Matt Stoller: Boston Fed – “Avoid Engaging with Any Demonstrators”

By Matt Stoller, the former Senior Policy Advisor to Rep. Alan Grayson and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. You can reach him at stoller (at) or follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.

If the encampment in downtown NYC is a church, then the sprouting of more of these around the country is something of an religious awakening. And the reaction of the other religious faction is pretty telling.

This is a note sent out to people in the Boston Fed building recently upon news of #OccupyBoston.

Good afternoon.

You may notice various demonstrations in the financial district this afternoon. Most notably, beginning this evening and extending indefinitely, the “Occupy Wall Street / Occupy Boston” movement plans a peaceful demonstration and encampment on Dewey Square. You may have seen media reports about this, and as you may know, a few other cities are seeing similar demonstrations in their financial districts.

Our Law Enforcement Unit is attuned to the situation and as always is in close contact with city and law enforcement officials. We will closely monitor the evolving situation throughout the weekend and beyond.

For your safety, we suggest you exercise caution, and avoid engaging with any demonstrators. Use of the Summer Street entrance and South Station tunnel may be helpful in limiting any inconvenience to you.

Apparently, the encampment is peaceful, but it’s best to avoid engaging with the demonstrators. Better safe than sorry.

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    1. watercarrier4diogenes

      I’m betting “or not”.

      A talking head on CNN this morning reported new poll results that Americans asked how the economy is going responded 90% bad, 10% good and followed with a surprised tone of voice to report that 52% blame Bush and Republicans while only 32% blame Obama and Democrats. Her surprise makes me wonder if CNN ever reports on what congressional Republicans openly state.

      1. rotter

        The persistent urban myth of CNN’s “noneditorial” posture needs to be blown up and aired out. They are 100% publicists and propagandist for the Rentier class.Too many people think FOX -right, ok, MSNBC -left, more problematic and CNN non partisan- dead wrong.

      2. mk

        I was pleasantly surprised to watch Chris Hayes UP program on MSNBC the other day, he had as guests demonstrators from occupy wall st as well as people from the media. Can’t think of their names now, but it’s one of the first times I can remember listening to a group of people talk about the issues where I could actually sit and listen throughout the entire program because they sounded reasonable and reality based. It was better than Democracy Now! Reminded me very much of the conversations, issues, and tone found on this blog.

    2. Jugo1502

      I was present last night. I am an organizer working with Occupy Boston’s legal team. The encampment is at Dewey Square which is directly across Atlantic Ave from both South Station and the Fed Reserve building (we’re talking just a few meters distance here). Plus, very clear line-of-site.

      After the Bank of America protest earlier in the afternoon (a separate Move event), Occupy Boston moved in on Dewey Sq. for encampment at 18:00 hours (apologies, I’m ex-Army, I prefer 24-hour clock).

      At about 22:00 hours we moved (est. 500-600 bodies) out of our encampment and marched through Downtown Crossing, up through Beacon Hill, down through Government Center, through Quincy Market, back onto Atlantic Ave where we then proceeded down the Rose Kennedy Greenway back to the encampment at Dewey Square. Instead of bedding down for the night, we crossed Atlantic Ave at approx. 23:00 hours to demonstrate in front of the Fed Reserve Building (now, suddenly, a considerable police presence appears). Demonstrated for a couple of hours to the delight of the drunken crowds of bar goers headed home from South Boston. Line of police moved in after we initially touched the glass of the Fed’s lobby. Police formed a buffer between us and the Reserve building. Protest continued with no police action. Police continued to stay gentle (even the Staties!). No actions followed. Bedded down. Day one complete.

      Loads of foot traffic in the area. Loads of onlookers. Truckers, cabbies, motorists, etc. all honked and cheered in support. Also, the vast majority of onlookers (sitting in restaurants, strolling about, etc.) clapped and raised fists in support as we marched past. Many looked bewildered. A couple of frat-boy, self-described “bankers” in very fine suits half-drunkenly approached the edge of Dewey Square to begin an argument with whomever they could. They approached a couple of “socialists” and commenced bullying. I (and my tall, muscular frame) joined in when I could bear the stupidity of the arguments being made no more. I asked the young “bankers” some questions about accounting policy, and some pretty heavy financial questions about their daily operations at their “bank” (as I am an accountant) and it quickly became clear that the two gentleman lack fundamental finance knowledge. They also wouldn’t identify which institution they work for. Angered by my calm statements and questions, which caused them to fumble and exhibit ignorance, they began using expletives and stormed away as they did so.

      In general, police were gentle, polite, and professional (not that I expect this to last into the long term). Did not make moves to suppress our action as we took to the streets in this unplanned, late night march. They blocked traffic and anticipated our route as we moved. They made no attempt to divert our path of movement or break up our phalanx. I do have to salute the action of Boston PD. Unexpectedly helpful.

      ‘Twas a positive first night. However, I expect “friction” if and when this starts to get serious.

      I have loved, love, and shall continue to love Yves Smith, NC, and all the brilliant voices who contribute to this blog. A haven off sanity and reason.

      1. psychohistorian

        Thanks for the report.

        The 99% only need to demand progressive structural change and it will happen.

        You and others with you are just starting to form the voice of that demand from us 99%. May peace be with us.

        Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into “rooms” at the Hague.

      2. Liah

        Oh, that was a charming story, Jugo 1502 ! Especially the “muscular frame” and the “I am an accountant” parts !

        Just thrilling !!

        Yea – See what wonders Yves hath wrought!
        Truth be told :o)

        1. Jugo1502

          Good evening, Liah. Cheers! Slainte! Just got home from Day Two of Occupy Boston. There’s a Marine Corps tent as of today! I’m terribly thrilled. Never been so pleased to see a jarhead. Thank you, Liah, for your substantive comment! It has added so much to the discussion here! Thank you for not accusing me of fabricating my military service record! Because that would have actually offended me on this fine Saturday eve!

