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Occupy Wall Street

Political Movement

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#1 maxwatt

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 08:40 PM


http://globalrevolution.tv/
http://www.livestrea...lobalrevolution

10,000 people get less news coverage than 100 Tea Party Protestors, even from NPR. I'm surprised no one's mentioned it here yet, or I missed it. Since Sept 15, has spread to 20 different cities. Leaderless, using same Facebook/Twitter techniques used byt the Arab Spring.
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#2 chris w

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:02 PM

Yeah, Ive been thinking about posting this, but at the start this seemed like mostly gatherings of groups of idealistic Rage Against The Machine college fans, basically the same kind of folks who go to riot in WTO meetings, so I didn't pay much further attention to the developements.


It's great to stand against all the bad stuff in the world, but do they have any tangible propositions appart from "End Corporate Greed" ? I fear this movement may fade into irrelevancy just like the Spanish Indignados did, due to lack of the will to actually effectively introduce changes through the political process, by for ex. putting out candidates for Representatives.

EDIT: OK, I took a look at the list of demands on one of the sites. Some of the stuff in there is pretty wacko, to say the least:


Demand one: Restoration of the living wage. This demand can only be met by ending "Freetrade" by re-imposing trade tariffs on all imported goods entering the American market to level the playing field for domestic family farming and domestic manufacturing as most nations that are dumping cheap products onto the American market have radical wage and environmental regulation advantages. Another policy that must be instituted is raise the minimum wage to twenty dollars an hr.


Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.

Demand six: One trillion dollars in infrastructure (Water, Sewer, Rail, Roads and Bridges and Electrical Grid) spending now.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the Books - World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the Books. And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

Demand thirteen: Allow all workers to sign a ballot at any time during a union organizing campaign or at any time that represents their yeah or nay to having a union represent them in collective bargaining or to form a union.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.


LOLs at Demand Eleven ("And I mean all debt on the entire planet"), and Twelve.

Edited by chris w, 05 October 2011 - 10:19 PM.

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#3 maxwatt

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 10:44 PM

Long history of this kind of populist movement in the US. The Unions have joined in and are giving it some professional polish. As to the demands, it was posted by someone sympathetic, but the group is anarchic with no (acknowledged) leaders. It is not an official list. Like the Egyptian revolution, it could result in au political change not quite what the protestors had in mind. Keeping the demands-vague draws in more bodies to the street. And you are right, I spotted some old anti G20 hands in there. But I do see this hemming in Obama from the left.

FWIW, demand #4 is the rule in France. Demand #2 is what Obama promised and didn't deliver. #6, infrastructuer, is something we need badly. 11 and twelve are laughable, I agree.

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#4 mikeinnaples

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 12:31 PM

Demand two: Institute a universal single payer healthcare system. To do this all private insurers must be banned from the healthcare market as their only effect on the health of patients is to take money away from doctors, nurses and hospitals preventing them from doing their jobs and hand that money to wall st. investors.
While I agree that health care is in need of serious reform. This is not a rational solution.

Demand five: Begin a fast track process to bring the fossil fuel economy to an end while at the same bringing the alternative energy economy up to energy demand.
This goes directly against #7 below. Alternative energy includes *safe* nuclear power at least until we perfect other sources and they become ubiquitous.

Demand seven: One trillion dollars in ecological restoration planting forests, reestablishing wetlands and the natural flow of river systems and decommissioning of all of America's nuclear power plants.
I am all for ecological restoration. We need to stop the bleeding now to minimize the consequences of our past and current transgressions. It is already to late to stop the change, but at least we can hope to minimize impact. Unfortunately I believe we need MORE nuclear power to make this happen.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.
This is shortsighted and ignorant. If anything, we need to complete shut our borders down and close all the holes. I am all for legal immigration, but illegal aliens (and no I wont call them undocumented workers) are a draw on our society.

Demand ten: Bring American elections up to international standards of a paper ballot precinct counted and recounted in front of an independent and party observers system.

This is short sighted as well. The ENTIRE political system in this country needs reform and it wont start until the two part system we have in place is abolished completely. Until people in mass can start voting for the best candidate instead of blindly following party lines, this country will never be able to fix itself.

