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Related:  Capitalism in Question

New York cops defy order to arrest hundreds of ‘Occupy Albany’ protesters By Andrew JonesMonday, October 24, 2011 13:39 EDT Occupy Albany protesters in New York’s capital city received an unexpected ally over the week: The state and local authorities. According to the Albany Times Union, New York state troopers and Albany police did not adhere to a curfew crackdown on protesters urged by Gov. Mass arrests seemed to be in the cards once Jennings directed officers to enforce the curfew on roughly 700 protesters occupying the city owned park. With protesters acting peacefully, local and state police agreed that low level arrests could cause a riot, so they decided instead to defy Cuomo and Jennings. “We don’t have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble,” a state official said. Occupy Albany, an offspring of Occupy Wall Street, has seen its protesters remain as committed as those located at its parent site. See more coverage of the “Occupy Wall Street” movement here. Copyright 2011 The Raw Story Andrew Jones

Publicly traded investment banks = big mistake Scott Minerd, a former big-cheese investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse who now runs Guggenheim Partners Asset Management, isn’t a big fan of today’s investment banks. He made this clear a couple times this morning at a Milken Instutute Global Conference discussion on Private Versus Publicly Held Financial Institutions: Which Are Best Positioned? (Minerd wasn’t on the panel, but the moderator works for him and kept calling on him, clearly because she knew he’d say more provocative things than the other panelists, most of whom were mutual insurance company executives.) Here’s Minerd on the rise of leverage on Wall Street: I worked at Morgan Stanley a number of years. I was a partner, left in 1994. … At that time Morgan Stanley ran a balance sheet with 10-12X leverage. … They thought that was aggressive. Why’d that happen? Finally, as for the supposed increased access to capital that being publicly traded gives a company:

Free forum : The 99 Delegation Project Financialization Era – how banking welfare captured our economy and ravaged the wealth of the working and middle class. Building profits through financial debt leverage. The American banking system has transformed the economy into one enormous speculative casino with bells and whistles and free cocktails for those that participate. The problem of course is that most don’t have excess income to drop into the financial slot machines. Now banking in better times should be seen as the lubricant of the economy. Debt leverage and banking profits go hand in hand Source: Peak Watch The above chart really highlights the destruction of our economy in a rising debt era. It is no coincidence that during this time our workforce has shifted from manufacturing to finance: Source: Macromon We have done a complete 180 turn here. To further highlight how the financialization of America has harmed the economy we need only look at the stagnant wages of American families. 2000 to 2010 was the first decade where the median household income fell since the Great Depression era of the 1930s. Source: BIS, Wikipedia

The Bill that Could End All of the Occupy Protests Today everyone is paying close attention to the attempts to have videos documenting police brutality removed from You-Tube. There is a much greater threat looming. HR3261 Allows the U.S. Government to serve any internet provider with a court order to remove what they deem is copyrighted material or be shut down within five days. Under the guise of stopping piracy, any site can be shut down indefinitely. It is important to respect the rights of artists and make sure they are compensated for their creative endeavors. When any person, even law enforcement can upload any content to a site it is inevitable that the potential for abuse guarantees abuse. Link to HR 3261 A true Democracy in contemporary times is dependent on a free and open society. Make no mistake, those in power will do anything to make sure the demonstrations are stopped. Last, this bill is the canary in the coal mine. The coming months will permanently shape the future of this country.

Mike Konczal: '13 Bankers,' Financialization and the Real Economy How has financialization changed the real economy? James and Simon do an excellent job tracing the history of the conflict between the financial sector and the government in their book "13 Bankers." They do this history in two dimensions: first as a history of the United States' complicated relationship with the financial sector and large, concentrated banks, and second as a cross-section of the world in the late 1990s and early 21st century. From Andrew Jackson to recent problems in South Korea, they tell a narrative that connects ways in which the financial sector, when too big and too connected, is capable of capturing their regulators. One thing that worries financial reformers is that we are rebuilding the financial sector of 2005-2007 with some additional legal powers for regulators to use in the middle of a crisis. Simon has written convincingly that failure to break this cycle will constitute a "doom loop", which explains that the next crisis will be even worse. Distribution

The Heartbreaking Story of Bravery and Sacrifice That Led to Hope Around the World and OWS | Activism & Vision October 19, 2011 | Like this article? Join our email list: Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email. To stay on top of important articles like these, sign up to receive the latest updates from TomDispatch.com here. Dear young man who died on the fourth day of this turbulent 2011, dear Mohammed Bouazizi, I want to write you about an astonishing year -- with three months yet to run. I wish you could see the way that your small life and large death became a catalyst for the fall of so many dictators in what is known as the Arab Spring. We are now in some sort of an American Fall. You lit yourself on fire on December 17, 2010, exactly nine months before Occupy Wall Street began. And so Tunisia erupted and overthrew its government, and Egypt caught fire, as did Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, and Libya, where the nonviolent protests elsewhere turned into a civil war the rebels have almost won after several bloody months. As you knew at the outset, it's all about economics.

