News and Noteworthy this Week

Welcome to the website of the Occupy Alternative Banking working group.  Explore the site to learn more  about us, but for a consistent stream of interesting news and analysis on what is happening in the (broken) financial system and whatever else happens to interest us, keep an eye trained here: our popular “News and Noteworthy this Week” page.

From the week of November 23rd to November 29th, 2015

  1. Crucial Climate Talks Are Taking Place in Paris Next Week
  2. Terrorism
  3. Tell the Postmaster General to Make Postal Banking a Reality Now
  4. Heroin and the War on Drugs
  5. Days of Revolt: The Most Brazen Corporate Power Grab in American History
  6. Marble Columns (see our old post about what this means)
  7. Re-imagining Journalism: The Story of the One Percent
  8. Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York
  9. Tighter Lid on Records Threatens to Weaken Government Watchdogs

From the week of November 16th to November 22th, 2015

Reading in prep for 2-3pm topic (optional):

  1. Comment on refugees: “They Are Us”
  2. Stop Trans-Pacific Partnership: Fighting against global corporate domination
  3. Fed likely to raise interest rates next month. Should it?
  4. Google is quietly becoming one of the nations most powerful politic forces.
  5. How US and Saudi Arabia aided formation of the Islamic State. We have met the enemy and it is us.
  6. Anonymous Takes Down 5,500 ISIS Accounts – 24 Hours After ISIS Called them “Idiots”
  7. Climate Activists vow to continue protests ahead of Paris talks
  8. Prof. Arun Sundararajan on the Sharing Economy, Blockchain Markets & Crowd-Based Capitalism (24:38min)
  9. You think things are bad now, consider what happens if this bill passes
    • Well, a cynic would say that it wouldn’t make any difference because they aren’t prosecuting white collar criminals anyway, which is true enough.
    • But, as it is, at least we can hope and spur public outcry. If this passes, there would be no hope left..
    • Thanks to Occupy the SEC for circulating a petition about it. Please sign it.
  10. We need to stand up for socialism

From the week of November 9th to November 15th, 2015

Conference on Platform Cooperativism: The Internet, Ownership, Democracy. This sounds like an interesting 2 day conference for anyone interested in ‘Venture Communism’, social transformation, alternative workplaces and more. FREE REGISTRATION.

Optional in preparation for our speaker (he’ll give a summary as well):

Regular Meeting:

  1. The Rent You’re Paying for Your NYC Apartment Might Not Even Be Legal!
  2. PROP’s brilliant protest: giving out fake summonses to white people in Park Slope.
  3. Portugal’s Government Ousted in Challenge to Austerity
  4. Germany loses key ally in Portugal as austerity regime crumbles
  5. Cuomo to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for All New York State Employees

From the week of November 2nd to November 8th, 2015

  1. Privatization of our justice system — Domestic version
  2. Crony Capitalism Goes Global: The TPP & ISDS Explained
  3. Free Markets Ideology Is Making Society Sick
  4. Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Climate Change Decades Ago, They Denied It.
  5. We discussed postal banking last Sunday
  6. Success Metrics Questioned in School Program Funded by Goldman Sachs
  7. Socially Responsible Investments Get Boost From Labor Department
  8. Food for thought for those of us working on our own essay series: (hat tip to Yves Smith)

From the week of October 26th to November 1st, 2015

  1. Join us at an action to GIVE SUSIE BACK HER HOME
    • 4 pm Friday Oct.30. 270 Park Avenue @47th St.
    • Protest this and other illegitimate foreclosures
  2. Free Markets Ideology Is Making Society Sick3ofClubs_ShareholderValue
  3. Under TPP, Polluters Could Sue U.S. for Setting Carbon Emissions Limits
  4. Issues the candidates “must” address. For “must” read won’t
    1. This list doesn’t include climate change?
    2. What is our list?
  5. Hillary Clinton on Colbert: I would let the big banks fail
  6. The Clinton Foundation, Shady Accounting and AIDS
  7. 18 CEOs Called Out By Bernie Sanders For Taking Trillions…
  8. Bankers for Bernie
  9. Can Steve Buscemi Create Affordable Housing For NYC Artists?
  10. Chipping Away at the System: How will we bring about systemic change?
  11. What’s in the budget deal,
    • what’s not even discussed: infrastructure spending or any full-employment initiatives.
  12. Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice


One thought on “News and Noteworthy this Week

  1. Given the Varoufakis’ resignation and the Tsipras ‘ cave-in, this might lighten the darkness a bit.

    Just to explain the Greece crisis …

    MARY is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin. She realises that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronise her bar – she will go broke.
    To solve this problem, she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.
    She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans).
    Word gets around about Mary’s ‘drink now, pay later’ marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary’s bar.

    Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin — all is starting to look rosy.
    By providing her customers freedom from immediate payment demands Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages.

    Consequently, Mary’s gross sales volume increases massively.
    A young and dynamic vice-president at the local bank recognises that these customer debts constitute valuable future assets and increases Mary’s borrowing limit.
    He sees no reason for any undue concern, since he has the debts of the unemployed alcoholics as collateral.

    At the bank’s corporate headquarters, expert traders figure a way to make huge commissions, and transform these customer loans into Drinkbonds and Alkibonds. These securities are then bundled and traded on international security markets.
    The new investors don’t really understand that the securities being sold to them as ‘AAA’ secured bonds are really the debts of unemployed alcoholics. They have had a ‘rating house’ certify they are of good quality.
    Nevertheless, the bond prices continuously climb, and the securities soon become the hottest-selling items for some of the nation’s leading brokerage houses.

    One day, even though the bond prices are still climbing, a risk manager at the original local bank decides that the time has come to demand payment on the debts incurred by the drinkers at Mary’s bar. He so informs Mary.

    Mary then demands payment from her alcoholic patrons, but, being unemployed alcoholics, they cannot pay back their drinking debts.
    Since Mary cannot fulfil her loan obligations she is forced into bankruptcy. So she now is broke.

    The bar closes and the 11 employees lose their jobs.
    Overnight, Drinkbonds and Alkibonds drop in price by 90%.
    The collapsed bond asset value destroys the bank’s liquidity and prevents it from issuing new loans, thus freezing credit and economic activity in the community.

    The suppliers of Mary’s bar had granted her generous payment extensions and had invested their firms’ pension funds in the various Bond securities. They find they are now faced with having to write-off her bad debt and with losing over 90% of the presumed value of the bonds.
    Her wine supplier also claims bankruptcy, closing the doors on a family business that had endured for three generations. Her beer supplier is taken over by a competitor, who immediately closes the local plant and lays off 150 workers.
    Fortunately though, the bank, the brokerage houses and their respective executives are saved and bailed out by a multi-billion euro, no-stringsattached cash infusion from their cronies in government.
    The funds required for this bailout are obtained by new taxes levied on employed, middle-class, non-drinkers who have never been in Mary’s bar.

    Now, thats economics in 2015

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