          I had the honour of serving with a not entirely unknown unit at Ft. Campbell (clue: My username). Years: 2000-2005 (I actually grew my muscles much earlier, in the days of youth hockey ;) I secured a Master of Science in Accountancy in 2009 (from a half-decent Boston biz school).

          However, it’s true, you did indeed catch me in some lies. Firstly, my frame has developed just a wee bit of a beer belly over the last few years (though Club Monaco shirts have done an exquisite job of cover & concealment). Also, I suppose one could say that I am not (truly, truly) an accountant as I haven’t sat for the CPA just yet (though my boss and the Senior VP of Finance at my li’l co’y up on the 128 Tech Belt would probably each disagree with such a claim). I swear I am sitting this Spring! I swear it! Please believe my words. Your acceptance is tremendously important to me! I’m about to start typing in all-caps!

          In fairness to Ms. Smith, she hasn’t “wrought” anything. Ms. Smith is exceptionally brilliant, but I have actually come to view our civilization’s credit system with skepticism and incredulity based, more likely, on my upbringing than anything else. You see, my dear Liah (so cute, and nearly witty), I am/was a middle class white boy from Central Mass. I was raised in a household run by two attorneys. I was taught, nay forced, to view large institutions with a degree of suspicion (Imagine how my hippy parents felt about me “going Army” after college). Nah, my dear Liah, I landed here at NC some time ago for reasons probably not dissimilar to the reasons that brought many excellent minds to NC. Minds I look to for fresh perspectives on a daily basis.

          You see, my dear Liah, the dreadful length of my commentary here should provide you with evidence enough of who I am. Challenge the integrity of a soldier’s honour and you ignite a fire. Just so you may know, your powers of detection are quite weak. You got everything wrong. As the kids would say: “Epic Fail.”

          Truth be told, my sweet, sweet Liah, you could say I am a fraud. That is, after a wonderful and refreshing weekend spent mostly with these kids in Dewey Square, I am going to put back on my bad tie and mildly fashionable Banana Republic shirt, maybe some pants ‘n’ shoes too, and go back to a desk flanked by my two Scott Brown supporter co-workers. There I will likely field deep interrogatives re: this weekend like: “How much soap do those kids need?” or “Do you have lice now?” I will smile and go along with it for the innocence of it. Everything is fine. I have a paycheck. I’m all set. Can’t wait to discuss the latest article in CFO Mag re: auditing “perspectives!” Sweet! Blahhhhhhh…

          But I’m here to tell you, Liah, I haven’t felt the way I do this weekend since I was a teenaged lad.

          Now, truth be told, I’m going to head to bed and curl up with my Bulgarian biologist babe of a wife. But please permit me one last moment of youthful exuberance before I turn back into a 33-year old on Monday; Viva Yves! Viva NC! Viva Revolution! (Give me a break, I’m descended from I.R.A. people)

          Good night, cupcake.

          1. aletheia33

            “I’m descended from I.R.A. people”

            ah i shoulda figgered that out a lot sooner. keep on blahhhbin’ here, you made my day.

      3. Richard Kline

        So Jugo1502, I’m glad you’re holding the ground there, my friend. As you demonstrated, a reasoned, fact-based argument just takes the starch and stuffing out of most beetle-level belligerents; they’re about emotions, and facts ‘confuse’ them. Keep your head down and your eyes open. This thing appears very fluid, and could get big fast.

  1. Doug Terpstra

    Thank you, Matt, for an important public service announcement about “limiting any inconvenience”. Yes, better to be safe than sorry and avoid the rabble entirely. They may be dangerous or contagious. Like any 18th Century aristocrat, it may be safer still to simply run the serfs over with your carriage if they get in your way.

    Chris Hedges has a powerful appeal about not limiting our inconvenience at such a critical time:

    There are no excuses left. Either you join the revolt taking place on Wall Street and in the financial districts of other cities across the country or you stand on the wrong side of history. Either you obstruct, in the only form left to us, which is civil disobedience, the plundering by the criminal class on Wall Street and accelerated destruction of the ecosystem that sustains the human species, or become the passive enabler of a monstrous evil . . . To stand on the sidelines and say “I am innocent” is to bear the mark of Cain; it is to do nothing to reach out and help the weak, the oppressed and the suffering, to save the planet. To be innocent in times like these is to be a criminal. Ask Tim DeChristopher.

    Choose. But choose fast. The state and corporate forces are determined to crush this. They are not going to wait for you. They are terrified this will spread . . . Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. Today they run the state and the financial markets [until now].

    It includes links to national occupations like Occupy Boston for those who do not enjoy the dubious privilege of living in NYC.

    1. anonymous

      i am not going to lose my job and become homeless so that some idealistic kid can feel better about themselves for a few days.

      there are some things that i do do, but i am certainly not going to share them just to justify my existence to some kid who just started shaving.

      1. another

        “there are some things that i do do, but i am certainly not going to share them just to justify my existence to some kid who just started shaving.”

        I have to ask because I’m curious: Would you do a thing to justify your existence to your very own precious self?

      2. Patriot

        Why do you feel it necessary to tell us about it in the comments, then? A guilty conscience, perhaps?

    2. Jeff

      From the comfort and convenience of your own wallet you
      too can protest in a manner that may be more effective:

      Cancel all credit cards with an annual fee.
      Never use an ATM card, instead to into the bank and
      withdraw CASH from your account. Use this to pay local
      merchants. Feel free to use credit cards in corporate stores and pay the surcharge to the card companies.

      Close out your account(s) at large banks that hide
      under the taxpayer tarp. Go to a credit union or a small local bank. They are all FDIC insured. Find one with free checking and use those checks or cash.

      The goal is to Never Ever give any financial service company or processor one cent of your money.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Jeff;
        Right on there. Hit them where it hurts. We’ve already told our small regional bank that we’ll be cancelling our Debit card if they add a monthly fee.

    1. Ray Duray


      Thanks for the confirmation that the Freakonomics people are insane. Sophistry at its finest seems to be their only product.

