THE BLOG
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Lloyd Blankfein Gives Thanks

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein has a lot to be thankful for this year...

  • His turkey dinner with all the trimmings at his 27 million Central Park suite.
  • The 63.6 billion in bailouts and backstops Goldman Sachs has collected from taxpayers since the crash--most of which Goldman need never pay back.
  • The record 23 billion in compensation and bonuses Goldman will dole out this year.
  • The peace of mind offered by the "Too Big to Fail Doctrine" suggesting that taxpayers will always come to Goldman's rescue.
  • The record breaking100 million trading days Goldman is enjoying thanks to the "Wall Street innovation" that has allowed them to return to the same risky and reckless practices that crashed the economy. .
  • The top corporate lobbyists on Goldman's payroll who work day and night to keep Wall Street unrestrained and unregulated.

But Lloyd Blankfein and the rest of the Wall Street CEOs don't seem to be very thankful for the American people. We stepped in to rescue the big banks in their time of need. Now the American people need assistance and they're nowhere to be found.

They refuse to help people like Maria Guerra. Maria, who helped her brother buy his first home, thought her family had achieved the American Dream. That dream quickly turned into a nightmare when Maria's brother was laid off and he fell behind on his mortgage payments. Maria and her brother had to sign his home over to the bank a few weeks ago, and now thanks to the struggling economy and her efforts to support her extended family, Maria is worried about losing her home too.

And what about the 150 workers at the Stella D'Oro cookie factory in the Bronx? They lost their jobs and their healthcare when a company owned in part by Goldman Sachs bought Stella D'Oro and closed the factory down.

What about the more than 1.5 million Americans who've already lost their homes this year? The more than 5.3 million workers who have lost their jobs since the economy crashed? The 14,000 Americans who lose their health insurance each day? The 17,000 forced into personal bankruptcy each week because of their medical debts?

What is Wall Street doing to help the rest of America recover?

Lloyd Blankfein and the rest of the Wall Street barons need to realize that all of their profits and all of their power don't mean a thing if they continue to put their company ahead of the greater good of our country.

Wall Street wealth is meaningless if Americans don't have jobs, if more than 10,000 people a day continue to get foreclosure notices, and if small businesses continue to go dark.

Wall Street wealth is meaningless when the American Dream continues to slip further and further out of reach for more and more of us.

Last week I joined hundreds of other Americans outside Goldman Sachs' Washington, D.C. headquarters. We had a simple demand for Blankfein: Donate your $23 billion bonus pool and stop all foreclosures for the next year.

Goldman's response? A shallow apology for bringing our economy to its knees and a paltry donation to small businesses equal to just two percent of the bonus money they're expected to pay out this year.

Meanwhile, more than 90,000 Americans now face a similar fate to Maria and her brother.

It's time to do away with the Goldman rule--that those who have the gold make the rules.

Lloyd Blankfein can start today by accepting our challenge. He can announce today that Goldman will use its $23 billion bonus pool to help Americans keep their homes.

That would be something we could all be thankful for.