Our Book

Occupy Finance — A Book by the Alternative Banking Group


This book is our reckoning. Some of us have long experience in the world of finance, having worked in banks or hedge funds. Others of us are teachers, lawyers, students, or Teamsters who started out with a limited understanding of “securitization” or “credit default swaps” but have taught ourselves about these instruments because we recognize their importance within our current economy. We have found that you do not need a PhD in economics to understand what is happening. Contrary to what the 1% would have us believe, the way things are is not the way they have to be, and most importantly — not the way they should be. You can download it for free here or read or download individual chapters from the Table of Contents below.

Videos, too: Thanks to a dedicated videographer, there are videos of interviews of some of the authors of the book.


Table of Contents

Introduction: Fighting Our Way Out of the Financial Maze

Section 1.The Real Life Impact of Financialization on the 99%

Chapter 1. Heads They Win, Tails We Lose
(a discussion of the various ways the members of the 99% have become financial products)

Chapter 2. The Bailout: It Didn’t Work, It’s Still Going on, and It’s Making Things Worse
(a discussion of the purposes, magnitude, and continuing unfolding of the Bailout)

Section 2.  How We Got Here

Chapter 3. How Banks Create Money … and Keep It
(a discussion of the basic mechanics of our financial system, and how they are failing)

Insert: What is Securitization?

Chapter 4. A Little History to Explain a Lot of Tragedy
(a short history of the principal legislative failures that caused the crisis and make another one likely)

Chapter 5. The Dirty Dozen Legal Outrages
(a list of twelve notable Wall Street-friendly laws or failures to enforce the ones that at least sounded good)

Insert: CDOs, CDSs, and Magnetar Capital

Chapter 6. New Civics: Feasting on the Commons
(an account of how ascendant finance changes government by taking its money, turning it private, buying its leaders, and keeping itself above the debate)

Section 3. Things to Do

Chapter 7. Old Bankers’ Tales… and Why We Should Reject Them
(a discussion of some common financial myths we need to reject, and also tell our friends to reject)

Chapter 8. Starting to Re-Build What’s Ours
(some proposals for better principles and strategies to develop financial rules)

Chapter 9. Resources: Thinking Outside the Corporations
(a survey of projects, organizations, and apps that might help us find our way out)

Chapter 10. And Now…
(we conclude)