Robert Greenwald, director of “Wal-Mart – The High Cost of Low Price”, has set private equity in his crosshairs for his next documentary film project. Tomorrow Greenwald will screen the first in a series of short films on the industry on the sidewalk outside of Henry Kravis’ Park Avenue home.
The film, “A Home for the Holidays”, will excoriate Kravis and his homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons. The rest of the series, titled “War on Greed”, will be released over the next six months, and will focus on “other corporate excesses by private equity firms and the stories of their many victims”, according to the film’s blog.
“For these self-appointed demi-Gods who lord over Wall Street, no amount of compensation is too much and no amount of compassion too small,” the blog says. “Furthermore, it is this very ruinous rapacity that is playing an important role in damaging our economy, assaulting the standard of living of middle class Americans and raising economic disparity to levels unseen since The Guilded Age.”
By now Kravis may be used to protesters on his doorstep. This April the Service Employees International Union staged a mock protest outside of Kravis’ Southampton mansion, posing as the fictional “Southampton Alliance for Monied Estates” (SHAME) and demanding more tax breaks for private equity “kings”.
This October the SEIU targeted Kravis once again, sending about two dozen activists and “angry mothers” to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ Manhattan office to protest the sale of lead-tainted toys at Toys “R” Us and Dollar General, KKR portfolio companies. Later in the month the union sent representatives to Toys “R” Us locations around the US to offer free “lead testing” for the stores’ products.
Today SEIU members attended a meeting of the Minnesota State Board of Investment, which invests in KKR funds, to address the same issue. On Friday, the union is sponsoring another protest in front of KKR's Manhattan headquarters, this time with the participation of activists from the Ecology Center, Mom’s Rising, WE ACT, Center for Health Environment and Justice and ACORN, as well as New York City Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum.