Social Responsibility and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

Published: 2019-09-20 23:27:18
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The recent financial recession that had hit the world increased peoples awareness and the community as a whole in monitoring the controls and models adopted by financial institutions. A need for corporate social responsibility structures have therefore, become important as companies are looking to lure more customers and the government into their institutions. There was a huge outpour of blame directed mainly at the financial institutions after the recession with a large number of people losing their jobs in the process. Bank of America is one of the financial institutions that are affected by the obligation towards corporate responsibility in the U.S. as well as globally. The bank serves more than 35 countries and as such has to invest in CSR models that are aimed at developing not only the U.S. but these countries as well. The main problem however, is fulfilling their CSR obligations with their financial obligations to the shareholders. Companies have to look for ways that are meant to create a working framework that meets the two obligations satisfactorily. On the other hand, Occupy Wall Street Movement was formed to protest the level of control that was given to the large financial institutions in the U.S. Although most believe that the issues that were raised were anti-capitalist there is are avenues where these measures are seen as models that are aimed at ensuring that the companies observe corporate social responsibility in the society accordingly. This paper aims at debunking some of these issues and highlighting the importance of the models that have been adopted in these companies as well as the role played by OCWM in shaping the politics and controls directed at financial institutions in the country.

Conflict between Social and Financial Responsibility

CSR aims at ensuring that there is responsible business practice that is orchestrated by companies in a specific industry. Depending on the models that are adopted, the companies need to ensure that they give the customers the proper form of service or product in the market. In the financial markets, companies have a responsibility to advice their customers on the best products that are meant to increase their satisfaction and serve them better. There are differences in terms of the loans and products that are issued by banks to customers therefore a socially responsible company gives the customers the best. This however, means that these companies have to forego the high levels of profits that may be enjoyed by companies that do not give their customers the same level of care in the market (Cochran, 2007). This reflects on the amount of profits that in turn affects the shares in the company. However, these models are representative of the important and pertinent structures that companies especially in the financial sector ought to meet t ensure that the services given to the customers are of the highest standards and help not only themselves but the customers.

Most companies are driven by profits and companies such as the Bank of America the level of profits that can be accrued from their services to different countries in the world is massive. It is implicit for companies to consider the interests of other stakeholders amid their main goal of making massive profits as entities in the corporate world. There are differences that can be cited from the models that are adopted by companies as they try to fulfill their CSR, but the level of profits in either of these models is depleted (Jenkins, 2005). The shareholders have a responsibility to understand their role in these processes since they need to understand the models adopted and not set high expectations or targets for the companies. Shareholders need to give the financial institutions a chance to give the consumers the best services and not only serve the interests of the shareholders but those of the community as well. The consumers also have a responsibility of allowing the financial institutions to conduct their businesses peacefully within their region. Most of the consumers act as the strength of the company through offering the necessary security and impetus needed to ensure appropriate controls and models needed in these companies are met. Consumers and the community at large feed the company with labor and other social amenities that are needed by the company workers thereby, acting as important parts of the cog within businesses. Although companies may lose in terms of the overall profits it is imperative to ensure that they strike a balance between CSR and their profit needs to meet the individual goals and targets by the company accordingly.

Occupy Wall Street

Occupy Wall Street was a movement that stood up against social and economic inequality in the U.S. and started in Zuccotti Park in New York Citys Wall Street. The movement began in September 17th 2011 but there were occasions that are identified to show that the movement had been building up for the whole year leading up to the major movement (Deluca et al, 2012). The movement was the centre of attention from the global media and individuals viewed it as one of the most vibrant and highly supported movements against inequality in the world. The movement chose Wall Street since it was the main business district and was mainly in revolt of the control by the major financial institutions in Wall Street of the political and other important models in the country. The movement involved people from all ages, and races with the average age being said to be around 33. There were many people who were in their 20s but there were also people in their 40s and 50s making the movement to encompass the young and the old.