Demand eleven: Immediate across the board debt forgiveness for all. Debt forgiveness of sovereign debt, commercial loans, home mortgages, home equity loans, credit card debt, student loans and personal loans now! All debt must be stricken from the Books - World Bank Loans to all Nations, Bank to Bank Debt and all Bonds and Margin Call Debt in the stock market including all Derivatives or Credit Default Swaps, all 65 trillion dollars of them must also be stricken from the Books. And I don't mean debt that is in default, I mean all debt on the entire planet period.

Sweet, let me max out my credit cards and buy a 5 million dollar beach front home just before this happens. This is crazy, silly and is a typical sentiment of the people protesting. Statement like this make the protests lose credibility. Impressions of comments like this make me immediately think of the sense of entitlement generation that group up just behind mine. I see it every day in the office and in conversations with some of my friends in thier early to mid 20's. As a broad generalization they think they deserve everything without having to earn it.

Demand twelve: Outlaw all credit reporting agencies.

This is silly. If there is no way to guarantee credit worthiness, then it will be impossible to get credit. While I agree that the very concept of credit itself has issues, if people learned to properly manage thier finances, credit would be more a tool than a burden.



My comments on the more silly things... see above in red

#5 Athanasios

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:41 PM

10,000 people get less news coverage than 100 Tea Party Protestors, even from NPR. I'm surprised no one's mentioned it here yet, or I missed it. Since Sept 15, has spread to 20 different cities. Leaderless, using same Facebook/Twitter techniques used byt the Arab Spring.


Covering small protests is a way for the media to marginalize a movement. There was little coverage of the 9/12/09 D.C. march. Where it was reported, the estimate of the crowd was given as thousands or tens of thousands. That may be those that could fill the plaza, but the overall number was hundreds of thousands.

Pic of the street:
http://scaredmonkeys...DC_MM_small.jpg

I find it odd that OWS and tea party groups are conveyed as opposites by most. The big difference I have seen is one wants central government to change and the other wants central government to give up power to the states. But, they both seem to be protest the same problem.

Everyone should have a sign with a long handle and a drawing of the top of a pitchfork.

Edit: BTW, those list of demands are BS. I have seen several lists, some intelligent, some not. I don't think any one list you find will come close to the reasons each individual is protesting.

Edited by Athanasios, 06 October 2011 - 06:46 PM.


#6 maxwatt

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:53 PM

...
Everyone should have a sign with a long handle and a drawing of the top of a pitchfork.


Funny you mention pitchforks. Since at least the French Revolution, there has been an uneasy understanding, a truce of sorts occasionally broken, between the privileged classes and the other 99%: "If you don't make our lives too miserable, we won't riot and kill you."

The message seems to be, obscured as it is by trolls and media, still clear: one percent of the population taking all the benefit of government, versus the 99% who are getting robbed. You may disagree with the message, or not.

And there were some tea party or former tea party types at wall street, according to some there. Both groups distrust the Federal government. One wants to 'take it back from the wealthy', the other wants to destroy it.

#7 Athanasios

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

Funny you mention pitchforks. Since at least the French Revolution, there has been an uneasy understanding, a truce of sorts occasionally broken, between the privileged classes and the other 99%: "If you don't make our lives too miserable, we won't riot and kill you."

The message seems to be, obscured as it is by trolls and media, still clear: one percent of the population taking all the benefit of government, versus the 99% who are getting robbed. You may disagree with the message, or not.

Exactly. That is why I would support either as a group. But, I may not support specific individuals, all proposals/demands, or what eventual sprouts out of it.

And there were some tea party or former tea party types at wall street, according to some there. Both groups distrust the Federal government.

Yes, I heard and saw this, as well. I think that is a good thing.


One wants to 'take it back from the wealthy', the other wants to destroy it.

I don't think this is a fair take. One wants their central government to stop screwing them for power and money, the other thinks the only way that will happen is if a lot of the power is transferred back to the states and local governments.

#8 niner

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 07:59 PM

One wants to 'take it back from the wealthy', the other wants to destroy it.

I don't think this is a fair take. One wants their central government to stop screwing them for power and money, the other thinks the only way that will happen is if a lot of the power is transferred back to the states and local governments.

I don't think they see the central government as screwing them, rather they see the central government as bought and paid for by Wall Street, and Wall Street is screwing them. (In some cases quite directly, in other cases via a more roundabout path.) On the one hand, I feel like grabbing my pitchfork and joining them, but on the other hand the lack of a coherent message and the idiotic lists of "demands" give me pause. If someone wanted to discredit this movement, the list above would be a good way to do it. Whether that was its origin or someone was being serious about it is not known by me. Over the past few years, I've wondered "Where the hell is the outrage?" I hope this is the belated start of the outrage that we've needed for a while now.

