Occupy Wall Street Movement

401 posts in this topic

As the person who started this thread, I kept waiting on reply emails to hit my inbox and never saw them. Now that I realize people have responded, let me throw my few cents back into the conversation.

 

Kropotkin- There is no sense in protesting a German bank. As stated in the original post, this centers on corporate American banks and their mistakes/greed. I am not looking to gain any traction with Germans...that would be pointless. The point here was to find out how many Americans in Berlin supported the cause...And no, this topic does not need to be moved.

 

Fraufruit- Thank you for the recommendation! I remembered hearing something about "Inside Job", but now I'll definitely go out and rent it :)) And also, you summed up the argument quite well. With terrible job prospectives, high student debt (needed to even apply for 'successful' jobs, millions of insured individuals, and corporate greed, something needs to be done.

 

Awayatpost- As Chocky succinctly pointed out, the point of protesting at the American Embassy is due in large part to the corporate purchase of American government, i.e. the American financial sector. So yes, protesting outside the US Embassy would be quite logical. As Dan505 pointed out, I'm glad to hear there is a protest at Mauerpark which I will gladly take part in. Since it's not being organized (at least not in large part it seems) by Americans, it makes sense that it's not going to be at the American Embassy.

 

B3nj1/Chris999- I honestly think that is a lame excuse. After firms like Goldman Sachs conned Greece into taking massive loans from them at unsustainable rates and without public knowledge, this financial company played a large role in unhinging the Eurozone. Now other banks in America (i.e. BoA) will begin introducing $5 monthly charges for all debit accounts in the name of raising profits. You are saying that after American taxpayers bailed out the American financial sector (due to Government intervention which is largely owned by said corporations), that protesting would be an 'inconvenience' to those trying to get by on the street? The area around Brandenburger Tor is withfilled mostly with tourists...and those going to and from work would largely take the Ubahn underneath. In Mauerpark, this would inhibit virtually no one. So again, I find this argument pointless.

 

Dan505- Thank you for posting the link to the protest at Mauerpark! I will certainly be there :))

 

DanHessen- I think protesting before the state department would be quite logical. As the US Fed has agreed to a dollar swap to keep liquidity open in the Eurozone, thereby assisting in some way to prop it up, this again involves US government. Since American taxpayers have ALREADY participated in a bailout, while Europe is still debating which direction to take, it would again be logical to protest for changes in American government...Granted, Germany has committed funds to assist in a Greek bailout, however, it has so far not 'bailed out' its own financial industry...

 

Lavender Rain- The fact that people are rallying to confront government and the 1% of the elite in America is very heartening. Large grass roots movements don't come pre-packaged with shiny paper and an "Open Here" sticker. As Moctoj2 pointed out above, the movement is beginning to solidify its platform. And perhaps most importantly, the picture that you posted above is a bit misleading. While all of those products likely are made by those corporations, we are specifically talking about the banking and financial industry which produces almost...nothing. Derivatives, speculation, and market bubbles are nothing but scratches on paper that have no intrinsic value. Some people may be protesting large corporations, but I would say the majority of anger is being directed towards corrupt banking practices and CEOs who continue to draw

obscene salaries...even after the 2008 meltdown.

 

Cinzia- You are exactly right! I need to watch that episode of the Daily Show, that is brilliant!

 

In the meantime, I hope to see everyone on Oct 15th at Mauerpark.

 

-Trabi

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Fraufruit- Thank you for the link!! I will watch it this evening :)) I'm glad that you support the movement!

 

-Trabi

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And I should add that while I did use an example in the first post unrelated to the Banking Industry (Coca Cola), I wanted to point out that some corporations outside of finance have CEO's who are more interested in being a part of the problem, not the solution. The CEO, Muhtar Kent, is complaining that he may have to pay more in taxes...and this is after large corporations are afforded so many tax writeoffs with the current tax laws. Someone who is head of one of the most recognizable corporate names on the planet should be ashamed of themselves. Hard work is one thing, but being a part of the "good ole boy" club doesn't cut it as an excuse anymore.

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And perhaps most importantly, the picture that you posted above is a bit misleading. While all of those products likely are made by those corporations, we are specifically talking about the banking and financial industry which produces almost...nothing. Derivatives, speculation, and market bubbles are nothing but scratches on paper that have no intrinsic value. Some people may be protesting large corporations, but I would say the majority of anger is being directed towards corrupt banking practices and CEOs who continue to draw

obscene salaries...even after the 2008 meltdown.

