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A Review of Occupy the SEC on the One Year Anniversary of OWS – One Working Group’s Effort to Serve the Interests of the 99%

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By Occupy the SEC. Cross posted from their website

Contrary to critics, who seem to think that the only way for Occupy Wall Street to have an impact is by taking to the streets, the movement continues to focus on developing novel ways to reduce the power of a deeply entrenched, abusive financial services industry. One way is by serving as a people’s lobbyist to shine light on the way critical aspects of financial services regulation are negotiated, usually out of sight of the public.

Occupy the SEC’s participation in the Volcker Rule rulemaking comment process is a reminder that opportunities exist to fight industry lobbyists on their own turf by exercising rights available to all citizens. The Administrative Procedures Act requires that the regulators solicit public comment on proposed rules and enter those comments into the public record. It also requires the regulators to defend or refute the comments received in their final rulemaking. Press coverage of this publically available information should help to bring pro-regulatory pressure and support to a regulatory community used to hearing from only one side. When the rules are finalized we will have another opportunity to evaluate whose interests have been served by the regulators.

We would prefer that the regulators take a stronger stand against the financial services lobby on their own. Apparently we are not alone, or even in the minority.

Last week Reuters reported on a new opinion survey on corporate misconduct prepared by law firm Labaton Sucharow. Key findings from the report:

- 64% believe corporate misconduct was a driver of the crisis

- 81% want more government involvement in controlling misconduct

- 63% want more government funding for regulators and law enforcement

As the article notes, the survey’s timing is impeccable, as it comes out on the one-year anniversary of the Occupy movement. Although the survey’s results are not surprising, it is encouraging to see so much public support for the kinds of reforms Occupy the SEC and the OWS Alternative Banking are actively pursuing.

Despite reports of Occupy Wall Street’s demise Occupy the SEC and the Alternative Banking Group have been active in many areas covered in the Labaton Sucharow survey.

In February, 2012, Occupy the SEC submitted a detailed and comprehensive comment letter to address the loopholes and weaknesses in the proposed regulatoy rules to implement the Volcker Rule

In June 2012, Occupy the SEC and the OWS Alternative Banking Group submitted a letter to the SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro and marched on the SEC to urge the SEC enforcement division to initiate an enforcement action against Jamie Dimon for violations of Sarbanes-Oxley CEO internal control certification requirements.

When JPMorgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, was called to testify before the House Financial Services Committee in June 2012, Occupy the SEC and the OWS Alternative Banking Working Group formally requested the Committee to ask Jamie Dimon to answer some pointed questions about his role in the London Whale debacle.

In July 2012, we submitted a letter to the House Financial Services Committee’s Hearing on the 10th Anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act urging the Committee to act to implement enforcement of the statute in light of the overwhelming evidence of Sarbanes-Oxley violations committed by large financial institutions before, during and after the onset of the financial crisis. We also requested the Committee to call for for an enforcement action by the SEC against JPMorgan, in light of the certified weaknesses in financial controls at the bank that came to light as a result of the London Whale debacle.

In July 2012 Occupy the SEC submitted a comment letter to the SEC regarding the implementation of the odious Jumpstarting Our Business Startups (JOBS Act), noting that:

We have serious concerns about the JOBS Act and its capacity to promote fraud at the expense of small-time investors. Equally troubling is the fact that the JOBS Act magnifies the unfair structural advantages already enjoyed by insiders, investment banks and their favored clients, and issuers. Accordingly, we urge the SEC, in issuing regulations under the JOBS Act, to utilize the full extent of its authority to impose additional restrictions that protect the public interest

We have also called for criminal prosecutions in the Libor scandal and to demand the regulators to seek jail time to deter future criminal activity, especially after such egregious fraud as misquoting the reference lending rate for $800 Trillion of contracts