          1. rotter

            Its working, in a way, for a tiny number of very wealthy oligarchs, and for thier maids, butlers, and attorneys in the Capital and White House.

          2. JTFaraday

            Clearly, I meant the democratic market in free speech. Feel free to exercise your rights by consistently missing the point.

        1. wunsacon

          LOL. I skimmed the article, saw the author (James Altucher! — pfhthth) blame the reader, and then jumped to the comments.

      1. David

        Agree that Freakonomics’ arguments there are lame.

        But here’s a better one. The protesters are not in the right place, because the banks are no longer at Wall Street! A bunch of them moved to midtown. Some, like Goldman, moved over to the riverfront near the Battery. (It’s been a couple years, but one stills see pictures of 85 Broad associated with Goldman.) I don’t know who is left in the area of Wall, but it isn’t much.

      1. JTFaraday

        He also missed that they ARE protesting in front of the Boston Fed, and–at least on paper– are ready to Occupy Everything.

  2. Jimmy Doolittle

    The beginning of October is not the season to begin long term outdoor encampments. I predict an early fail this fall.

    1. Ray Duray


      Au contraire, mon ami. This Occupy movement is barely getting its marching legs on:

      The “Occupy” movement is just one branch of a world wide protest phenomenon that will tend to be self-reinforcing until some actual reform comes along:

      Finally, keep in mind that the anniversary of the “Ten Days That Shook The World” is not for another five weeks or so. I do so love that the October Revolution took place in November.

      1. different clue

        I think that October/November difference was due to a difference between Eastern Orthodox Russian calendar and the Western “Latin-Catholic” Gregorian calendar. It’s October on one and November on the other. But I forget which is which.

    2. rotter

      Fall is the absolute best season for camping. Winter is excellent also, but you need to become more experienced first. I suggest getting that experience in the Fall.

  3. Sam

    Yesterday after thinking about perpetual motion machines, I decided Wall Street qualifies as one. Why don’t we close down Wall Street for a predetermined amount of time? Padlock the doors, roll out razor wire, roll out barbed wire, and station armed guards. Just shut down the stock exchange. Many activities have seasons. Why can’t we force Wall St? Poverty stricken Americans don’t have any use for Wall St. Main St has no use for Wall Street. We all know the rewards of the real estate bubble and the secondary derivatives have gone only to the top .1%. Shut it down for a year. Yes, Wall St might have to sell a Rembrandt, to paraphrase Stoller’s former boss. Yes, Wall St might even become homeless for a year. No problem. Yes, Wall St. might starve. I’d give them a SNAP card to live on, at least that benefits JP Morgan and Jaime Dimon.

    Then last night in a Meetup I sat with a woman who was diagnosed with cancer. Her husband walked out on her and two daughters. She had no medical insurance. Her home went into foreclosure. Listening to her made me realize that closing down Wall St is an extremely modest proposal.

    If you’re going to say Wall St provides liquidity, I’d say so what? Corporate profits are at record highs. Corporations seem to be able to pay lobbyists and push through the Citizens United ruling, so “liquidity” isn’t an acceptable excuse.

    1. rotter

      The Finance Capital sector of the economy produces nothing of worth, really. I always feel a surge of contempt whenever some amoral blob of protoplasm like Tim Geitner talking about wal st’s. “products”, always in the context of “exports” or “job creation”. Wal st is a net destroyer of American jobs, not a net creator of them. Watching Europe im getting the feeling that the days of exporting worthless, ultra reactionary, American “free market” finance “products” are getting darker earlier.

  4. Woodrow Wilson

    I went the last time when they demonstrated, it was pretty lame.

    I won’t be wasting my lunch break on this one though.

  5. Eric Patton

    “For your safety, we suggest you exercise caution, and avoid engaging with any demonstrators.”

    This is hilarious, actually. I mean, of course it smacks of total fear on the part of elites. But it’s also really fucking funny at the same time.

  6. Glen

    Funny how they even tell their own workers to continue avoiding reality at any cost.

    But that seems to be official Fed policy for quite some time now:

    Fraudulent loans? Where?
    Housing bubble? No way!
    Naked shorts? Never heard of them!
    Economic collapse? Whocuddanode!
    Banks insolvent? No, just liquidity problems…
    Massive bailout at 100% for toxic debt? Nothing to see here, move along..
    Pump more money into banks will fix things? Green shoots!!
    2008 on steroids, here we come? Please avoid engaging real people…

  7. IF

    Seems like a standard email that security at a large company would send out. Remember their goal is to function as smoothly as possible.

    1. Ray Duray

      Yup, I agree.

      I think those who smell fear in the exsanguinous language of “avoid engaging with any demonstrators” may be projecting just a tad. Not that I mind.

      I’d like to see a few financiers heads on pikes along Wall Street for the effect of focusing the minds of the rest of that mindless (albeit brilliant) herd.

      There’s something of a Marie Antoinette moment on display here:

      1. IF

        Thank god it is Friday! Cheers.

        Pikes are probably than nooses. The effect should last longer. Good old times the dark ages…

    2. Fear is of the media

      I am pretty sure that the language is not really about safety or talking to the little people. The fear is about an employee saying something to the media.

      1. aletheia33

        yeah. it’s actually quite a creepy memo (as skippy points out, really about controlling the employees, not “protecting” them) and it’s pretty easy to read between the lines.

        “Our Law Enforcement Unit is attuned to the situation and as always is in close contact with city and law enforcement officials. We will closely monitor the evolving situation throughout the weekend and beyond.”

        = we are watching you.

        “For your safety, ”

        = if you want to be quite sure of keeping your job or advancing in this organization,

        “we suggest you exercise caution, and avoid engaging with any demonstrators. Use of the Summer Street entrance and South Station tunnel may be helpful in limiting any inconvenience to you.”