 

From what I've seen and read, there's inconsistency and vagueness in terms of the goals, demands, and principles in the various mass protest groups of this movement across the nation. However, this is probably not unusual for a movement that's in it's infancy.

 

Regarding your comment about "the banking and financial industry which produces almost nothing", most businesses both big and small depend on bank credit and loans to fund and grow their businesses.

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While all of those products likely are made by those corporations, we are specifically talking about the banking and financial industry which produces almost...nothing. Derivatives, speculation, and market bubbles are nothing but scratches on paper that have no intrinsic value. Some people may be protesting large corporations, but I would say the majority of anger is being directed towards corrupt banking practices and CEOs who continue to draw

obscene salaries...even after the 2008 meltdown.

 

How exactly do you think the economy works? Without banks there is no lending, no investment, no market for corporations large and small to get credit and loans to provide a service to customers (i.e US). Why do you think the Government needed to bail out the banks? Just to be nice and support them- not really, its because the majority of Government spending is provided by loans and bonds from the banks. So no banks equals no public services. This is hugely simplified but this whole protest so far has shown a complete lack of understanding of basic economics.

 

I'm also getting a bit fed up with this whole corporation tax write-off arguement, in the big evil corporation I work for, there is a tax write-off for certain things that is linked to a benefit. For example, Research & Development- if a company invests heavily in R&D and new products, then there are tax benefits for this BECAUSE, and this is where it gets complicated, this benefit will be realised with job creation, new factories, more sales tax etc. Basically, it adds to GDP so is in everyone's interest to make the R&D as efficient as possible. You seem to be under the impression that Corporations are regularly just let off tax. Or maybe I'm being a naive corporate slave?

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LinAM, you describe the way in which capitalism is supposed to work. I think if there can be said to be a basic complaint common to all the protesters, it is that the system has been tweaked over the past decades to tilt the game in the direction of small groups of powerful people.

 

For example, banks got a big bail-out from the American people, but it's increasingly difficult to get a small-business loan or mortgage now. A lot of people see that as not holding up their part of the bargain. American taxpayers shouldn't be enriching a system where the large banks are operated by the powerful, for the powerful.

 

Ironically, many small banks that tried to play the Big Boys' game and failed have now been consolidated by the federal government into the big banks, so the large institutions are even more powerful now than they were a couple of years ago. Efforts to reform them and avoid a repeat of the banking crisis have mostly been weak or failed.

 

Meanwhile, costly bank bail-outs have limited the degree to which Congress and the President can pay for programs to put ordinary people back to work. Wall Street is not seen as sharing in any hardship, certainly not to the same degree as families who have lost their homes, jobs, and health care security.

 

It's not surprising that the Street is a target of people's frustration.

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Exactly what cinzia said. I was just going to write that Trabi's point was not that banks do not provide a service, but that they're taking more than their fair share (with the government's help).

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glad you guys are waking up and join the hitler youth.keep going another few years and join the Arbeitsdienst and then Militaer.There is historical proof that it eliminates plutocracy and inequality and Arbeitslosigkeit.

 

My blog(what blog?)at this enlighten forum has been mentioning the economic disorderliness for some time but not to many of you paid any attention.Looks like the Krug has to go to the well until it breaks.Have fun at your protests and I hope someone collects a euro from each person for a good cause and your effort is not completely for naught.

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TraBi - Whby not Deutsche Bank?

 

Involved in subprime? check.

Too big to fail? check.

Taking money from the Fed? check.

 

Think globally, act locally. :lol:

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glad you guys are waking up and join the hitler youth.keep going another few years and join the Arbeitsdienst and then Militaer.There is historical proof that it eliminates plutocracy and inequality and Arbeitslosigkeit.

 

My blog(what blog?)at this enlighten forum has been mentioning the economic disorderliness for some time but not to many of you paid any attention.Looks like the Krug has to go to the well until it breaks.Have fun at your protests and I hope someone collects a euro from each person for a good cause and your effort is not completely for naught.

 

So you're resorting to Glenn Beck/Ann Coulter tactics, out of resentment because no one cited your blog in this thread? I hope I'm misreading the message there.