Occupy the SEC’s most recent project was to answer House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus’ call for suggestions to ‘simplify’ the Volcker Rule. Our September 7, 2012 submission was probably not what Chairman Bachus had in mind when he made the request in August, but it did provide us the opportunity to formally submit recommendations for implementing a strong version of the Volcker rule to a committee of Congressmen who should have an interest in protecting their constituents from financial misconduct. As part of that effort we relied on a study of campaign contributions to members of the committee from the financial services industry prepared by Public Citizen. The study found that members of Congress who signed letters in support of weakening the Volcker Rule on average received far more than those who signed in letters in favor of strengthening it. Alarmingly, the statistics were even more skewed among the members of the Financial Services Committee. (a detailed listing of the members, the amounts contributed, and their position on a weak vs a strong Volcker rule was included in the appendix to the letter). On September 210,2012, the Sunlight Foundation published its study of FIRE campaign contributions to members of both Houses of Congress. As we noted in the letter:

We remain concerned about the inordinate influence of the financial services lobby on legislative initiatives such as the proposed revision to the Volcker Rule under consideration here. The vast majority of comment letters that the Agencies received in connection with the Volcker Rule (numbering over 17,000) favored strengthened regulation. Unfortunately, according to data compiled by Public Citizen, it appears that 36 of the 61 members of the House Financial Services Committee (59% of the membership) have gone on record in favor of weakening the Volcker Rule, by signing certain comment letters to the Agencies that echo industry lobbyists’ positions. Shockingly, no member of the Committee submitted or signed a comment letter advocating strengthening of the Rule. The divergence between public support for the terms of the Rule and the opposition of many of the Committee members is a particular point of concern.

It’s worth noting that the 17,000 comment letters about the Volcker rule to the agencies included 15,000+ letters from individuals who participated in the comment process to voice their support for a strong Volcker Rule. This unprecedented citizen participation was organized by Public Citizen. The irony, as in the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ variety, is that the regulators discounted these letters, as ‘unspecific’ while the financial services advocates successfully used the huge volume as evidence of the overwhelming complexity of the rule.

The Labaton Sucharow study helps quantify the disparity between what the public wants and what our representatives in Congress are delivering. It highlights the importance of the participation of concerned citizens in this financial re-regulation effort to remind Congress that the banks need to be reined in, not set loose .

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39 comments

  1. Ms G

    “The divergence between public support for the terms of the Rule and the opposition of many of the Committee members is a particular point of concern.” And the “nonspecific comment” eraser/sleight of hand by the Committee members.

    This is bleeping astonishing.

    The work that Alt Banking and Occupy the SEC are doing is absolutely fantastic — they are reclaiming our rights as citizens and, in the process, unmasking the extent to which our government has become inured to civic engagement.

      1. Bev

        http://www.freepress.org/departments/display/19/2012/4725

        Vote counting company tied to Romney


        by Gerry Bello & Bob Fitrakis

        September 27, 2012

        Several Tanker trucks full of political ink have been spilled on Mitt Romney’s tenure as a vulture capitalist at Bain Capital. A more important story, however, is the fact that Bain alumni, now raising big money as Romney bundlers are also in the electronic voting machine business. This appears to be a repeat of the the infamous former CEO of Diebold Wally O’Dell, who raised money for Bush while his company supplied voting machines and election management software in the 2004 election.

        In all 234 counties of Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington and Colorado, and certain counties in swing state Ohio, votes will be cast on eSlate and ePollbook machines made by Hart Intercivic. Hart Intercivic machines have famously failed in Tarrant County (Ft. Worth), adding 10,000 non-existant votes. The EVEREST study, commissioned by the Ohio secretary of state in 2007, found serious security flaws with Hart Intercivic products.

        Looking beyond the well-documented Google choking laundry list of apparent fraud, failure and seeming corruption that is associated with Hart Intercivic, an ongoing Free Press investigation turned its attention to the key question of who owns the voting machine companies. The majority of the directors of Hart come from the private equity firm H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. has been heavily invested in Hart Intercivic since July 2011, just in time for the current presidential election cycle. But who is H.I.G Capital?

