Last week, a mob of screeching protesters invaded the Bear Stearns headquarters in Manhattan demanding more aid for homeowners. As you know, I oppose federal bailouts of every make and model -- and that includes both the Bear Stearns deal and the bipartisan stimulus-palooza in Washington. But the bank-bashers who held their demonstration in New York City against Bear Stearns and JPMorgan are totally unhinged. And out of control.
Here is the face of the entitlement culture gone mad: "We will go to their neighborhood, we will educate their children on what their parents do. They should be ashamed," said Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA) founder Bruce Marks in a nasty warning issued to employees of both banks.
This is not an idle threat. Bruce Marks is no harmless lone nut. He has a proven record of showing up at children's schools and bullying them because of their parents' employment. All in the name of "social justice," of course, and securing loans for every last bad risk on the face of the planet. He's so proud of his behavior, he calls himself a "bank terrorist."
Has he earned scorn and condemnation? Of course not. As a reward for his tactics, The Boston Globe named him "Bostonian of the Year" in 2007. The paper praised his "sensible innovation." They fawned over his "curious blend of in-your-face activism, customer-focused service, Machiavellian angling, and social-justice passion." And, as The Globe reported in its cover feature on Marks, there is no line of decency this housing shakedown artist won't cross. Welcome to the subprime politics of personal destruction:
"Marks and his yellow-T-shirted followers have swarmed shareholders' meetings with enough force to shut them down. They have picketed outside the schools attended by the children of bank CEOs, pressing the youngsters in signs and chants to answer for the actions of their daddies. And they even once distributed scandal sheets to every house in one CEO's neighborhood, detailing the affair he was allegedly having with a subordinate. In time, that CEO, like most of the others that NACA targeted, sat down with Marks and signed a deal.
"To those who found his tactics an outrageous invasion of bank executives' personal lives, Marks refused to acknowledge any line between home and work. 'What you do is who you are,' he says. 'It's all personal.'"