Occupy Wall Street | NYC Protest for American Revolution #OCCUPYXMAS begins This years’ Black Friday was a resounding success. Fifty-five billion dollars chimed through cash registers across the USA. Two hundred and fifty-thousand people went into the malls and spent on average 400 hundred dollars each, the biggest shopping day ever. We in the 99%, alongside our sympathetic friends in the 1%, need to challenge this “normal” way of doing Xmas and come up with a new normal. So what are we occupiers going to do different this season? 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:
NYC General Assembly | The Official Website of the GA at #OccupyWallStreet Would Jesus Occupy Wall Street? There’s a fascinating article at Michigan Live about the faith community’s efforts to connect to the burgeoning Occupy Wall Street movement. I must say (and I’m as secular as they come) I did actually describe my three recent visits to Occupy Wall Street to several people as being like “Going to a new church and EVERYONE you meet is friendly and very WELCOMING.” There’s something special going on at Zuccotti Park and if you think otherwise you are… wrong. It makes sense that a state as hard hit economically as Michigan has been would have clergy so supportive of the anti-capitalist protests. It’s because they know what post-capitalism looks like in Michigan! If Jesus were alive today, would he be at Occupy Wall Street movement? As senior pastor of the nondenominational Fountain Street Church, [Rev. —Snip— It’s interesting to read this brain-damaged comments thread at NewsBusters for the opposite side of this issue, including who Jesus would hate, using nukes on OWS, etc, etc.
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
William Pfaff: American Government’s Indifference to Popular Protest American Government’s Indifference to Popular Protest Posted on Oct 5, 2011 By William Pfaff The obvious is not easily seen when you don’t want to see it. The Wall Street sitdown, and the copycat sitdowns elsewhere in the U.S., were suddenly discovered by the mainstream press last weekend (rather against its own inclinations, it seems, since the uprising of “Indignation”—“los indignados” in Spain where it all started—has in one way or another been going on in Spain, Portugal, France and Israel since the summer began). The Wall Street affair was initially ignored by press and politicians for two reasons, so far as I can see. Thus the habit of the mainstream press to ignore “left-wing” issues in Europe, and in the U.S. to report only on what Washington political players do and say: meaning the president, his administration, the candidates, Congress and K street (whence the millions in lobbyist money comes from to keep all the rest of them comfortably in charge of the United States).
Occupationalist / Covering the Occupy movement as it unfolds. No filters. No delays. 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
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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.