        Out of 49 partners and directors, 48 are men, and 47 are white. Eleven of these men, including H.I.G. Founder Tony Tamer, were formerly employed at Bain and Company, and two of those men, John P. Bolduc, Douglas Berman, are Romney bundlers along with former Bain and H.I.G. manager Brian Shortsleeve.

        Additionally, four of these men were formerly employed at Booz Allen Hamilton. Booz Allen, now owned by the Bush family friendly Carlyle group, also made voting machines for the United States military. Booz Allen was also the key subcontractor for the controversial PioneerGroundbreaker program, an NSA data mining operation that gathered information on American citizens until it was shut down and replaced with even more invasive successor programs like MATRIX and Total Information Awareness.

        snip

        Although not boisterously promising to deliver states where their machines are to Romney as Wally O’Dell of Diebold did for Bush in 2004, they can launder hundreds of thousands of votes and swing the vote in the crucial swing state Ohio.

        snip

        In our first investigative article Who owns Scytl? George Soros isn’t in the voting machines, but the intelligence community is.

        the Free Press revealed that Scytl, a Spanish-based company now contracted to count 25% of the U.S. presidential vote, has ties to Booz Allen. Scytl’s start up funding comes from three European Venture Capital Firms, Balderton Capital, Nauta Capital, and Spinnaker SCR. The director of Nauta’s American operations is Dominic Endicott, who went from Cluster Consulting to Booz Allen Hamilton (NYSE: BAH) where he oversaw wireless practice. He then rejoined his former colleagues from Cluster Consulting at Nauta. In his capacity as a Nauta partner Endicott also sits on the board of CarrierIQ.

        snip

        The ties of Hart Intercivic to Romney fund-raisers and Bain alumni should cause concern in the Obama re-election campaign. So, should the mysterious Spanish owned company, Scytl, with a U.S operation that seems to be an illusion.

        1. Bev

          Democracy now or in the future depends on real physical evidence returning to voting.

          http://markcrispinmiller.com/2012/09/paper-ballots-only-this-election-day-emergency-petition/

          PAPER BALLOTS ONLY THIS ELECTION DAY! (emergency petition)

          Petition for immediate emergency action to withdraw all electronic voting technology and replace with paper ballots for the November 6, 2012 election

          Sign the petition: http://signon.org/sign/petition-for-immediate?source=s.icn.tw&r_by=5568825

          Petition for immediate emergency action to withdraw all electronic voting technology and replace with paper ballots for the November 6, 2012 election

          By Linda Rosch (Contact)
          To be delivered to: The United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Voting

          The Constitution of the United States of America guarantees U.S. citizens the right to vote for their president and congressional representatives. A hacked vote does not comport with the constitutional guaranty.

          Since the year 2000 there have been documented, widespread, severely serious problems with electronic voting and scanning equipment during U.S. elections. Such problems have resulted numerous times in reversal of U.S. citizens’ actual voting choices during critical elections. Such problems have resulted in incorrect total-vote counts in critical elections, with declaration of incorrect election results. (References shall be provided in a second document.)

          This is an intolerable situation. In this compromised voting environment our constitutional rights are profoundly jeopardized. We demand the department of justice (USDOJ) rectify the situation immediately. The November 6, 2012 election must be protected.

          We, the undersigned citizens of the United States of America, hereby demand that the U.S. department of justice immediately take proper, necessary steps. Remove all electronic voting machines and related scanning, counting and aggregating machines/software from all voting precincts in all states in the United States of America. Such equipment shall not be used during the presidential and/or congressional elections on November 6, 2012.

          Simple paper ballots complying with the model ballot (to be issued by the USDOJ) must be used in all voting precincts, in all states, and are the only acceptable media to be used in voting.

          All ballots shall be counted by hand in an open venue, in full view of the public, in a fairly designed, controlled situation (outlined in a second document, along with provisions for disabled voters). The entire process shall be captured on videotape, the tape to be available as a legal reference.

          Prevention of voting fraud via hacking of electronic voting machines on November 6, 2012.