Harold Meyerson - Building a Better Capitalism So what kind of capitalism shall we craft? Now that the market fundamentalism to which we've adhered for the past 30 years has -- by its own criterion of increasing shareholder value -- totally failed? Now that Alan Greenspan has proclaimed himself "shocked" that "the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders' equity" proved to be an illusion? Larry Summers, President Obama's senior economic adviser, cautioned in an interview in Monday's Financial Times against heeding "those who, just as in the 1930s, tried to learn the lesson that market capitalism didn't work and needed to be replaced with an entirely different model." But no one is suggesting an entirely new system. The Reagan-Thatcher model, which favored finance over domestic manufacturing, has collapsed. So does Germany offer a model for the United States? In addition to bolstering industry, we should take a cue from Scandinavia's social capitalism, which is less manufacturing-centered than the German model.

1000 Americans Spell Out "TAX THE 1%" on San Francisco Beach CONTACT: Brad Newsham, 415-305-8294, newsham@mac.com Chuck Collins, 617/308-4433, chuckcollins7@mac.com Andrew Boyd, 347-228-7416, andrewontheroad@gmail.com On Saturday over 1000 Americans laid their bodies down on a San Francisco beach to spell out “TAX THE 1%.” This protest was just the latest, and possibly most spectacular yet, in the wave of protests that have swept the nation since protesters occupied Wall Street, launching the “We are the 99%” movement. (Photos courtesy: ©2011 John Montgomery) – Click to view in high resolution. “I work hard every day,” said event organizer and Bay Area cab driver, Brad Newsham. “It isn’t right that I pay higher taxes than billionaires like Warren Buffet. The “TAX THE 1%” human banner was scheduled almost exactly a year before Election Day 2012. “Everyone knows the game is rigged,” said Newsham. “They say we’re not supposed to tax the rich because they’re the ‘job creators.’” said Boyd.

Testimony of Marriner Eccles to the Committee on the Investigation of Economic Problems in 1933 to the Senate Committee on the Investigation of Economic Problems in 1933. It is an historic document – laying out the future terms of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the management of money supply nationally through open market operations, the Bretton Woods Accord on currency stability, mortgage refinancing as monetary stimulus, and reforms of the Federal Reserve System to eradicate the excesses of untamed capitalism and financial dominance of Wall Street. He proposes higher income and inheritance taxes as essential to promote economic growth, curb inequality and forestall political instability. He encourages federal regulation of child labor, unemployment insurance, social security and other farsighted reforms. And he avows himself a capitalist throughout. Although he was a titan of industry - with banks, railroads and corporations spanning the American west - Eccles was born the son of an illiterate, bigamist, Mormon, Scottish immigrant.

The Geography of Occupying Wall Street (And Everywhere Else) The nascent movement known as Occupy Wall Street had its largest single day of protests on Saturday. And a funny thing happened: most of the action was far from Wall Street itself. No, I don’t mean at Zuccotti Park — which is not, technically, on Wall Street. Nor do I mean Times Square — all of 19 minutes away from Wall Street on the C train — where large crowds of protesters gathered on Saturday. Instead, I mean Europe, where crowds in cities like Rome, Barcelona and Madrid were estimated at 200,000 to 500,000 per city (more, probably, than the protests in the United States combined). Leaving aside Europe, where the Occupy protests merged, not always seamlessly, with those sponsored by left-wing groups, the distribution of protests throughout the United States may reveal something about the political orientation of the protesters. The way that I studied this was to search through hundreds of local news accounts for credible estimates of the crowd sizes for each gathering.

From crisis to crisis: can capitalism survive? Part I: Can Capitalism Survive? Part II: Details Proliferate, Structure Abides Can capitalism survive? “No,” argued two of the system’s most astute observers, “it cannot.” Schumpeter wrote in the 1940s, when the specter of communism was still haunting Europe, but in today’s climate of financial meltdown the idea that capitalism is destroying itself has once again gained traction outside of traditionally socialist circles. A growing sense of uncertainty and fear about the future is certainly part of this . For both Marx and Schumpeter, systemic risk is at the very heart of the system. David Harvey makes a similar argument in . Sometimes the wages are too high and sometimes they are simply too low to sustain accumulation. The Keynesian “solution”, however, introduced a new set of barriers. It is fascinating to observe how well-intentioned “enlightened” capitalists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman have responded to this new crisis of underconsumption.

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