        = you will do as you’re told, keep your mouth shut, and take these routes to and from your office.

        paranoid to read it this way? if it makes you feel paranoid, so much the better for us.

        whoever employs you, the finance industry or the police department, their primary directive to you is “do not speak.”

        thanks so much, matt and yves, for fostering the conversation here about the occupation.

        1. RSDallas

          I really think if you re-read your post that you will agree with me when I say it is very foolish.

          1. aletheia33

            i have reread it, and i do not think it is foolish. as stoller points out, the memo is not at all a straightforward piece of work. do you believe that it was really disseminated, as it presents itself to be, out of simple concern for all the boston fed employees’ physical safety?

            i know too much about corporatespeak from friends who work in corporate offices every day to take this instance at face value. (not that this memo stands up on face value, for taken on its face, it has no clear meaning.) in that culture, nothing (and no one) ever means what it says on the surface. if you don’t learn that pretty quick, and learn how to practice it yourself, you don’t survive in that environment. (but perhaps you work there and can inform me that the boston fed stands out from the crowd in the honesty and integrity of its internal communications. i’d love to be wrong.)

            i don’t think it’s too far a stretch to elaborate, from what i’ve heard from people who work behind corporate doors, that millions of people who are still working, in corporate settings, desperately holding on to their jobs, are doing so in the full awareness that they are being forced daily to act out a false persona and attitude that is destroying their integrity inside. (people will do almost anything for the sake of their kids’ well-being.)

            with some sitting in the public square bearing witness in real time and space to this hollowing out of social integrity, a shift is signified in the basic game. each person sitting in the square has traveled a long way inwardly to arrive there, and the total number of them represents the sum of all they’ve reckoned with already. that’s a significant power. many possible different futures are now arising from this witness. when everyone who is now over 50 is dead, the young ones who are now living in the square will be participating in a society that we cannot imagine today. how will they keep the integrity that they have realized is so crucial to their humanness?

            in that sense, the situation our society is in, and their action now in the square, is truly a matter of life and death. this memo represents a significant aspect of that situation. if you cannot see the risks at stake–for occupiers of the square, employees of corporations, the person who oversees the “law enforcement unit,” the future of humanity and the planet–i’ll take my foolishness over the greater wisdom you think you have and be grateful for the gift.

          2. Christophe

            RSDallas, you have clearly misrepresented yourself by claiming that you “really think”. What you do is repeat arrogant, conformist, bullying attacks with innuendos of your superiority on those who do think.

            If you would like to practice real thinking, you might try pondering the motives of the people in your past who waged similar attacks on you and upon whom you have modeled your rhetorical style. Then you could move on to question why you would aspire to cause others to feel the shame and inferiority you once found intolerable enough to begin aping your persecutors.

          3. jonboinAR

            RSDallas says: “I really think if you re-read your post that you will agree with me when I say it is very foolish.”

            No, it’s exactly correct.

        2. Fear is of the media

          Yup, all of Aletheia33’s “translations” are on the money. And yes, there are lots of people who go along to get along in order to keep a job.

          1. ~salix~

            aletheia33, I am grateful for your gift as well. that prose was beautiful.

            Jugo1502 – thank you.

  8. run75441


    Thanks for the reporting.

    I was at “Show Down in Chicago.” I wore the Hilfiger shirt and Dockers and listened to the preparations as a rep for Angry Bear Blog. I asked Durbin when the party of the majority would begin to act like the party of the majority instead of the party of the minority it was under Bush.

    Show Down was well organized and many attended it. I was suffering from the beginnings of pneumonia which cut my visit short and plagued me for the next few weeks (minus insurance). The people attending were the middle and lower income brackets who lost their homes and incomes to a system aligned against by law and the system. The anger was evident. Yet, they followed the direction of the leaders with lttle kick back from the police.

    It is time to move forward and take over.

  9. Skippy

    I’m waiting for the *Ideological Sex*, Fed – Wall St. memo.

    Abstinence is the best protection, but, if unavoidable, use mental condom. Your job depends on it[!] (selfish randian meme), infection will result in quarantine or termination (for the good of the financial herd).

    Skippy…can’t wait for the naked protest…lol…I’ll be holding the “where are the showers?” sign.

    PS. incorrectly inserted on AG post.

  10. rabbithole

    These people are the useful idiots of Communist front group.

    It is a Marxist direct political action ploy The Marxist in the Democrat Party caused this whole thing–they demanded this sort of huge expansion of credit, ad their financial wing on WS supplied it.. Those WS institutors, like GS, are chuck full of Democrat insiders. They caused it and now are using it to bring down a free and capitalist society and replace it with a tyrannical, Marxst one.

    Wake up! These people would enslave you. They are not “The People”; they are monsters.

    How little you learned from history.

    I have lived Communist countries. Trust me, you will not like it.

    Wake up and understand what is happening before we lose the Republic to the hard Left.

    1. another

      “Wake up and understand what is happening before we lose the Republic to the hard Left.”

      Oh, you are funny. Like there’s still anything like a republic left to lose.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      My God, I love how on every #OccupyWallStreet thread, someone in comments pops up who seems to have fallen asleep during the McCarthy era and woke up just now to spew standard “watch for the Commies in the woodshed” fare. So far, there are so few instances that it looks like similar outbreaks of paranoia, but if this persists, it will increase the odds that there is some organized messaging at work.

      1. Knative

        Lol. I was watching Democracy Now!, and they were interviewing some of the protestors. One of ’em was Francis Fox Piven, AKA Glenn Beck’s most number one evil Jewess, so maybe he’s been playing that clip on his radio show or something.

      2. Paul Tioxon

        Yves, it is always much worse than we could even dream up!!! On cable TV’s top rated show, Ghost Hunters, there is scientific evidence that the spirit of Gus Hall is present at the Wall St Occupation, funded by Putin’s Para-Normal MicroWave Technology Labs. No Lie!!

    3. jonboinAR

      Rabbithole: “How little you learned from history.

      I have lived Communist countries. Trust me, you will not like it.”