          ……

          Or else:

          The World-Herald Company is co-owner of Election Software and Systems, which counts half the election ballots in the United States.

          http://www.opednews.com/articles/Still-Evil-after-All-These-by-Charles-M-Young-120910-472.html

          Still Evil after All These Years: The Franklin Scandal and Pedophilia in High Places

          By Charles M. Young Posted by Dave Lindorff

          The scandal centered around the Franklin Community Federal Credit Union, which was created to serve a poor black neighborhood in Omaha, Nebraska. During the 70s and 80s, its manager, a man named Larry King (not the talk show host), ran the Franklin as a Ponzi scheme and looted over $40 million, which he spent on an opulent lifestyle and Republican fundraising. King sang the National Anthem at the Republican convention in 1984 and served on several committees of the National Black Republican Council. He had a townhouse in Washington, DC, where he threw parties with many prominent guests. In August 1988, he threw a $100,000 party at the Republican convention, and appeared in a video in which he and Jack Kemp urged blacks to vote for George H. W. Bush. In November 1988, his Ponzi scheme crashed and the Franklin was shut down by the National Credit Union Association and the FBI.

          All run-of-the-mill scandal stuff, and uncontroversial in the basic facts, except that as King was climbing into the upper levels of the national Republican hierarchy, Omaha was boiling over with rumors that he was also running a pedophile ring, pandering children out to rich and powerful men in Omaha, even flying the children to Washington, Los Angeles and New York for orgiastic, abusive parties with even richer and more powerful men.

          snip

          The FBI has had a reputation for dirty tricks and blackmail for its entire history. The revelations about COINTELPRO, the campaign of harassment against the left during the 60s, were shocking to anyone with a concern for freedom of speech. If it became known that the FBI covered up a pedophile ring of the rich and powerful, I think most Americans would react as they reacted to the Penn State scandal, and the FBI would be drastically reorganized. Minimally, a number of agents in the Omaha office in the late 80s and 90s are guilty of the worst sort of malfeasance.

          snip

          The Omaha World-Herald was the foremost local cheerleader for persecuting teenagers instead of investigating their claims. One of its own columnists, Peter Citron, had a long history of arrests for pedophilia and child porn and was implicated by two witnesses at Larry King’s sex parties. The long-time publisher of the World-Herald, Harold Anderson, was a big supporter of Larry King and had raised money for the Franklin. During the 18 years that King presided over the Franklin, the newspaper never noticed that King was living a hugely expensive lifestyle when he was supposedly making $17,000 a year in salary. The World-Herald Company is co-owner of Election Software and Systems, which counts half the election ballots in the United States.

          snip

          Boutique evil of the Gerry Sandusky sort affects fewer victims, but is more easily understood once the initial denial breaks down. If the denial of the Franklin Credit Union scandal ever breaks down, the consequences will reverberate far higher than happened at Penn State. Except for all those who died in suspicious accidents and suicides, the witnesses are still out there. Some might even talk about it. They talked to Nick Bryant.

          Until the paperback version of The Franklin Scandal: A Story of Powerbrokers, Child Abuse and Betrayal comes out in October, you can read more at Franklinscandal.com.

  2. Bert_S

    “urge the SEC enforcement division to initiate an enforcement action against Jamie Dimon for violations of Sarbanes-Oxley CEO internal control certification requirements.”

    I had that idea years ago and posted it here too. Post Whale, Corzine and that Iowa place (forgot their name) it should be applied to independent brokers too. MBS Trust Funds too while we are at it.

    Course they will say it is redundant because all those places are regulated already. It’s hard to win an argument with these guys.

    But tell the SEC good job with Martha Stewart – we appreciate the work they are doing on our behalf. I did finally get my $276 legal settlement check for being a Worldcom stockholder. GE Capital got Worldcom for $5B for being a “debtor in possession” financier for 30 days. Thank the SEC my Internet still works.

    It might be good to get the word out to “small investors” that if you invest in JOBS ACT companies, you will need a job. But this is good for the economy.

    Volker rule too complicated? Too hard to keep banks from trading against their clients? OK. What about some Glass -Steagal type separation and a warning sign on the spun off brokerages, investment banks, and private equity firms?

