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Occupy movement takes up responsible banking cause

An Occupy sticker is a attached to a bike fender parked in the Federal Building Plaza while a small protest takes place May 16, 2012 in Chicago, Ill.

David Brancaccio: The big NATO summit starts in Chicago today - so do protests there - with demonstrators streaming in from accross the country. Some in Occupy Wall Street see the planned marches as a crucial chance to energize their movement.

But as Marketplace's Krissy Clark reports from our Wealth and Poverty desk, Occupy 2.0 might have less to do with big marches, and more to do with...


Krissy Clark: Moments like this -- when 75-year-old Beverly Roberts came to a city council meeting this week in Los Angeles. She described her four-year fight with a bank, to get a loan modification.

Beverly Roberts: You know what? I'm tired. Just make them responsible and do the right thing.

Roberts was there to support a new policy called the Responsible Banking Ordinance-- it will force banks doing business with LA to provide detailed information on things like how many foreclosures they do, and how many loans they give -- neighborhood by neighborhood. The idea's that if banks have to make that stuff public, the public can hold them accountable.

City Councilman Richard Alarcon came up with the idea a few years ago, but it didn't get traction -- until Occupy came along.

Richard Alarcon: There's no question that the Occupy Movement defibrulated the ordinance.

And not just in L.A. New York City passed a similar policy this week, with the help of Occupy organizers. Boston, Philadelphia and San Diego might also push through bank transparency requirements. Without any real teeth, it's unclear whether these kinds of ordinances will make any difference in how banks do business.

I'm Krissy Clark, for Marketplace.

About the author

Krissy Clark is the senior reporter for Marketplace’s Wealth & Poverty Desk.

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