#9 Mind

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:05 PM

The list of demands is so dissapointing, basically union/socialist/communist talking points. Too bad OWS isn't promoting liberty. Sad.
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#10 Athanasios

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:30 PM

The list of demands is so dissapointing, basically union/socialist/communist talking points. Too bad OWS isn't promoting liberty. Sad.


That list is just a forum post of one individual's proposed demands. I don't think it comes close to representing the group.

The only one I have seen that claims to be official is this one:
http://coupmedia.org...al-demands-2009

I think it will take a while, if ever, to find what is the best representation of the groups demands.

Edited by Athanasios, 06 October 2011 - 08:33 PM.

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#11 maxwatt

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:58 PM

If you look at the live stream posts (http://www.livestrea...lobalrevolution) by the moderators and "leaders" on site, they are disavowing specific demands and political statements. The only message is "we are the 99% who are screwed by the one percent, and we want it to stop." The list above is a straw man.

Edited by maxwatt, 06 October 2011 - 09:04 PM.

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#12 Mind

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:25 PM

Personally, I don't understand the envy part of it all. Throughout my life I have constantly run in to people that believe they are owed something just because they are alive, that everyone who has more than they do are greedy and got everything unethically. I understand OWS's point about "Wall Street" having some ill-gotten gains - mostly handed to them recently by Obama. I understand the points about crony-capitalism and bailouts, but I do not understand the envy. I know a lot of business people who got rich by working hard and taking risks. I know a lot of money managers and financial planners who saved money and invested wisely. They have big houses and take lavish trips to exotic places. They eat fancy food. It does not bother me. They worked for it. Sometimes they saved all of their lives, in order to retire comfortably. I would never go protest to take their money away. That is what I see in OWS - envy, more than anything else - with a lot of communism thrown in to boot. When they march on D.C. and the White House, then I will know that they understand the problems more comprehensively.
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#13 niner

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:12 AM

Personally, I don't understand the envy part of it all. Throughout my life I have constantly run in to people that believe they are owed something just because they are alive, that everyone who has more than they do are greedy and got everything unethically. I understand OWS's point about "Wall Street" having some ill-gotten gains - mostly handed to them recently by Obama. I understand the points about crony-capitalism and bailouts, but I do not understand the envy. I know a lot of business people who got rich by working hard and taking risks. I know a lot of money managers and financial planners who saved money and invested wisely. They have big houses and take lavish trips to exotic places. They eat fancy food. It does not bother me. They worked for it. Sometimes they saved all of their lives, in order to retire comfortably. I would never go protest to take their money away. That is what I see in OWS - envy, more than anything else - with a lot of communism thrown in to boot. When they march on D.C. and the White House, then I will know that they understand the problems more comprehensively.

It's not about envy, and it isn't about people who actually worked for their wealth. It's about the thieves who got rich while destroying our economy. It's about Goldman, who sold "designed to fail" financial instruments to their clients while they had a short position in those same instruments. I'm sorry, but that is just thievery. Obama's got very little to do with it. TARP was a Bush production.
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#14 maxwatt

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:32 AM

Want to read about thievery by billionaires?
http://www.truth-out...dent/1317769580 you might not like the venue, but it is solid investigative reporting. Those are the one percent the protestors are against.

#15 rwac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:37 AM

It's not about envy, and it isn't about people who actually worked for their wealth. It's about the thieves who got rich while destroying our economy. It's about Goldman, who sold "designed to fail" financial instruments to their clients while they had a short position in those same instruments. I'm sorry, but that is just thievery. Obama's got very little to do with it. TARP was a Bush production.


Crony capitalism is a nasty thing, TARP was a mistake. So was bailing out GM and rescuing the unions at the bondholders' cost. As was Geithner saving Citibank.

Crony capitalism seems to be rather bipartisan.

#16 niner

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:07 AM

It's not about envy, and it isn't about people who actually worked for their wealth. It's about the thieves who got rich while destroying our economy. It's about Goldman, who sold "designed to fail" financial instruments to their clients while they had a short position in those same instruments. I'm sorry, but that is just thievery. Obama's got very little to do with it. TARP was a Bush production.

