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 January 26 to February 1, 2015

  1. Debt news
    1. Outrageous actions by creditors To Collect Debts, Nursing Homes Are Seizing Control Over Patients
    2. An earlier low point in creditor behavior
      ‘Zombie’ homes haunt Florida neighborhoods
      or if you prefer a video.
    3. Debtors push back Greece election: Anti-austerity Syriza wins election. Come to our meeting on Sunday for a spirited, informed discussion about it.
    4. Will auto loans be “the next subprime”? Concerns About The Rise In Subprime Auto Loans.
    5. More likely, the old subprime will be the “next subprime” 3% Down Mortgages. Subsidized, highly-leveraged debt doesn’t help homeowners, it helps realtors and Wall St.
    6. There is a good way out. Forgive the debt or earn the wrath of its victims.A moralistic perception of creditors as virtuous and debtors as sinners blocks a solution.
    7. Support Strike Debt
  2. Department.of Abstraction
    1. A Brief History of Liberty. This podcast from Australia’s Radio National is a great lecture given down-under by Princeton Prof. Philip Pettite explaining how the neoliberal notion of liberty gets the concept totally wrong.
    2. Inequality and Taxation in a Globalized World. Move over Thomas Picketty — and make room for Gabriel Zucman.  Great break-down in this London School of Economics  talk by the latest French Inequality Wiz-Kid about the extent of the use of off-shore tax havens and shell companies to dodge taxation. And some really compelling proposed solutions too!
  3. Privatization Update.
    1. ACLU: Group Improperly Barred Protesters from Detroit Park. In Occupy Finance we wrote about the risks to free speech when public spaces become enmeshed in “public-private partnerships”  As so often, Detroit serves as a warning.
  4. News from Greece:
    1. As may know, a left-wing, anti-austerity coalition has just been elected in Greece. Good example of what can happen when the people stand up for themselves. Come to our meeting on Sunday for a spirited, informed discussion about it.
  5. In case you were wondering…
    1. what is so bad about TPP  Here is a good video. If, and only if, we all work together, we can stop it.
    2. what free market war looks like. Sean McFate: “The Modern Mercenary”
  6. Message from Albany?
    1. Carl Heastie on the verge of capturing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s post.  He is one of the strongest supporters of wage-theft legislation and other labor causes. Wouldn’t this be cool.

From the week of January 19 to January 25, 2015

  1. Can Capitalism Save Capitalism? If the Democrats, led by Larry Summers, really are developing a new economic model of “inclusive capitalism” we have to discuss it at some point.
  2. Could Blackrock contribute to the next crisis? The regulators would like your opinion.
  3. Meanwhile, Wall Street is hard at work … rolling back the regulations we have.
  4. Supreme Court is doing their part, too. Another comment on the case.
  5. Presidential primaries have begun. If you have $1,000,000,000, you get a vote.
  6. An Opulent Bet on Housing Jeff Greene became a billionaire during the recession by betting that people would default on their mortgages.
  7. European Central Bank poised to launch €1tn quantitative easing €1tn kind of understates it. This is about $1,125,000,000,000.00.
  8. EMERGENCY PROTEST: Secret TPP Negotiations in NYC! Monday, Jan. 26 @ Noon @ 52nd & 7th
  9. World Economic Forum – OxFam’s Inequality Reports
  10. World Economic Forum – Global Risks Report
  11. World Economic Forum – HuffPo Updates
  12. Bernie Sanders Files Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United 
  13. HuffPo: Citizen United vs. Federal Election Commission
  14. Life in the Sickest Town in America I drove from one of the healthiest counties in the country to the least-healthy, both in the same state. Here’s what I learned about work, well-being, and happiness. Hat tip to Natasha

