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Groups say JP Morgan Chase is soaking the state

Community groups from across the city will rally at JP Morgan Chase and petition elected officials tomorrow demanding that the bank pay its fair share to solve the state’s fiscal crisis.

The action at JPMorgan Chase, 10 S. Dearborn (Thursday, May 12, 3:45 p.m.) is one of six across the state targeting the bank.  Organizers say the bank should renegotiate loan terms which are costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars and do more to stop foreclosures.

In “toxic rate swaps,” JPMorgan Chase and other banks set fixed interest rates for financing state bond deals, said Jennifer Ritter of Lakeview Action Council. But since then “interest rates have plummeted because banks crashed the economy,” she said.

These “rotten interest rate deals” cost the state of Illinois $88 million a year – and the city of Chicago $74 million – in inflated rates, according to Make Wall Street Pay/Illinois, which is sponsoring tomorrow’s action. The group estimates the Illinois taxpayers will pay an additional $800 million for the deals through 2012.

Protesters will march to the State of Illinois building and delegations will deliver letters to Governor Quinn, Senate President Cullerton and House Speaker Madigan calling on them to renegotiate the rate deals.

They also want state leaders to support decoupling federal accelerated capital depreciation tax credits from the state income tax – which would recover $1 billion over two years, Ritter said – and to pass legislation holding banks accountable for the costs of foreclosure, which will cost Illinois taxpayers $7.4 billion through 2012, she said.

“It’s about corporate accountability, and it’s also about starting to look at the state’s budget crisis as a revenue crisis instead of just trying to cut our way out,” said Ritter.

The actions mark the launch of the Make Wall Street Pay/Illinois coalition. One reason they’re targetting JPMorgan Chase is that many groups will be joining protests at the bank’s shareholders meeting next Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio.

There the New Bottom Line campaign will demand that Morgan Chase pay its fair share of taxes and do more to modify troubled mortgages and lend to small businesses.

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Category: city budget, economy, foreclosures, state budget

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