OWS and all its participants, supporters, and sympathizers need to band together with a clear call to action: “Challenge Wall Street.” Challenge Wall Street to take their considerable capabilities and direct them toward the Main Street businesses of America. A few thousand large corporations, for years, have benefited from high finance. Increased accesses to capital, innovative financial products, and tools to hedge market risks have provided big companies many benefits and advantages. Challenge Wall Street to bring these advantages to Main Street.
Providing these advanced financial services to a few thousand large, transparent, and well researched mega-corporations is easy. The next big innovation is to scale those services for the millions of mid-market and small businesses that have traditionally been seen as too risky or opaque to work with; help the businesses that drive huge amounts of growth and create most new jobs. Main Street needs Wall Street to step up. While this will not be easy, an industry that created the credit-default swap in a single weekend, should be up to the task.
If Occupy Wall Street can harness their momentum, direct their anger, and lay down this gauntlet to the finance industry, they’ll find supporters where they once had critics and friends where they once had enemies. It’s a message that isn’t complacent with the transgressions of the past; however, it doesn’t jeopardize the future with debilitating rage. “Challenge to Wall Street” allows for the change protestors demand while acknowledging value in a strong financial system that can work for the greater good. Complex issues require sophisticated solutions; making Wall Street work for Main Street is no exception. If OWS calls on Wall Street to find these solutions, Wall Street will have to answer: If you claim to be doing God’s work… Prove it.