      Have you ever lived in a mixed economy? We used to have one. Trust me, it was pretty nice compared to what we appear to be sliding into. My grandfather grew up in the very early part of the last century in a purer capitalist state, probably closer to what you’re advocating: pure capitalism with totalitarian communism as a false alternative. Anyway, he was sent into the coalmines as a small boy to work. Trust me, you would not like that anymore than you would the totalitarian Marxism of the mid-20th C.

  11. rabbithole

    Listen to yourself: “National Occupations”? Do you realize what you are saying? Why on earth why would any decent American want to be involved with this stuff?
    This is just the sort of thing Castro, Chavez and Peron did.

    It is shameful, and you are being played for dupes. This s not what Americans do. This is what Marxist thugs do.
    You are being manipulated. Do you realizes what the ends of these vile designs are?

    The nation is not made up of young, under-employed Manhattan, left-wing hipsters. This sort of thing will not have the ending that you imagine it will.

    I swear, some of you need to grow up, get married and raise a family and live the real world. When you look into your child’s eyes you will to be valorizing a pack of Marxist vipers and their dupes “occupying” Wall St., I can tell you that.

    This “National Occupation” business is madness. Why can’t you see where it comes from and where it will lead>

    Stop being manipulated by the Left. They will just enslave you.

    1. rotter

      You and your other ID are the ones who are “enslaved”. You dont even realize that you sound like a paranoid schizophrenic. I dont mean that as a pejorative,If you are a Paranoid Schizophreic .

    2. big cigar

      Marxists! You sorry bumpkin. I’m right with these occupiers and I’m more of a capitalist than you’ll ever be. I can buy and sell you and I’m going to help these youngsters tear down this crooked system for your benighted petit bourgeois sake as well as mine. We’re merely doing what the IMF would do if it went into any other third-world basket case. Dumping the honey buckets. Now pull y

    3. Knative

      You bring up Latin American leaders, Rabbithole. I believe the rightwing messiah Reagan was responsible for more death and suffering in Latin America than Castro, Chavez, Peron, and hell, even the worst, Trujillo, COMBINED. What was it? Nearly 200000 dead Guatamalans dead since Arbenz was kicked out for angering UFC, and what? 100000 dead Guatamalans under Reagan’s watch. They were mostly all Indians, so Ithink that actually counts as a fairly large genocide. And then of course there were the tens of thousands of Salvadorans, Nicaraguans and Hondurans as well that Reagan helped to kill. Oh, and if you count Nixon and Kennedy, then you got, what? tens of thousands of Argentinians, Chileans,and Brazilians too. Seems like the American elites were worse for Latin America than Fidel and his followers ever were.

    4. citalopram

      Dear Comrade Rabbithole,

      At last night’s meeting, my fellow comrades were discussing how great it’s gonna be drinking the blood of capitalist babies. Did you know you can poke a hole in a baby’s neck and suck out all of the blood like an insidious insect? The baby doesn’t even cry, it just goes to sleep forever.

      We were also planning other dastardly subversive things, and we’re going to get away with it because we own the media. The fact that the media is corporate is just a ruse; that’s just for show to fool the masses into believing the things we publish and show on TV. Fox News is onto us, but we’re going to shut it down soon enough.

    5. Jeff

      It’s the All American thing to be enslaved by the
      right, they have slicker magazines and more air time..

      It’s exactly when they grow up, get married and raise a family that young hipsters graduate to the realization that the economy is a lie. America is based on Fraud. It’s the only place we have to go, so it’s worth staying and fighting for. Wall Street is mostly a bunch of foreigners and our own people repeating foreign concepts and philosophies so we should have no loyalty to them and should definitely go after them first, then we can
      go after the local dung beetles that are feeding on
      the corpse of our economy…yeah, I ripped that off
      from the foreclosure protest article comments yesterday.

    6. rivercarp

      Well, I already did “grow up, get married and raise a family and live the real world.” So what else do you want? The occupiers are offering the beginning of the end of the worship of greed and excess for the 1% of our citizens who benefit from that. I support the occupation because I care about the future of my child and all children. Is that really so hard to understand?

  12. Richard Kline

    Contagion; you know how it is. Ideas are catching. And the thind is, those worker bees insided the Fed Fortresses and on the umptee-umpth floor of the Towers of the Street, they know where a lot of bodies are buried. And who buried them there. And who signed off on that particular hit, er ‘deal.’ Should a few of them start singing with the Choir Assembled in this, and election season, that would be rather, well, _unsafe_ for the 1%.

    Deutsch banks holding ten-figure chunks of maggoty MBSs filed today against the perps. What if some solid citizen caught up in the gears of it wikis a few fine facts on who knew what when? Very, very unsafe. Best to avoid such madbots camped on the doorsteps of Mammon.

  13. cripes

    This is all very funny repartee, wabbithole and all.

    But it’s probably better to ignore, rather than suffer or pummel, fools like that. Their purpose is to distract.

    And while I can think of many ways the occupy crowd looks amateurish and young and well, tech-nerdy, at least they’re taking action. Electoral politics, one-day demos and keyboard pilots haven’t been working so great have they?

    Even a small core with wide support to keep up the fight can be a potent force.

    Maybe we should just go down and, you know, check them out.

