WASHINGTON – With Donald Trump attempting to undermine election results, Wall Street institutions and their CEOs must step up to help defend our democracy, say groups with Stop the Money Pipeline, a coalition of over 130 organizations working to end the financing of fossil fuels.
“Trump is trying to steal the election and Wall Street is silent,” said Amy Gray, co-coordinator of the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition. “The only thing that Trump cares about nearly as much as himself is the stock market. If Wall Street tells Trump and the GOP every vote must be counted, he might just listen. After all the ways the public has bailed out these financial institutions, they have a moral responsibility to help defend our democracy during this dark hour.”
The CEOs of major financial institutions and other corporations have remained largely silent since the election, seemingly content to make millions on a stock market bump while our very democracy hangs in the balance.
The only CEO who came close to a public statement about the importance of counting every vote was JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who sent a memo to employees on Wednesday, saying, “While strong opinions and tremendous passion characterized this U.S. election, it is the responsibility of each of us to respect the democratic process, and ultimately, the outcome.” No executive at a major bank, insurance company or asset manager has openly criticized the President’s blatant attempts to steal the election.
“This is a once in a lifetime moment of consequence and we demand Wall Street leaders like Jamie Dimon rise to the occasion and make clear that above all else the preservation of our democracy must be prioritized at all costs,” said Paddy McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director with Rainforest Action Network. “And preserving our democracy means counting all the votes and being willing to shut down the economy and withdraw all forms of cooperation with an illegitimate regime if Trump follows through on threats to undermine our democratic systems to hold onto power.”
In late October, groups with Stop the Money Pipeline sent a letter to the CEOs of nine different financial institutions calling on them to make public statements about the need for a free and fair election. The groups wrote, “We know that Wall Street cannot, and should not, save our democracy. But any claim to civic leadership entails both the opportunity and the responsibility to help defend democracy in moments of crisis and potential peril.”
The letter echoed the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility’s call for corporations to ensure a free and fair election and peaceful transfer of power, as well as other public calls for business leaders to protect our democracy. The ask for financial institutions was to make a public commitment, either by signing on to a statement like the Leadership Now Project’s Business Statement on the Election, making a commitment with the Civic Alliance, or making their own public statement.
A number of corporations made relatively bland statements about the importance of a free and fair election ahead of November 4. That included JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, who sent a memo to all his employees that said, “The peaceful and stable transition of power ― whether it is to the second administration of a president or a new one ― is a hallmark of America’s 244-year history as an independent nation.” An executive at Goldman Sachs responded to Stop the Money Pipeline with an email that said they were giving their employees half a day off to vote.
Since then, most corporations have remained silent, although the US Chamber of Commerce did put out a joint statement with the AFL-CIO calling on all parties to respect the vote. As of Thursday evening, no CEO or corporation, including on Wall Street, had spoken out about Trump’s outrageous attacks on democracy at his White House press conference.
Stop the Money Pipeline has been encouraging its tens of thousands of supporters to join demonstrations to protect our democracy and demand that every vote be counted. Many of our over 130 coalition partners are engaged in similar efforts to “protect the process.” Over the coming days, Stop the Money Pipeline will continue to call on Wall Street institutions and other corporations to publicly condemn Trump’s baseless attacks on the election and our democracy.Print