Posts tagged occupy wall street

Occupy Wall Street is a new, albeit minor, entrant into the distressed consumer debt market. 

For those of you who speak English instead of Banker, that means they’re buying up bills that haven’t been paid — credit cards, cell phones, car loans, et cetera. Instead of hassling debtors with phone calls and mail seeking to collect the debt, however, OWS immediately abolishes it and wipes the slate clean. Poof! Those bills disappear.

Now, distressed debt gets aggregated into pools, so it isn’t possible to buy the debt of one particular person or another. In terms of who actually benefits financially, this initiative is an exercise in randomness. Still, it’s… I don’t know, “disruptive” is usually a terrible, overused word, but I think it fits in this case. This isn’t what the distressed debt market is for.

Distressed debt is also, for reasons that should be obvious, cheap to buy, so a few hundred thousand bucks can buy millions of dollars of debt for OWS to forgive.

Learn more here. I will be giving money to this fund because I think it is awesome.

Occupy Wall Street is a new, albeit minor, entrant into the distressed consumer debt market.

For those of you who speak English instead of Banker, that means they’re buying up bills that haven’t been paid — credit cards, cell phones, car loans, et cetera. Instead of hassling debtors with phone calls and mail seeking to collect the debt, however, OWS immediately abolishes it and wipes the slate clean. Poof! Those bills disappear.

Now, distressed debt gets aggregated into pools, so it isn’t possible to buy the debt of one particular person or another. In terms of who actually benefits financially, this initiative is an exercise in randomness. Still, it’s… I don’t know, “disruptive” is usually a terrible, overused word, but I think it fits in this case. This isn’t what the distressed debt market is for.

Distressed debt is also, for reasons that should be obvious, cheap to buy, so a few hundred thousand bucks can buy millions of dollars of debt for OWS to forgive.

Learn more here. I will be giving money to this fund because I think it is awesome.

Still here.

Still here.

kelsium:

"Fairness to bankers may not seem like the most pressing issue on the justice agenda. But in addition to being unfair, conflating actual crooks and the innocent affluent makes it hard to claim that raising their taxes isn’t punishment for some form of misbehavior. Taxes are not a punishment; they are a source of necessary revenue. But if you tie them to the financial scandal, they sound pretty punitive."

I don’t agree with everything in this Bloomberg op-ed by Michael Kinsley, but I do think this is a very valid point about the problem with the rhetoric of the left right now. We don’t tax people because they are bad people who deserve to be taxed; we tax them because they are people who need to contribute their share.

think-progress:

The 2012 federal discretionary budget: Military gets the lion’s share of spending, while social priorities fall by the wayside.

(Also, whoever does Occupy graphics is sheer awesomeness.)

How to know Occupy Wall Street really is grassroots: ThinkProgress doesn’t know who makes their infographics. They — the graphics — are just kind of out there, anonymously, for the taking.

think-progress:

The 2012 federal discretionary budget: Military gets the lion’s share of spending, while social priorities fall by the wayside.

(Also, whoever does Occupy graphics is sheer awesomeness.)

How to know Occupy Wall Street really is grassroots: ThinkProgress doesn’t know who makes their infographics. They — the graphics — are just kind of out there, anonymously, for the taking.

If there is such a thing as going on strike from one’s own culture, this is it. And by being so broad in scope and so elemental in its motivation, it’s flown over the heads of many on both the right and the left.

Still wondering what Occupy Wall Street is protesting? The common thread is institutional inequality. Here are some infographics. (Images via.)

Edit: I got some questions about this line in the first infographic: “Of the 93% of people who support the protests, only 12% are unemployed.”

This poll found that 93% of those who view OWS favorably also support the protesters’ right to camp out in parks. So support among a general audience for OWS isn’t 93%; support among OWS supporters for the right to physically occupy public space is 93%.

The graphic, then, seeks to show that very few park-occupiers are unemployed — take that, Newt Gingrich! — and that people who tell protesters to go get a job are either ignoring facts that are politically inconvenient or don’t know what they’re talking about in the first place. Whoever made the graphic could have presented this connection better.

This is a point I’m particularly interested in after reading this nice piece of commentary, which I more or less agree with: “Unfortunately, the movement is coming dangerously close to being about the right to camp anywhere anyone wishes to. And that’s not really a big deal at all.”

Non-lethal weapons are designed to hurt people

squashed:

There seems to be some confusion regarding appropriate and inappropriate use of weapons on non-violent protestors. Let’s clear up three things.

Non-violence is not the same as non-forceful or legal. A protester sitting in a sidewalk in violation of the law and in direct contravention of a police order is not a violent protester. A protest blocking a sidewalk or building may be a forceful protest, but is still not a violent protest.

Non-lethal weapons are still weapons. They’re designed to hurt people. One of the serious dangers with a rise of non-lethal weapons is that they are used punitively or with an intent to compel compliance with non-emergency orders. Where a cop might hesitate to shoot a row of students sitting on a sidewalk showing no apparent signs of aggression, apparently the same hesitation does not apply to casually spraying them with pepper spray. Use of weapons is violence.

Using violence to clear a non-violent protest in a non-emergency situation is an absurd abuse of force. I don’t mind the police showing up to clear a protest that is deliberately obstructing people from exercising their rights to get where they need to be. I don’t mind them wearing riot gear when they’re obviously concerned about a riot. I don’t even mind them showing up with over-whelming force. That’s another good way to avoid a riot. But look at what happened. You’ve got a police officer spraying pepper spray on a group of students who are just sitting on a sidewalk. There was no emergency need to clear that sidewalk. Anybody could simply have walked around the protestors. If the protestors had refused to move after appropriate warning was given, the police simply could have recorded the protests, issued citations, and pressed trespassing charges. It’s not difficult to identify who is in the pictures—and we have an entire judicial process we could clog with protestors … if it were important enough to bother with. This isn’t a riot. These are students sitting on a sidewalk. Nobody needs to get hurt.

I have plenty of sarcastic things to say about Occupy Wall Street. I’m old. I’m cranky. I want them off my lawn. But this is beyond the pale. There should be a full investigation. Officers should be disciplined, dismissed, and likely charged with assault. I want some very specific answers on what happened there and why. Why violently disperse a protest rather than, say, walk around it?

And I think U.C. Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi will probably need to step down.

Who is this guy pushing his way through Occupy Wall Street? Here are your collected stories:

A personification of the American dream
An adult grappling with the shame of having been an inept high-school running back
A character in a Bret Easton Ellis book
A player in a very serious game
A Long Island-bred preppie
A policeman-turned-security guard
Just some guy who really has to crap
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said reporters were blocked from Zuccotti Park “for their own safety" as his city’s police force evicted protesters. I wonder what he meant by that.

(Image via Village Voice.)

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said reporters were blocked from Zuccotti Park “for their own safety" as his city’s police force evicted protesters. I wonder what he meant by that.

(Image via Village Voice.)