    1. aletheia33

      anyone who lives in nyc (i have lived there), it’s hard for me to imagine why, if one has the time, one would not yet have gone down there to imbibe the scene. you might even get to hug a member of the granny peace brigade! anyway, to me, it IS the mind thing. every person who appears in that place now constitutes a message–which will get out gradually to the rest of us–that we are not helpless.

      i feel this may be a last chance to turn around the repression, if it’s not already too late–i’m afraid of what i most want, for the impact to grow, because once it grows big enough to make TPTB more than nervous, i fear the ugliness that seems sure to follow. so far all we’ve seen is what they do when they’re a little nervous, and it’s not too pretty.

      i plan while there to urge the young ones to hang in as long as they can, to feel out how prepared they are for the worst that they may have to deal with, and to ask individuals about who they are and where they’re coming from. (hope to quietly interact with some NYPD workers also, pick up their vibe too. what i see on the videos is a lot of them look pretty grim, even beaten down [could be my projection of course]. i’m thinking an NYPD employee’s biggest concern if down there right now is losing his/her job or rank for doing something on the street that higher ups don’t approve, like being too friendly with demonstrators.)

      i keep hearing “these are the same clueless kids who worked for obama in 2008”–is that really true? (not sure i understand why that’s a problem, what would be better for those kids to do than this?) and, there’s a whole international ngo network fostering this action–is that really true? (is this really not a home-grown action?)

      don’t know what i can find out on the ground in one weekend, but just being around them (and sharing a night on the concrete with them!) should give a sense i couldn’t get any other way. why NOT head down there, if you’re nearby? i know, it’s not so easy to get around nyc, is it?

      this is my favorite video report so far, because in this one, they are meditating:

      someone should do a chart showing the percentage more power one has casting a vote with one’s body in an occupation of the public square versus casting a vote in a presidential election. and right now does have a feeling of the 11th hour. for how many more years of life do i want to continue to go quietly with the herd (until, as the poem says, no one is left to speak for me)? when i’m on my deathbed, let’s say it’s 2135 if i’m still around then, do i want to be wishing i’d done something–anything–when there was still a chance?

      sorry for the length, i’ll try to be quiet now.

  14. Jeff

    Our local “it’s all Obama’s fault” philosopher in rags is now claiming that military spending is the same proportion of GDP as it was in the Eisenhower years but we really
    have to do something about Medicare, Social Security and the Post Office.
    Don’t these people have any shame?
    How can they go around muttering these mantras without

    1. Sam

      I know four of them. Three of them only have high school degrees. They have absolutely zero critical thinking skills, and I’m referring to the skills that a university course in freshman composition begins to develop; they’re the critical thinking skills a four year university degree seeks to cement inside your neurons. I know, because I taught freshman composition.

      Three out of the four are Republicans, white, anglo-saxon males in their mid-50s, and they literally have zero critical thinking skills. When I stated to one that Iraq is the size of California, so how could the US possibly be in danger from terrorists, I watched his jaw literally drop, because he doesn’t have the brains to figure that out on his own. He’s former Coast Guard, if that’s scary.

      Three parrot “lower taxes will create more jobs in the US” when that hasn’t worked in the past decade, and now they’re finding it out the hard way, by being unemployed themselves. They’re quick to parrot “corporations don’t pay taxes, they pas the tax onto the consumers.” Fine, but when I say “if corporations pay no taxes, then how do you lower taxes below zero?” They literally can’t answer. They’re just parroting BS.

  15. LA Crystal

    Just one teensy tiny example for wabbithole & like – the law in my state limits the amount of interest I can charge under the ‘usury’ principle. Why are major banks and credit card companies “exempt” from that limit? Because they own the lawmakers. This is supposed to be a representative democracy, but the people are not being represented as well as the multi-national corporations.

    These people are protesting because of things like that and MUCH MUCH more. The absolute biggest threats to capitalism are the worst among so-called ‘capitalists.’

    Refugees from communist countries have an idealized vision of capitalistic ‘free-markets’ and buy into the notion of there being some kind of built-in discipline. Our current system is dominated by huge corporations with mostly absentee owners – like parents who left teenagers at home alone without adult supervision. The kids on Wall St (symbolically speaking, I suppose) partied like nobodies business until the inevitable chaos ensued and the cops were called.

    In this #OccupyWallStreet scenario, we have the roles reversed and the kids are the adults on the scene who realize the champagne guzzlers on the balcony need a little reining in.

  16. psychohistorian

    Laugh the global inherited rich out of control of our society and into “rooms” at the Hague.

  17. The Emperor Jones



    You have capital?

    More than likely, you have debt (it being the primary means for the average loyal subject/peon to stay alive).

    I recall a time when my country had shared wealth and the security and strength that came with it.

    We had savings accounts. We had single wage earner families. We had public libraries, and publicly-owned utilities. We had labor day (and it meant something). We had clean air and water (after we had extinguished our burning rivers and outlawed the spewing of lead and other toxins into our environment). We did not torture.

    We went to the freekin’ moon.

    Not so much, nowadays.

    In a time when we need people to stand up and lead, you stand (behind a pseudonym), and preach fear and submission.

    You hold Cuba forth as an example of what evil can come to a nation when its disenfranchised break the yoke and turn on their drivers? Have you ecer made a permanent home in a cane field? You need to crack a book (and it should not be one authored by Ayn Rand).

    Run to your rabbit hole and hide.

    Hungry people eat rabbits.

    1. aet

      The guys with the red armbands?

      Coommies fdid everything in secret, and always always always lied to their publics; that’s why “communism” in the Soviet union collapsed – the lies told by the rulers got to be too much.

      Gee, that last phrase reminds me of the style of other yet subsisting Governments – like the “Arab Spring” – once the public KNOWS that its leaders have outright lied to them, it becomes only a matter of time.

      What idiot thinks it is a good idea to lie to their own populace? (As distinct from keeping silent when asked about “sensitive matters”….)

      The common ground of dictatorships is constant lieing and misrepresentation to the public; secrecy in all governmental operations whatsoever, with very harsh punishments for any breaches thereof; and the use of violence (whether in uniform and ‘according to law” (sic) or not) to enforce rules which simply do not accord with fundamental justice.

      Now, here’s some photos of the protests, courtesy of Mr. John Young’s fine website,, which is very very much anti-secrecy – and which is therefore NEITHER “communist”, nor “fascist”:

      As the learned justice Scalia has stated, there can be no penalty in America for speaking the truth, or what one honestly feels to be truth.

      Indeed, some other person even once claimed that “the truth shall set you free”. I’m not personally so sure about that – but I am sure that lies WON’T set you free!

      1. The Emperor Jones

        Communist? Who said anything about communism?