The movement happened in 2011 after the governments as well as the financial institutions were slowly looking for ways to ensure that the Great Recession never hit again. There were different models and policies that were suggested and were all aimed at controlling and eliminating a similar occurrence of a similar event in such a massive scale in the country. However, most of the people were of the view that the major financial institutions and companies were influencing the decisions and models adopted by the government. There was a strong dislike of the financial companies at the time having caused the people to go through one of the hardest financial times in history. The imminent foreclosure and the number of people who had lost their jobs was also a major aspect that led to people coming out in large numbers on Wall Street and demonstrating against the financial institutions and companies that were affecting policies implemented by the government (Penney and Daddas, 2013). The government had bailed out most of these companies that were arguably too large to fail and the people felt that these models were only for the interest of the 1% who owned the resources in the country.

One of the slogans that was used on these demonstrations was We are the 99% to represent the differences in models and aspects that could be identified in the society. The people were arguing against the massive financial and economic inequalities that were evident in the country albeit the people representing the massive majority of the population. The people were looking for the government to integrate models that were aimed at facilitating and developing the rights of the 99% and not the companies that were owned by a few individuals in Wall Street (Crawford and Xhambazi, 2015). The income inequality has worsened since the 1970s with the gap widening yearly. The rise of a technology driven world increased income inequality in the US and there are more people who are suffering as a result of individual models not being met in the society. There are changes that have since been instituted and the structural basis that has been implemented is critical in giving the people the best models that are needed in the society accordingly. There are different issues that were highlighted in OWS movement one of them being better jobs. The level of job-cuts in the U.S. was a major problem with most companies looking to reduce their work force and outsource where the labor was cheaper. These models were deemed as harsh by the people and they were looking to sensitize the government on these issues. Bank reform was also a major aspect that had led to the movement as most of the people were looking to the government to ensure that it instituted reforms that would ensure that the power of the bank was limited and their controls checked (McDonald and Rundle-Thiele, 2008). After the recession it was apparent that the financial institutions had contributed a massive part thereby asking for more strict rules and policies that were aimed at monitoring the models adopted by the banking institutions. Others were looking for the forgiveness of students loans and the alleviation of the foreclosure situation that had left many people homeless. These issues were identified by many as changing the political economy in the country to become anti-capitalist.

Capitalism has been a major contributor to changes that have been effected in the US for years. This was mainly because most of the people had found methods and ways to develop technologies and adopt models that were driven by a capitalist approach to the sharing of resources. The changes suggested by OWS movement was deemed to be anti-capitalist a factor that was inaccurate and ineffectual in its fundamental concepts. The people were not looking for the country to redistribute the resources or develop different models of sharing, but to ensure equality on the basis and models used. They were also looking for means to provide for themselves and their families. The development of an oversight that would ensure that the banks did not have autonomy in the choices made and the models adopted was also critical. These aspects did not amount to any form of control or anti-capitalism that would be deemed to be better driven or appropriated in the society at large. This led to the spread and support of the movement that was not only popular in the US but in other countries since they advocated for equality for all in the society.

Bank of America Ethical Concerns on Corporate Social Responsibility

The Bank of America is one of the largest banks in the U.S. coming only second to JP Morgan Chase Bank on the amount of financial assets that are controlled by the bank at 2.1 TRILLION Dollars. Apart from having branches in all the 50 states in the U.S. it is also located in more than 35 other countries in the world making it one of the biggest in terms of the number of customers by the bank. The bank has 4800 financial centers and has 15800 ATMs located in different areas all over the world (Bank of America, 2013). The company has more than 220000 employees and their dedication to CSR programs and their employees is very high. Being located in all States in the U.S. the bank has a large pool of customers and a high level of control in the American market. The market also boasts of having excellent product and service innovation in a highly competitive market. The size as well as a strong brand name of the bank ensures that it is competitive and has the economies of scale necessary to take advantage of different systems and models in the financial industry. The entity has the impetus and level of financial knowledge and resources necessary to delve into other financial markets in countries all over the world (Marquez and Formbrun, 2005). There are also diverse products available at the entity meaning that it can control and diversify portfolio for its customers. However, the changes in policies and regulations that are being suggested by the government are being seen as a major challenge to...

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