    First Draft:

    “Warning: we may rip the faces off our clients and we eat what we kill.”

    Lobbyists a problem?

    How about a new OWS division, “Un Occupy Campaign Financing”.

    Be nice if this were a paying job?

    How about requiring the USG to fund some approved “Watchdog” organizations with our tax money? But first you have to promise you are not a Chartalist, Neo-Chartalist, Institutional Economist, Post-Keynesian (pending definition of what that is), agent of China, or the Soviet Union, or a time traveler from the Third Reich, although you will likely meet many people like this when performing your job duties.

    That reminds me. I haven’t heard much from the ACLU in recent years. Aren’t they outraged that the government is closing parks at night?

  3. bhikshuni

    ” The irony, as in the ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ variety, is that the regulators discounted these letters, as ‘unspecific’ ‘

    How about a class-action civil law suit?

  4. fiscalliberal

    Excellent informative summary article for the casual citizen who might be allarmed that the government is broken.

    1. patricia

      Your petty arrogance in using words such as “casual”, “might be” and “all-armed” leads me to urge you to further dis-arm us peasants by enhanced explication of your complacency, oh serious citizen.

      1. Ray Duray

        Hi patricia,

        Sometiimes the tone and intent of a comment are not easy to interpret online. I think perhaps “fiscaliberal” was being a bit jocular, a bit ironic and a bit sarcastic. Your response indicates some anger, which is good. But perhaps that anger should be re-directed at the likes of Tim Geithner and Lloyd Blankfein, who are the real villains in our tale of financial fraud. :)

        ***
        Here’s something I’m beginning to look forward to on a weekly basis, the sage views of William Black on Fraud:

        http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=33&Itemid=74&jumival=795

        1. patricia

          Yes, I much respect Bill Black, thanks for mentioning him.

          I’ve enough anger to cover Timmy and Lloyd as well as certain smug so-called “liberals” :-}

          1. Ray Duray

            I appreciated this zinger from a column at Counterpunch:

            http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/09/28/the-joke-of-democratic-accountability/

            “Obama’s attitude toward torture and illegal surveillance by the Bush administration, in every case, has been to use the full power of his office to prevent prosecution of Bush era officials for their crimes against humanity. For this, Obama should personally apologize to the families of the Nazis executed at Nuremberg.”

            ***
            I’m also pretty much in the same camp as Glen Ford at Black Agenda Report who when asked his view on Obama as the lesser of two evils” declared that Obama is the more effective evil.

            http://blackagendareport.com/content/what-obama-has-wrought

            It’s a good thing for me that Oregon is pretty safely in Obama’s column. This year I can finally vote my conscience instead of voting tactically (for a Dem charlatan) to prevent a win by the Right.

  5. craazyman

    Really great work by Occupy the SEC. It makes me proud — even though I myself haven’t done a damn thing to help except give money to the OWS box in Zucotti Park back when it was liberated — that someone still cares enough to refresh the tree of liberty with the water of truth.

    I don’t know enough about the SEC to really help, but one thing’s for sure. If any hot OWS women want a few glasses of red red wine and a body massage followed by the Don Juan de Marco treatment after a long day fighting the banksters at their own game, just come on over.

    Some guys like the princess types, the money queens with Hermes scarfs and jewels and the expectant confidence in the beneficence of the world that separates the chosen from the damned. Some guys fall for that. They live to pluck those jewels, believing it’s a victory. Not me. I look into those eyes and see lusterless dead stones. I look at those auras and see the darkness of bad dreams. I look into those minds and see a narcotized vacuum.

    But you, you hot women of Occupy the SEC. I see your eyes lit like diamonds with awareness and contemplation, your auras shimmering like the sun on some celestial river of consciousness, and minds channeling the gnostic wave with courage and intelligence. That to me is hot.

    So come on over after, a bad exhausting day duking it out with the banksters, and after half an hour you’ll be feeling good, really good. We all have to pitch in how we can and I’m ready to do my part. bowahaha.