        We had a Republic, with democratically elected representation. In case you’ve been in a coma, and apparently you have, our Republic has been subtly and most surely replaced by a darker, more fascistic form of government. The rule of law has been replaced by the rule of corporate interests.

        I don’t really care what economic form our government returns to, as long as it’s compliant with constitutional limitations on power and represents the will and interests of the people.

    2. Carla

      Excellent point, Emperor Jones. Rabbit IS delicious. Roasted, braised, stewed. Just as good as CHICKEN. Will that Rabbit escape down the hole before we grab him and put him in the pot? Time will tell.

    3. jonboinAR

      The Emperor Jones:
      “I recall a time when my country had shared wealth and the security and strength that came with it.

      We had savings accounts. We had single wage earner families. We had public libraries, and publicly-owned utilities. We had labor day (and it meant something). We had clean air and water (after we had extinguished our burning rivers and outlawed the spewing of lead and other toxins into our environment). We did not torture.”

      (I’m agreeing with you, I think): As I said above, that’s when the dominant belief in this country was of a mixed economy. I think we used to have some measure of industrial policy, as well, but I’m not sure. We desperately need both of those now, but the PTB won’t have it as it steps on the toes of their freedom to pillage and enslave the rest of us. Therefore, we have to demonstrate, with the implied threat of revolution.

  18. craazyman

    the Boston Fed has a “Law Enforcement Unit”??

    haha ahahaha ahahahahahahah ahah. It’s only 6:15 am and already the daily dark hilarity of the financial news is roaring loud.

    Holy Shit. I wonder where they were from 2004 through 2008? They probably had their tounges up the rears of bankster butts and couldn’t see anything but cheeks and hair. ugggh.

    Well look. If I worked for the Boston Fed and got a note like that. The first thing I’d do is say “Go F*ck yourselves you bleating flock of spineless sheep, you’re not going to tell me who I as an American citizen and human being can and can’t talk to.” And the second thing I’d do is go down and talk to the protesters and see what they had to say, just out of curiosity if nothing else.

    I’ll do my job at work and I’ll do it well. But when I’m not at work I’ll talk to whoever I want to talk to, thank you, and I’d consider a note like that a form of workplace harrassment.

    Second, I don’t see these protests as “anti Wall Street” at all — only anti corrupt and financially murderous Wall Street.

    Like that young girl in Spain said months ago “We’re not anti-system, the system is anti us.” If Wall Street worked like it should, intelligently constrained, well regulated, with its force channeled for the good of the real economy, I think it has a valid and very constructive role in a free American society (just my personal opinion).

    Wonder why the bleating geniuses at the Boston Fed don’t see it all that way? Probably because they’ve lost their minds to the cult of contemporary finance and can’t think for themselves if they had to.

    1. craazyman

      I spent most of this afternoon at Occupy Wall Street / Liberty Plaza in New York, mixing with the crowd, questioning, talking, stuffing cash in their donations box, signing the petition to let them vent and not mow them down like Syrians, and just feeling the vibe.

      I think what pushed me to go was the macing of that young girl, not that I wouldn’t have gone anyway at some point, but being as lazy as I am I needed a push and that was it.

      And I wanted to see the Gnostic Wave in action, being a scientist of that sort of thing. And I wanted to see the police presence and feel the vibe. I had no expectation there’d be any police action that I might be swept up in. Frankly it wasn’t something I even thought about but actually didn’t care either. I figured it would be a peaceful kids-to-grannies crowd, and it was.

      There was no hint of any protest even half a block away, just shoppers on the street and tourists from the Path Train and then walking up to the corner at Broadway by the sothern tip of City Hall I ran straight into the wall of their march to Brooklyn Bridge.

      They were an unremarkable mix of everyone, grandmas, kids, adults of all ages, bouyant energized and determined but without the slightest hint of violence or malice. They were 8 or 10 across — their path cordoned off by police who were well-mannered and not at all threatening — and I thought they’d be done after 5 minutes or so but they kept coming for over 15 minutes. There were thousands but I don’t know how many. There were no evident leaders, just a few who steered the crowd and kept it moving and called out chants and the nearby marchers would respond and then chant would fade until another chant was called.

      A few dudes handed out an Occupy Wall Street newspaper and I accepted a whole stack, not entirely on purpose, and he said “Hand them out!” with a smile on his face. I was a little uncomfortable with that and held on to them and watched wondering if I should just join the march, feeling the press of the crowd’s Pilot Wave. But I decided to walk against it instead and investigate their scene, hugging to the wall to let them by, forcing my way south down Broadway to the square, to see what was going on there and what I could learn and maybe contribute.

      The square looked like a scattered and ramshackle yard sale and a chaotic gypsy encampment, tarpulins, sleeping bags, a food center in the middle and a few information desks on the perimeter built from card tables and folding chairs and hand lettered signage in magic markers.

      Since I’m not a journalist and had no evident reason for being there other than to check it out, I was a bit shy at first, but there were many others there who seemed to be exploring the place and photographers were everywhere, hovering along the lines of the march and now milling around the square. No one cared or seemingly even noticed them. And so I walked up to people and just asked questions.

      The police were removed, across the street mostly, but were heavily present, although there was no feeling of malice at all. Instead it seemed to be a gentle equilibrium.

      “How long will you be here” I asked a dude handing out food. He was incredibly articulate and intelligent in a rough approximating way about the nuances of contemporary finance and had no answer to how long. He didn’t know. Until they were satisfied, was his basic response.

      “What are your demands? What will make you leave the square?” I asked a young guy who said he was a college student — calm, confident, relaxed and articulate, working the information booth — who said he’d been quoted in Time Magazine and in several European media. They are trying to figure that out, he said, but it will probably coalesce around three things. 1. Prosecution of the bankers for their role in the crisis; 2. Restitution of Depression-era laws like Glass-Stegal; 3. Money out of politics.

      “How long do you think you can stay before you’re driven out by the police?” I asked. He didn’t know but was very mellow and unconcerned about that.