Crony capitalism is a nasty thing, TARP was a mistake. So was bailing out GM and rescuing the unions at the bondholders' cost. As was Geithner saving Citibank.

Crony capitalism seems to be rather bipartisan.

Yes, it is, isn't it? That's how deep it goes. I find it hard to call the various bailouts all mistakes. Some of it HAD to be done, though I'd have preferred to see some of the stakeholders take a haircut. Still, that's a bit of a quibble, given the probable catastrophe that was avoided. Not only that, but we turned a profit on at least some of it. I'm not angry about the bailouts. I'm angry about the broken system that made the bailouts necessary.

#17 Luminosity

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:25 AM

I support the movement to occupy Wall Street. It is pretty shameful that they are getting so little media coverage. So much of what there is is slighting, even on CNN. Suddenly this Tea Party type has turned up on CNN saying Fox News stuff about the protestors. The protestors are brave, idealistic people who are trying to turn back the tide of corruption and corporate greed that has taken over our country. I don't see any credible argument against them. Americans are self-loathing, otherwise we would not be ruled by the greediest 1% among us.

#18 rwac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:26 AM

Yes, it is, isn't it? That's how deep it goes. I find it hard to call the various bailouts all mistakes. Some of it HAD to be done, though I'd have preferred to see some of the stakeholders take a haircut. Still, that's a bit of a quibble, given the probable catastrophe that was avoided. Not only that, but we turned a profit on at least some of it. I'm not angry about the bailouts. I'm angry about the broken system that made the bailouts necessary.


And I completely forgot Solyndra and LightSquared.

Well, "catastrophe" may be an overstatement. Protect the account holders via FDIC, and let the institutions burn. Banks come and banks go, there's always someone to pick up the slack.

It seems to be normal practice to write laws favoring big business by increasing regulation. This also crowds out small ones, and is generally not very beneficial to people.
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#19 maxwatt

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:53 AM

Tarp restored liquidity to the banks, without which the economy would have frozen in place, FDIC insurance or no FDIC. In England, their version was a government takeover of the banks.,if only a temporary one.England has their own currency, which enables them to manage their economy a little better than those tied to teh Euro. That is going to turn into another bailout of Wall Street: if Greece is allowed to go bankrupt, then the wolves will take down Italy, Spain Portugal and Ireland, and that will put the big French banks at risk; if one of them fails, Wall Street firms will collapse too. Kicking and screaming, the Germans will ahve to ante up, but I think they can force the US taxpayers and salarymen and wage slaves to pay too. Germany profited from the Euro, it made their goods -- washing machines, cars, etc...artificially cheap in Southern Europe, and drove the local industries under because they could not sell their goods cheap enough in Euros to compete. It's like the thirties, no one has learned a thing, the politicians ignore the historians and economists,. It will end just as badly.

As for Occupy Wall Street, communist they are not, any more than early Christians were. You could extensively compare the communalism of early Christian groups with Communist ideology. Remarkable parallels, except for the God thing....
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#20 rwac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:41 AM

Maybe it's time for a hard reset of the financial sector.

Wall Street has become an enormous drag on the US economy in many ways. The culture is to take large risks because they know that they will get bailed out.

A sharp downturn followed by recovery is much preferable to the completely stagnant economy right now.

#21 brokenportal

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:45 AM

Maybe it's time for a hard reset of the financial sector.

Wall Street has become an enormous drag on the US economy in many ways. The culture is to take large risks because they know that they will get bailed out.

A sharp downturn followed by recovery is much preferable to the completely stagnant economy right now.


That seems plausible, but how can we know for sure? You would be willing to take that risk on such a large scale? I'm sure that Obama's advisers informed him about the potential downfalls of not bailing them out. Also, lets not forget that a stagnant economy seems much more likely to be the result of GOP obstruction of jobs bill after jobs bill. Then lets also remember that we cant blame Obama for the bailouts any more than we could blame say, a parent for dipping into their savings to fix the damages to the house that the kids caused with the party they had while the parents were out of town. Its an emergency (lets say busted water main, hole in roof, door off hinges) and you need to dip into your savings to prevent catastrophe. Then afterwards, you discipline your kids so that it can't happen again, or to correlate you support and sign Dodd-Frank.
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#22 mikeinnaples

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:19 PM

Want to read about thievery by billionaires?
http://www.truth-out...dent/1317769580 you might not like the venue, but it is solid investigative reporting. Those are the one percent the protestors are against.