    1. Claire

      craazyman: “…So come on over after, a bad exhausting day duking it out with the banksters, and after half an hour you’ll be feeling good, really good…”

      I accept the invitation.

      But what’s your address? :)

      1. craazyman

        Hi Claire

        My address is POBox8_Magonia@rocketmail.com.

        I usually like Spanish wine because it seems closer to the sun than the French stuff. I usually drink it out of a beer mug, the same as Bass Ale, but if you come over I’ll make sure we have two wine glasses. I will be be polite and gentlemanly. :)

      2. Claire

        That sounds good.

        I’ll bring the wine, either a Spanish shiraz, Opera Prima 2008, that I picked up for the remarkable price of $4.97 a bottle, or a Garnacha de Fuego in the $9 to $12 range.

        Do you think one bottle is enough, or should I bring two? :)

    2. AnOccupier

      This is so creepy, gross, and micro-aggressive (see: microaggressions.com) I don’t even really have words for it. Nice to know that appreciation is still distilled down to objectification and sexual advances. No thanks.

      1. tomk

        If you had been hanging out here for a while you’d know that cman is aaok. He’s deep and is one of those rare people who combines an acceptance and knowledge of forces that most of us aren’t aware of with a sharp analytical intelligence. And his entities rock. I do hope he’s off the benzos though.

  6. b when

    I wanted to see names and numbers of the weakeners but the links (pen and terultimate) to Congress persons and Financial Services Committee persons, don’t work, at least for me.

    I did find both through your submission link for Sept 7.

    The Congress persons names and numbers are found by linking to the pdf in footnote 3, page 2. As you parenthetically indicated, the appendix at the end of the same submission, with a little kink of the neck, can be found the names and numbers for the Financial Services Committee.

    Other submitted comments to CFTC http://comments.cftc.gov/PublicComments/CommentList.aspx?id=1157

  7. Aquifer

    Having participated in a number of public comment periods on a number of issues, ISTM that often the best use of them is to point out to the public that the agencies/politicians were made aware of the problems, given good suggestions for fixes and then – promptly ignored them.

    This is useful to demonstrate the need to replace the officials – they could not claim the public didn’t care and they were not acting out of ignorance, but out of venality – and to establish one’s own credibility as a serious, thoughtful, committed citizen …

    In the end, if you succeed in getting decent folks in office, the work itself will prove fruitful, but until then, in my experience, all those pages of wonderful comments are only good for wallpaper (so include lots of pretty pictures :)) I

    THAT is why I “do” politics ….

        1. Enslavedlikeyou

          @BobW – All you did was cut and paste one sentence from the piece.

          What about this?

          … Some hopes have been realized. Term limits have reportedly pumped life into the Michigan Legislature by improving diversity and helping local residents connect to a government that has a more everyday-citizen look to it. “I hear stories of the old days and the legislators were treated literally like royalty,” says state Rep. Tom McMillin, a certified public accountant who just finished his first term. “Everybody bowed to these people. Term limits guarantee that we get away from the whole idea of kings and princes. We gain much more in having a citizen legislature.”

          BobW, we already know it’s big money that influences career politicians. What’s been decided for “the people” isn’t working and it isn’t what we want.

  8. Dan Lynch

    Sorry to rain on the parade, but what I get out of this report is that Occupy the SEC spent the last year writing letters ?

    Color me unimpressed.

    Not that I have any simple solutions to our political problems.

    1. MichaelC

      Aah, but what letters… Have a read and let us know if you disagree with them.

      Point is, they are required reading for the regulators, which seems like a good thing to me.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You don’t get it.

      The public comments process is a BIG BIG way lobbyists influence regulation. The staffers at agencies often want to oppose the crap the lobbyists are selling, but the top regulators will wave letters from (say) the American Bankers Association and the staffers are in a weak position if there is no one on the other side.

      Sheila Bair told use when she met with OWS that the OSEC Volcker rule comment letter galvanized the SEC (remember the part that deals with making the regs is different that the enforcement section, but you gotta start somewhere).

