NEW REPORT: Illinois banks and corporations cost the state billions during revenue crisis

As Illinois faces a dire budget deficit and debates where to cut to, a report released today by Make Wall Street Pay Illinois details how Illinois Banks and Corporations are not paying their fair share leaving taxpayers to pick up the tab. More than 384,000 homes are expected to go into foreclosure in Illinois by the end of 2012, which will likely cost taxpayers $7.4 billion to clean up.

The report also reveals the impact of corporate tax breaks. The budget passed by the Illinois House, which many speculate will be the final budget, cuts critical services by $600 million. This is the same amount that corporations will receive in tax breaks due to the bonus depreciation corporate tax break.

Make Wall Street Pay Illinois is calling on legislators to roll back the corporate tax break that could cost the State of Illinois $600 million, to pass HB 1810 and HB 1109 which will allow communities to recover the cost of foreclosures and stabilize and rebuild communities, and for AG Madigan to hold hearings on toxic “interest rate swaps” costing the state over $88 million per year, and cities and towns millions more.

To read the full report, click here.


50 community leaders take demands to Illinois leadership, Lisa Madigan in Springfield

On Tuesday (May 24), 50 community leaders from the statewide coalition, Make Wall Street Pay Illinois, held a press conference with Rep. Will Davis in front of the Illinois Capitol building in Springfield to share their testimonies, and call on the Illinois legislature to hold make the banks pay their fair share.

Shani Smith from Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation (SOUL) shared her story of how the bank took advantage of her, ballooning her monthly payments from $750 to more than $2,000 without any real justification.

Crystal Sahler from Lakeview Action Coalition (LAC) testified that Chicago homeless youth programs saved her life when she found herself homeless after her mother died from a brain aneurism.

General Parker from Illinois People’s Action (IPA) described the miserable state of many homes in his Peoria neighborhood and proposed to legislators that if big banks got bailed out, so too should his hard working neighbors. Read the rest of this entry

500 protesters hold demonstrations in six Illinois cities

Yesterday (May 12), 500 protesters from a statewide coalition called Make Wall Street Pay Illinois demonstrated at Chase Bank locations in six cities across Illinois–including downtown Chicago, Skokie, Homewood, Springfield, Peoria, and Bloomington.

At the Skokie, downtown Chicago, Homewood, and Springfield locations, bank managers refused to speak to leadership delegates, calling the police to file complaints or escort protesters out of the building. At the Chicago demonstration, police officers escorted delegates from the building, and stationed themselves at each entrance to prevent protesters from re-entering. Read the rest of this entry

May 12: Statewide Day of Action


The State of Illinois is facing a $6 billion deficit. While saying there is no alternative, the State continues to cut mental health services, funding for public education, and programs for low-income children, and care for seniors. Meanwhile, Wall Street continues to foreclose on hundreds of thousands of Illinois families and neglects to pay their taxes. In response, protesters in six cities will deliver a message to Wall Street and Illinois elected officials on Thursday May 12th — it is time for big banks like JP Morgan Chase to end the revenue crisis, create jobs, and stop illegal foreclosures.

Illinoisans will launch Make Wall Street Pay Illinois, with a series of actions at JP Morgan Chase locations and offices of State Legislators. MWSP organizers have a three point plan to get much needed money out of the hands of Wall Street and Big Banks and back in the Illinois state budget, which is currently facing a $6 billion dollar deficit. Wall Street and Big Banks, like JP Morgan Chase, are projected to cost Illinois taxpayers $7.4 billion dollars alone in costs associated with foreclosures by 2012.

MWSP organizers encourage anyone to participate in any of the following six events at Chase Banks across Illinois: Read the rest of this entry


Tell Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to scrutinize big banks for rotten deals costing our Cities and State millions: 

We’re in a revenue crisis.  The lack of money in our cities and states is impacting all of us.  That’s why people from across the state are standing together to say, ‘We found the money.  It’s on Wall Street.’

The same big banks and corporations that crashed our economy continue to drag us down by foreclosing on families, not lending to small businesses, and driving up unemployment.

Did you know we also pay them MILLIONS each year in interest on rotten deals?

  • The State of Illinois pays $88 million each year to big banks for rotten deals
  • The City of Chicago pays $74 million each year to big banks for rotten deals

That’s $162 million dollars out of our pockets.  That’s $162 million dollars Illinois cannot spare. 

These deals, called “interest-rate swaps”, were supposed to save us money, but they backfired. Banks started getting almost 0% interest to help the recovery after they crashed the economy.  Now, while we face devastating cuts, they keep sucking money out of our government coffers.  Enough is Enough! Read the rest of this entry