Upcoming Speakers and Events!

Where and When: Our guest speaker forum meets from 2-3pm on Sundays before the regular Alternative Banking meeting whenever we can schedule good speakers. It meets in room 409 of the International Affairs Building of Columbia University at 420 W. 118th Street (& Amsterdam Ave).

December 21st, 2014 Please join us in the conversation with Fog Of War (not his real name) about taxes. The US tax code is more than 6600 pages long. It is super complicated. Needless to say, we won’t be able to cover it all, but will try to get a better understanding of certain parts of it. For example, deductions. What if mortgage interest deduction would disappear? How would it effect households and construction industry? (Just a note: Canada, Australia, and New Zealand do not allow mortgage interest deduction and still have same incidence of home ownership). Is it a good idea to have a flat tax rate for individuals and corporations? If you have questions about taxes, please prepare them for the tax expert.

January 18th, 2015. Interested in how you can invest in local businesses? We have a great speaker on the subject: Michael H. Shuman is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur, and a globally recognized expert on community economics. He is one of the architects of the crowdfunding reforms that became the “J.O.B.S. Act,” signed into law by President Obama in April 2012. Shuman is currently Director of Community Portals for Mission Markets and a Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and Post-Carbon Institute. He’s also a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He is also an adjunct instructor in community economic development for Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

January 25th, 2015. There are rumors that Tamir Rosenblum will be speaking this date about privatization and the commons. More information will be posted soon, I hope.

Suggest speakers, join our e-mail list, or otherwise contact us at Alt.Banking.OWS@gmail.com

Past Speakers (partial list):

December 14th, 2014Laura Hanna and Hannah Appel, of Strike Debt & the Debt Collective, will join us to talk about their ongoing work.

December 7th, 2014. Chris Rose – the founder and Executive Director of REAP (Renewable Energy Alaska Project) – will share his experience and ideas on how to start and implement renewable energy projects.

After working as a fundraiser for various non-profit public interest groups around the United States he received his law degree in 1990 from the University of Oregon, with a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. For over 10 years his private practice in Alaska included representation of Native Alaskans from Northwest Arctic villages and the mediation of a variety of disputes around the state..

November 30th, 2014.The three concepts of Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)  are intimately linked to the concept of Responsible Investment (RI). RI began as a niche investment area, serving the needs of those who wished to invest but wanted to do so within ethically defined parameters. In recent years it has become a much larger proportion of the investment market. Interested in Responsible Investment (sometimes called) Impact Investment? Please join us in the conversation with Auros Harman of  HIP Investor (HIP = Human Impact + Profit). We also will touch on how to identify leading indicators of financial performance in the ESG frame work and how we, regular folks, can make an impact in the investment sector.

November 9th, 2014. The Internet of Money? Many people are excited about Bitcoin or, more generally, digital currencies and other applications of blockchain technology. Josh Snodgrass will discuss why people are excited about this, how digital currencies work, where they now stand and what the future could look like – both good and bad.

For a good introduction to Bitcoin, you can take this short online course.

October 26th, 2014 Please join us to discuss the latest development in the muni bond market with Tom Sgouros, who is a freelance public policy analyst, engineer, and writer. He makes his home in Rhode Island, an ideal laboratory for studying the effects on the local economy of poor public policy and broken finance markets. In 1991 he became a banking analyst in a hurry upon the onset of Rhode Island’s very own banking crisis. Since then, he has consulted to dozens of elected officials, candidates, and activists, in Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, California, Vermont, and elsewhere around the country, about public finance, banking, tax policy, and sustainable economic development. His latest book is Checking the Banks.


October 19th, 2014 We invited Columbia students Sam Lutzker and Sammy Schwartz, who were involved in the Summer for Respect project, to talk to us about their experience of organizing Walmart workers.


September 14th, 2014
Doug HenwoodWe are excited that Doug Henwood will visit. He is the author of Wall Street: How it Works and for Whom and hosts the weekly radio show Behind the News.
Please join us.


August 24, 2014
Best-selling British author Nafeez Ahmed will speak on Mass Surveillance and the Crisis of Civilization: The inevitable collapse of the old paradigm and the potential for the rise of the new. The international security scholar and investigative journalist writes for The Guardian on the geopolitics of interconnected environmental, energy and economic crises . As advance reading for this talk, we recommend browsing through his Guardian articles, including the widely read June 2014 piece, Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown”

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