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Linsam/Lavender Rain-

 

You are overlooking my point. Most large banks invested in subprime mortgage loans across the nation all in the name of greed. They thought they could cleverly con people into loaning them money regardless of their credit worthiness. The problem is when investment banks and hedge funds began packaging this toxic debt into derivatives called credit default swaps and CDO's, and then sold these 'new financial creations' to investors for profit. And therein is my point: these pieces of paper with derivatives written on them mean absolutely nothing, they are NOT a product. Based on this principle, these derivatives could theoretically increase in value as long as you could find a buyer willing to pay a slightly higher price. And this all in the name of 'products' that don't actually exist?

 

Now that the US government has indeed bailed out the banking sector, we have reached a new level of moral hazard in the country...bankers now know that in the future, they are 'to big to fail', and the government will have their golden parachutes waiting for them in the wings. Yes, it gets tricky, because the banking sector had to stay solvent for liquidity to be available on the open markets and for dollars to continue pumping out of ATMs, but banks knew they could get away with it. Since they are able to buy congressmen and representatives, the market was relatively deregulated under the Bush years and they could create these financial instruments out of thin air. Financial layering across the industry meant that after Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns collapsed in 2008, these few set of banks helped bring down the US and subsequently the world economy.

 

I'll try not to bring up Goldman Sachs again, after it made surreptitious loans to Greece and ultimately put the Euro in jeopardy, again in the name of profit.

 

These are things I would expect you to understand. Most people are frustrated that the few extremely wealthy are *continuing* to benefit during this downturn, while the rest of the world is making sacrifices. Unless that is Linsam, you work for a large bank and you feel put upon that everyone's 'whining' about student loans and struggle to pay for basic food and medicine is messing up your day.

 

**Note: I do understand how the basic banking sector works- banks are *meant* to facilitate appropriate loans to the right borrower, and assist in trying to make sound investment advice for certain customers. Without loans, yes any economy would not be able to function. That however was not the point here, given ludicrous amounts of money that were unwisely loaned out during the housing bubble of the 2000's. That is where the banks went wrong and why people are so angry.

 

-Trabi

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This guy's comments to Fox News never made it past the cutting room floor.

 

 

 

A.Tuttle- I was just going to look for that link and post it!! Thank you so much for finding it. This guy very clearly sums up the entire problem, and yes, Faux News never deigned to broadcast his contribution during their 'fair and balanced' reporting.

 

I love this

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TraBi - Whby not Deutsche Bank?

 

Involved in subprime? check.

Too big to fail? check.

Taking money from the Fed? check.

 

Think globally, act locally.

 

Where did this crisis start? In the US. Who should we be angry at for beginning much of this- Banks in the US. Point proven

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A.Tuttle- I was just going to look for that link and post it!! Thank you so much for finding it. This guy very clearly sums up the entire problem, and yes, Faux News never deigned to broadcast his contribution during their 'fair and balanced' reporting.

 

I love this

 

His name is Jesse LaGreca, a freelance writer. We've come a long way from Joe the Plumber.

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LinAM, you describe the way in which capitalism is supposed to work. I think if there can be said to be a basic complaint common to all the protesters, it is that the system has been tweaked over the past decades to tilt the game in the direction of small groups of powerful people.

 

For example, banks got a big bail-out from the American people, but it's increasingly difficult to get a small-business loan or mortgage now. A lot of people see that as not holding up their part of the bargain. American taxpayers shouldn't be enriching a system where the large banks are operated by the powerful, for the powerful.

 

Ironically, many small banks that tried to play the Big Boys' game and failed have now been consolidated by the federal government into the big banks, so the large institutions are even more powerful now than they were a couple of years ago. Efforts to reform them and avoid a repeat of the banking crisis have mostly been weak or failed.

 

Meanwhile, costly bank bail-outs have limited the degree to which Congress and the President can pay for programs to put ordinary people back to work. Wall Street is not seen as sharing in any hardship, certainly not to the same degree as families who have lost their homes, jobs, and health care security.

 

It's not surprising that the Street is a target of people's frustration.

 

As Cinzia stated above, banks (and even other large corporations) are currently sitting on excess of ONE trillion dollars of cash (google it). It is small business that is hurting here, not large corporations, because even though large banks have this excess money (much of it from the Tax Payer), they are not loaning it out to small business owners.

 

Now as far as wealthy CEO's, they're being rebranded by right wing media as 'job creators'....pshhhhh give me a break. They are also siting on a pile of cash and still not hiring anyone.

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A.Tuttle- Thank you for posting his blog site. I just spent some time going through it, and you are right, we've come a long way :)

 

It is very exciting to watch this

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