence to fail, not be bailed out by the government. Only the government can give incompetent managers free reign (too big to fail). Capitalism cannot do that. Only political cronysism can.

    • Christopher C NC

      So when the banks failed and all the money that Joe Six Pack thought he had in there, but was really loaned out in some odd algorithmic high finance derivative market to make the bankers and money managers rich vanishes into thin air because no one was regulating what they were doing, then what?

      How you think Joe Six Pack is going to feel about free market failures then?

  3. john5

    Didn’t Obama push the stimulus and sign it? Wasn’t it passed by a Democratic-controlled House and Senate? Didn’t Wall St. largely support Obama’s election in 2008? Weren’t some very big banks bailed out? Aren’t some bigwigs from these banks now in Obama’s inner circle as advisers and czars? Why aren’t these dumb-a** loonies protesting Obama? HE’s the big criminal here. Bring HIM to justice!

  4. Dionysis

    “The president now has the power to decide whether or not to move forward with a full federal investigation that would finally hold the banks accountable…”

    Yes, that would be welcome, and it is something the majority of people seem to support (a “full federal investigation…”) but it won’t happen. Know why? Here:

    “U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer, head of the Justice Department

    • Christopher C NC

      So there’s your liberal protest against Obama and sadly Dionysis is most likely correct. Chances of any prosecutions are slim to none.

  5. Dionysis

    Oh, and by the way, the pressure to hold these on-going criminal enterprises (mortgage lenders and banks) accountable has been coming from various states attorneys general. This administration, primarily through the DoJ, has been trying mightily to derail their efforts and force a ‘get out of jail free’, slap-on-the-wrist ‘settlement’ to protect these corporate criminals. For more detail on just who, when and where, go here:


  6. Barry Summers

    Even with the co-opted Obama administration and their toothless response, none of that makes this statement true:

    “The government caused the foreclosure crisis.”

    Yes, we’re pissed that there aren’t consequences for the banksters. The people who “caused” the crisis are the financial institutions who took advantage of lax regulation in order to build a pipeline into the pockets of the middle class and then siphon the wealth out. Those who want to be able to do it again are spreading the notion that it was ‘too much gubmint’ that was at fault, when in fact it’s the opposite. We need to return to the strict regulation and high taxes on the very wealthy that led to the prosperity and healthy growth of the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

  7. “How you think Joe Six Pack is going to feel about free market failures then?”

    The free market didn’t fail. We don’t have one. How can something fail that doesn’t exist?

    • Christopher C NC

      Ah yes, without the government on their backs the bankers and masters of finance suddenly become angels among men.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.