From the week of January 12 to January 18, 2015

  1. Facing Opposition, Antonio Weiss, Nominee for Treasury Under Secretary Withdraws.
  2. But, don’t get too excited because: Antonio Weiss Will Join Treasury Anyway
  3. Analysis of how the underlying culture and its effect on policy by Alexis Goldstein
  4. S.& P. Nears Settlement With Justice Dept. Over Inflated Ratings  Dept. of Justice and state AGs are going to miss yet another opportunity to  hold a “marble columned” company accountable..
  5. MetLife to Fight ‘Too Big to Fail’ Status in Court They are not fighting “Too Big to Fail” they are fighting the oversight that is supposed to accompany it.
  6. Corporations do not have a duty to maximize profits. Milton Friedman made that up. New York Times Reporters Perpetuate Popular Corporate Governance Myths
  7. History of racial segregation, Silicon Valley style (hat tip Alexis)
  8. Vermont’s Fight for a Public Bank Failed, But Advocates Still Won
  9. 114th Congress Begins Attack on Public Protections with So-Called Regulatory Accountability Act. Starting where the 113th Congress left off.
  10. Latest effort to pass a transaction tax (aka Robin Hood tax)
  11. The House Is Set to Pass a GOP Bill Wiping Out Wall Street Reforms Update: the House just passed it, the Senate probably will, too.
  12. Cartoonists Lives Matter. Art Spiegelman Responds to Charlie Hebdo Attack, Power of Cartoons. Really good interview on Democracy Now!
  13. Worker protections for new year. This articles replaces the one posted before. The new law is described in detail here. The changes  were brought about by a neat coalition of community groups and unions.
  14. America’s over-policing bombshell: How new data proves “stop & frisk” critics were right all along
  15. Blame Liberals. Are liberals as responsible for the prison boom as conservatives?
  16. How the poor get by in America. Nothing new, but a good summary.
  17. Thomas Piketty: rise of anti-austerity parties good news for Europe
  18. Switzerland’s currency peg ends with a bang.  What are potential fallouts? and how does that relate to  negative interest rates that were introduced in december?
  19. BTC down, transaction volume up…if just mining wasn’t so expensive and the coin not so useless.
  20. FYI…Municipal IDs or IDNYC provide free access to museums…helping undocumented immigrants access services…but that’s only save if also many legal New York residents get them.

Week of January 5 to January 11, 2015

  1. Our blog: Ghosts of Bailouts Past, Bailouts Present and Bailouts Yet to Come.
  2. Stop Subsidizing Big Pharma Foundations are being used in new ways.
  3. Arundhati Roy recently wrote a really long, but really worthwhile article “The Doctor and the Saint” on the Indian caste system, told through an argument she recounts between Gandhi (who was apparently a pretty serious caste-system defender) and B.R. Ambedkar, a leader of the “untouchable” community. In light of the fact that race does not hold-up as a genetic or otherwise hard-science based construct, it is really interesting to think about the differences, if any, between caste and racial social orders.
  4. Fixed Fortunes’: Corporate Donors Spent $5.8B on Political Influence, Received $4.4T in Financial Benefits. The corporate payoff is understated because things like the bill Citigroup wrote aren’t explicit benefits that can be incorporated in this analysis.
  5. The Republican Strategy To Repeal Dodd-Frank
  6. Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Is a Pending Disaster
  7. Labor Must Reject Pat Lynch’s Bitter Bite.
  8. Joseph Stiglitz: Thomas Piketty gets income inequality wrong
  9. Interview: Piketty Responds to Criticisms from the Left and adds that Bill Gates Told Him He Doesn’t Want to Pay More Taxes, Maybe He Prefers To Buy The World. Piketty also contemplates that The Myth Of National Sovereignty Helps Big Corporations Screw Us Over
  10. ‘Skinny’ Health-Insurance Plans Let Employers Offer Shoddy Health Care to Their Workers

From the week of December 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015

Happy holidays and peace in the coming year!

  1. With luck, a new blog post will show up here 
  2. More holiday cheer: Disobedient Objects exhibit in London (too bad it’s not coming here)
  3. Forgive the debt or earn the wrath of its victims.A moralistic perception of creditors as virtuous and debtors as sinners blocks a solution.
  4. Officials Cast Wide Net in Monitoring Occupy Protests
  5. When New York City Police Walk Off the Job
  6. Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment The same is true in the US (on a larger scale) but the government is even less concerned about it.

 

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