Occupy The Regents protested at the University Of California's Board Of Regents meeting in San Francisco. The protest was against the use of millions of dollars of tax revenues from the newly passed Prop 30 going to Wall Street banks rather than to reducing student fees which have been tripled over the last ten years.
California voters approved Proposition 30 this past Election Day. It raised taxes for the next 7 years on individuals who make $250k a year or more, and promised to provide education funding and relief for the recent fee and tuition hikes. The Regents blamed these increases on a bad economy. However, a new report by UC Berkeley doctoral students links them instead to financial practices of the Regents themselves. Between 2003-2007, the Regents started using interest rate swaps, the same exotic instruments that crippled the economy in 2008, to issue bonds to finance the creation of three new medical centers.
The bad bets have cost the school $57 million which could rise to $250 million in the next three decades. The debt was collateralized by the tuition and fees hikes.
Activists compared the situation to that of the city of Oakland, which is suing its creditor banks, and characterized the regents board as a revolving door for Wall Street. Regents Peter Taylor was a Managing Director for Lehman Brothers and Regent Monica Lozano is currently on the board of Bank Of America, a position for which she has received approximately $1.5 million. Bank of America stands to make as much as $28 million from an interest rate swap at UC San Francisco, according to the report. Bank of America is also one of the banks under investigation for LIBOR manipulation.
This video and Label-It Yourself videos by Peter Menchini http://www.youtube.com/MayaMediated