The Trouble Is the Banks: Letters to Wall Street

Dear Readers,

Ordinarily the small books we do at n+1 are about literature, or the arts, or culture.

A year ago, when I read the letters pulled together by a website called Occupy the Boardroom, I knew that we had to try to collect them so that more Americans could read them.

Since these letters came from our fellow Americans and were addressed to bank executives and directors, by name—the unelected authorities who make decisions that affect all of our lives, and particularly made decisions that harmed the lives of a lot of these letter writers—I was determined that once we made this book, we would try to put it into the hands of those bankers, and also every Republican and Democratic politician who needed to hear these citizens’ words.

Lots of books exist about the Great Recession. This book will remind you that none show the perspective of ordinary citizens. Of the rest of us.

Americans are intelligent and articulate and know the things that affect our lives. More people need to be shown it. These letters will.

If you’re visiting our site to learn about The Trouble is the Banks, I hope you will pre-order the book from us. It’s complete; we’re just finalizing an appendix, which will let you see how these citizens’ personal experiences are confirmed by settlements for bank fraud over the last four years. Then we send it to the printer.

We hope to mail every copy you buy to you in just two weeks. But if you want this book to get into other people’s hands, too, into Mitt Romney’s or Paul Ryan’s or the writers’ of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, or if you want to help make copies available to Occupy in New York and around the country, or if you want to help us try to get a copy onto Barack Obama’s desk—we invite you to please donate some multiple of the price of the book, buying copies for others who should read it.

Any profits from this book (and all your donations) will go to getting this book to people who need the call of conscience or inspiration, or will be re-donated to campaigns for economic justice, debt relief, or charity.

I really believe in this project, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to amplify other people’s voices—in partnership with the amazing people at Occupy the Boardroom and our editorial team at n+1.  Thanks for getting into it with us.

And if you’re just wondering whether to buy the book: The book is great. Buy it. It will change your mind. That’s true no matter what you already think and know.

Yours sincerely,