To clarify, SOME of the protesters are against that. There is a large amount of them that have no clue why they are out there.

#23 mikeinnaples

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:21 PM

Maybe it's time for a hard reset of the financial sector.


Its time for a hard set of the financial sector AND the US government.

#24 mikeinnaples

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:27 PM

I support the movement to occupy Wall Street. It is pretty shameful that they are getting so little media coverage.


The problem is that the movement has no voice or common cause. A bunch of them don't have a clue on the specifics of what they want, they just know they want 'change' ...change in the vaguest sense of the word. Then you have another large bunch of them from the entitlement generation that feels like they deserve things they havent earned just because other people have more 'stuff' than them ...and unfortunately these people out there discredit the entire movement (see the demand list above as a shining example). Lastly we have the group out there that are just there 'because'... it is an excuse to be a part of something bigger than them, to sit back and get high, and enjoy the ride.

It is hard to give media coverage to something with no clear cause or common voice that is misrepresented by half the people participating in it.

#25 rwac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:28 PM

That seems plausible, but how can we know for sure? You would be willing to take that risk on such a large scale? I'm sure that Obama's advisers informed him about the potential downfalls of not bailing them out. Also, lets not forget that a stagnant economy seems much more likely to be the result of GOP obstruction of jobs bill after jobs bill. Then lets also remember that we cant blame Obama for the bailouts any more than we could blame say, a parent for dipping into their savings to fix the damages to the house that the kids caused with the party they had while the parents were out of town. Its an emergency (lets say busted water main, hole in roof, door off hinges) and you need to dip into your savings to prevent catastrophe. Then afterwards, you discipline your kids so that it can't happen again, or to correlate you support and sign Dodd-Frank.


You do understand that yet another round of bailouts is probably going to be necessary and nothing has been saved just yet.

Jobs bills have done very little for the economy, It's just nonsense that allows Obama to look like he's doing something.

This is more like desperately patching a badly leaking roof with scotch tape, rather than actually replacing the roof.
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#26 niner

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:55 PM

Maybe it's time for a hard reset of the financial sector.

Wall Street has become an enormous drag on the US economy in many ways. The culture is to take large risks because they know that they will get bailed out.

A sharp downturn followed by recovery is much preferable to the completely stagnant economy right now.

Except it probably would have been a sharp downturn followed by... a massive depression. I totally agree that the financial sector needs a reset, but it has to be done in a way that doesn't destroy the global economy. Too big to fail is too big to exist. The TBTF firms need to be broken up into competing entities that can fail without taking us down.
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#27 maxwatt

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:27 PM

"Captain, the storm has toppled the foremast so we are listing to leeward and taking on water. Shall I order the portwatch to cut away the foremast lines whilst the crew sets to bailing?"
"Nay, mate: best run aground and start over with another boat."
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#28 mikeinnaples

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:43 PM

Maybe it's time for a hard reset of the financial sector.

Wall Street has become an enormous drag on the US economy in many ways. The culture is to take large risks because they know that they will get bailed out.

A sharp downturn followed by recovery is much preferable to the completely stagnant economy right now.

Except it probably would have been a sharp downturn followed by... a massive depression. I totally agree that the financial sector needs a reset, but it has to be done in a way that doesn't destroy the global economy. Too big to fail is too big to exist. The TBTF firms need to be broken up into competing entities that can fail without taking us down.


Agreed 100%

#29 rwac

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:29 PM

Except it probably would have been a sharp downturn followed by... a massive depression. I totally agree that the financial sector needs a reset, but it has to be done in a way that doesn't destroy the global economy. Too big to fail is too big to exist. The TBTF firms need to be broken up into competing entities that can fail without taking us down.


I think people overestimate the risk of doing nothing at all.

But in any case, bailing the TBTF firms out was not the right thing to do.

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#30 Mind

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:43 PM

Because the demands of the protesters are nebulous, I think a lot of people are projecting what they want the movement to be versus what it is. I have seen plenty of on the street interviews. There are some gems of wisdom and a little libertarian thought but the vast majority is just communism (Soviet style) straight up. Most are saying give me this and give me that and the government should control pretty much everything. The bailouts, and tarp, and talf, and twist, MANY thousands of pages of new regulations, and numerous other socialized rescues of companies/banks are hurting the economy. The world would not have ended without TARP.
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