  9. Eureka Springs

    End wars, covert, overt, undeclared, AUMF’s, on emotions, entirely offensive acts rather than defensive in any way.. End wars and you end War Powers. NDAA, AUMF’s, MON’s and all sections are WAR, powers and money.

    Reestablish rule of law at the top… which also demands a dramatic acknowledgement of war crimes… and to me demands government secrecy be eliminated altogether. As marcy’s link reminds us COngress has itself boxed out of being able to know anything… or those few who do can’t really discuss/disagree even if they wanted. It’s a sickness which we all ignore far too often… thus scores of Sections 21′s pass us by faster than anyone can keep up with.

    While I do not have the internet speed/personal time it would take to load and view the video right now. I understand Mr Hedges may have needed to narrow the scope in order to press ahead with a lawsuit. But… he, occupy and the vast majority of what goes for the American left often missed the big NDAA picture to a fault.

    At the time NDAA 2012 was being considered in both congress and occupy Marcy Wheeler was doing yeowoman’s work as usual… deep in the weeds parsing it all as only a few in the blogos are willing or able to do. A series of posts made it pretty clear to me that the problems in last years NDAA went back much further … probably to at least Reagan (willfully maintained, ignored, exacerbated by all presidents in both parties since). In a memorandum of notification, NDAA, Section 21, It is our needless wars, even undeclared the powers given by maintaining them which presidents keep the inherent powers such as Section 1021.

    Trying to explain these things to fellow occupiers (It’s the needles wars my friends, which must be stopped if we are not going to at best not going keep playing a losing game of whack-a-section) fell on incredibly deaf ears. End wars and you end war powers. Occupiers really had less than zero interest in anti-war stances, much less direct actions or working, even affinity groups… just as Democrat and Republican constituents have no interest in it today.

    Anyway here’s a summary post from Cheney Bush era forward Marcy wrote on Memorandum of Notification… the entire couple weeks work Marcy put out during that NDA debate time is something I hope more people will learn from and act accordingly someday.

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2012/04/21/the-gloves-come-off-memorandum-of-notification/

    1. YouDon'tSay?

      The wars are part and parcel of the current fascist system. End them? Are you kidding? We’d need to vote out the ENTIRE current congress and POTUS and all of their minions and their minions, PLUS clean house on K-Street, the Pentagon, and most of academia, never mind the industries affected themselves, nor half the electorate who has likewise been brainwashed by the myth of American exceptionalism. Good luck with THAT!

  10. Lambert Strether

    That’s interesting from Wheeler, thank you.

    I wonder if there are finance implications to this. Rule of law, and so forth, or not. One recalls, for example, that drugs lords provided liquidity in the 2008 crisis (were in fact the only liquidity to be had). Under what aegis would such an, er, operation have been run?

  11. YouDon'tSay?

    Sorry, I’m not be “negative” when I say, that “occupying” anything ain’t gonna change anything, and “influencing legislation” is gonna change even less. Western-style crony capitalism is on it’s death legs, kept alive only by life support from it’s rich patrons. Occupying anything of theirs will only get your head bashed in by their minions. Wanna be a martyr, be my guest.

    Sorry, the so-called “terrorists” have it right, in principle at least. Subvert the system passively from within if possible. BE the sand in the gears, plant the seed for future obstructions to bloom, and most of all, simply REFUSE TO COOPERATE at every turn. Now THAT’S where the money is my friends. No need to show your hand so ostentatiously by “occupying” anything. That merely allows TPTB to concentrate their forces. Why be stupid?

  12. Nathanael

    Occupy the SEC is acting as one of the think tanks or intellectual proving grounds which will be needed to inform policy after the revolution starts.

    It is therefore very important.

    The revolution will start somewhere else, with people who are very different from any of us commenting here, but the second thing which happens in a revolution is that, after dismantling the most hated parts of what is already there, the revolutinaries go “so, what do we replace this with?”.

    Frequently the people who are actually capable of running a revolution are not intellectuals, or at least not outside the area of military strategy, so they look to other intellectuals for a source of coherent ideas for governance.

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