I’m a firm believer that, eventually, if there is enough of a public outcry, we can make a difference and impact the path this country and our government is taking.
For some time, I have been calling for greater accountability from the large Wall Street banks and have openly questioned why the Department of Justice has refused to prosecute wrongdoing that occurred in the financial crisis. This concern has also been expressed by many other individuals and organizations, including The Other 98% and The Rules, which recently launched a major campaign to encourage Wall Street whistleblowers to come forward when they see wrongdoing within their banks.
The campaign, Whistleblow Wall Street, launched last week in New York City. It is accompanied by extensive publicity which includes its own website and will include billboards, posters, and pamphlets. There is also a soon-to-be-published op-ed piece in which I participated, supporting the campaign and the reasons for it. The campaign is also supported by two other whistleblowers, Michael Winston of BofA/Countrywide and Linda Almonte of JP Morgan Chase.
Fox Business notes that this campaign “comes on the heels of the seventh anniversary of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Wall Street’s bailout for the 2008 financial crisis … encouraging bank employees to take action against illegal financial activity.”
Whistleblow Wall Street is taking pretty strong steps to call the Department of Justice to account. This well-funded and well-staffed campaign includes attorneys provided by the Government Accounting Project, so that responses are thoroughly vetted.
If Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates really meant what she said, that the D.O.J. will pursue alleged criminals, “regardless of whether they commit their crimes on the street corner or in the boardroom…,” then “you’ve got to cough up the individuals.” This campaign is designed to do just that, “cough up the individuals.”
It offers a a safe venue for individuals to come forward if they don’t get responses from their corporations; if they are ignored, trivialized and marginalized. Whistleblow Wall Street allows them a voice to express their grievance. And, it will be listened to.
It puts the D.O.J. in a position of accountability. It puts them on notice. In effect we have thrown down a gauntlet. As I say in the op-ed piece, those of us who have already blown the whistle are determined to stand behind those who come forward to blow whistles within the federal government’s new regulatory schemes in the hope that one can trust the DOJ’s new prosecutorial comments.
Visit the site. It invites people with a concern or a real grievance to choose a category that matches their concern. It gives bank employees an opportunity to be heard and perhaps the potential for a grievance to be solved before it magnifies into actual whistleblowing.
The success of this campaign may finally allow a little sunshine in so that it, so that we, can transform an industry that is desperately in need of cleansing, especially at the top.
[tweetthis url=”http://buff.ly/1LPidou”]Will Whistleblow #WallStreet transform an industry that desperately needs cleansing? ~@RichardMBowen #WBWS #DOJ [/tweetthis]