The Common Good

Wallis Continues Media Blitz to Tackle Wall Street

Source: Sojourners
Date: January 22, 2010


Friday, January 22, 2010

CONTACT: Sheldon Good at / 202.745.4625 or

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FOR MEDIA: Rev. Jim Wallis has embarked on a nationwide media and publicity tour to offer a moral recovery in addition to our economic recovery.


Wallis on The Daily Show: "I've got a suggestion for the people getting bank bonuses: send them to Haiti.”

In Morning Joe interview, Wallis says "wealth doesn't trickle down, but bad behavior does.”

On Tavis Smiley Show, Wallis calls out Wall Street for not extending grace to Main Street and Your Street.

WASHINGTON, DC - Rev. Jim Wallis, president and founder of Sojourners, the largest network of progressive Christians in the nation, and bestselling author, launches groundbreaking new book, "Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street,” and has embarked on a nationwide media and publicity tour, with stops on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, MSNBC's Morning Joe, and PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show.


Going back to the way things were isn't possible - we all must adapt to the new economy, say the so-called experts. But New York Times bestselling author Jim Wallis believes this crisis has afforded us an incredible opportunity to shore up the very pillars of our society. Instead of asking when this crisis will be over, Wallis wants people to instead ask how this situation will have changed us for the better. Wallis presents this idea, and insights for the recovery, in his new book REDISCOVERING VALUES: On Wall Street, Main Street and Your Street, (Howard Books/Simon & Schuster; 1/5/2010; 978-1-4391-8312-0; Hardcover; 160 pp; $21.99). Wallis challenges the status quo of a society that rewards bailed-out bankers with huge bonuses and a nation that celebrates the Dow returning to 10,000, while the unemployment rate climbs to 10 percent - and in some cases, such as Wallis' hometown of Detroit, closer to 30 percent. "To see that Wall Street is now having a party while the rest of the country continues to buckle down, sacrifice, and do what is necessary to make it through all this is just too much,” writes Wallis. "It is very clear that this is immoral, and now the country needs to ask should it also be illegal?”


The Wallis column, from Sunday, January 3, 2010, describes the beginning of a potential new movement among people of good faith to move their money from the big banks who have behaved so badly to local banks and financial institutions that have better served their communities. It ends with these essential lines, "The banks say they are 'too big to fail.' So let's make them smaller. We might finally get Wall Street's attention.” The greatest danger of the economic crisis now, or the Great Recession as Wallis calls it in his book, is that we will learn nothing from it. If that happens, all the pain and suffering so many have known will have been in vain. But if we can learn from this and turn it into a "teachable moment,” then this crisis can still be redemptive.


Jim Wallis is a bestselling author, public theologian, speaker, preacher, and international commentator on religion, public life, faith, and politics. He is president and CEO of Sojourners, where he is editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine. He regularly appears on radio and television, including shows such as "Meet the Press,” "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” "The O'Reilly Factor,” and is a frequent guest on the news programs of CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, and NPR. Other books include Call to Conversion, Faith Works, The Soul of Politics, Faith Works, God's Politics, and The Great Awakening. Wallis' columns appear in major newspapers, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and both Time and Newsweek online. He speaks at more than two hundred events a year including the Davos conference in Switzerland where he will address this book's topic in January 2010. In January 2009, Wallis spoke alongside conference attendees such as Tony Blair, Bill and Melinda Gates, Queen Rania of Jordan, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore.


Jim Wallis Book: Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street - A Moral Compass for the New Economy.

Washington Post Outlook, Jim Wallis, Let's Topple the Idols of Wall Street

God's Politics Blog, Jim Wallis, If They Are Too Big to Fail, Let's Make Them Smaller

Jim Wallis Book Tour/Events Across the Nation