      In fact, nobody there was concerned about that, it seemed to me. There was a dude who looked like an old rocker playing a weird guitar and harmonica and a library with paper backs in crates and handwritten signs everywhere. There were a dozen food trucks around the perimiter doing a good business and tourists and shoppers walking by on all sides. There was no fear anywhere.

      I put $20 in the donation box and signed a petition saying I wouldn’t approve of it at all if they got roughed up by the authorities Tianamen Square style while exercising their right to assemble and protest. Then, after an hour or two, I headed north, where I encountered the marchers heading back from Brooklyn Bridge, winding through a cordon of police and haming it up for the video cameras with yelled chants and waving hand-lettered signs that castigated wealth inequality and Wall Street and all related to that, and performed theatrical gestures for the crowds who watched and cheered while the dozens of police watched without expression.

      In fact, one of the dudes in the square said some police had joined the square when the get off duty.

      This isn’t going anywhere soon. It’s building something and they are digging in with a determination and a persistance that is hard to articulate in words, but you can feel it, like a relentless instinct for something real instead of the surface of something fraudulent. Where it will go is hard to say, It may exhaust itself and fall apart piece by piece as the stragglers go home one by one, but I don’t think it’s anywhere close to that yet.

      The folks I spoke to were unfailingly intelligent, highly articulate, determined, peaceful and brave. It was strange to think that 25 year ago I sat on those same steps with my Wall St. buddies in the sun at lunch and reveled in our youth and our success. And then 10 years ago I stood on that square and watched, stunned and bewildered, looking up at specks fall from the burning towers where I had once had an office on the 101st floor, not knowing yet that they were jumpers. And now I walked through the square a stranger in time and memory and watched the life of strangers there emerging like some wild flower under the gray sky and the cold intermittent rain.

      It’s not a big protest. I remember as a college kid in 1982 standing in Central Park with 500,000 protesting nukes, although I had no clue what was going on. It may fade, but for some reason I don’t think it will go quietly or fade. Mr. Stoller is correct, It’s a religious revival, a Church of the Holy Gnosis that refuses to contain the flow of itself in “leaders” or a doctrine of any kind. Yet when they find and agree upon the words for what they feel I think they will find an audience in the tens of millions.

      1. Richard Kline

        So craazyman, the roots run underground, like mono-clonal birch. If one stem withers, one bloom fades, another reaches for the sun in the hour after. We move on, but look around and someone else is ‘us’ in this, a later day: that’s as it should be.

        Thanks for the asphalt-level reportage. It’s good to see that the core group there are bright, articulate, and not over-reaching because that’s the composition that turns into a resonator rather than dead ash or a detonator. They’re using the Spanish model, and have generalized a good grasp of it by reports, better than my understanding of it I’d say.

        Bummer that the police decided to muscle-and-cite several hundred today—and a damned bad move tactically. Some of the police were abusive last week; this week the numbers went up 500%. The state takes modest citizens by the scruff this week; next week???? Treading on a weed makes it grow. Those directing the police response in Boston seem to understand this keenly. Those directing the police response in N’Yawk clearly _do not_ understand this: that what comes of muscleing minorities and undesirables with a culture of impunity for twenty years. It’s good to hear there are good cops at that ground level, and that moreover the occupiers understand that. The bad cops at the top in NYC look like they need a re-education; and they’re going to get one.

      2. aletheia33

        thanks for your report and general insights recently here on the occupation, craazyman. also your personal reflections on your life phases through the lens of this time and that specific place. contemplating this event seems to bring out such reflections, on when and where one last attended the public square, the stages of one’s consciousness since. decision to participate a moment of shift that brings a fresh perspective on one’s own history.

        it is curious how this particular action–camping out in wall street–seems potentially so catalytic. if you are going to act on your own behalf, it turns out, what else can you do, the situation of the society being what it is, but walk physically into the public square? did one think that somehow, someone was going to “think outside the box” and invent a more effective alternative? these kids have figured out that you have to be in the street, and once you’re there, there’s plenty of room “outside the box.” in fact, just by being there, you’re already outside, and that’s just the beginning of your adventures there. what could be more interesting?

        apparently each “generation,” or wave, must rediscover the use of the public square and use the basic properties of the street march in their own way. i was in nyc for the 1982 antinuclear march. it doesn’t seem all that long ago now. i happened to be in england when hundreds of thousands were marching in europe against the iraq war. most people have vaguely heard of the protests at the high-level international finance meetings. so when and how exactly did i come to believe that “everyone” had become persuaded that going into the street is futile? maybe it was just me.

        yves has a point that obama had a considerable amount at his disposal of the “energy of the people”. as that energy has left him, what if it hasn’t “died,” as one feared, but is gradually regrouping? what if everyone who put their hopes into obama is still up for coming out, given the right invitation?

        speaking of invitation, it’s been very interesting for me to notice the range of reactions i’m getting from friends when i invite them to join me in my little pilgrimage to liberty square. 2 people who are almost 80 are strongly cheering me on–to them i look quite young enough to handle the overnight! (i didn’t invite these two oldsters of course, just let them know my decision.) 1 person, mid-60s, is so engaged in her new retirement activities that she says going down there would be “too much of a distraction.” my sister and her husband, i suspect, just think i’m nutty. another friend gets excited, wants to join me for a few hours, offers her apartment as a respite just in case i need it. (she was with me on 6/12/82, when we carried a beautiful banner we made that read simply “imagine.” wonder where that sign is now.)

  19. Pat In Massachusetts

    It is extremely heartening to see how the workers of Boston’s financial district are being advised on how to sneak to and from work. Let’s see how long they can put up with the intimidation and discomfort – things the ‘masses’ that are now mingling on their turf have been suffering with for a decade or more now.

    What kind of pie? OCCUPY!

  20. Roze

    Apparently a peaceful demonstration? A few other cities as well? Open your eyes. Not just a few cities, but nearly every other state. I’m glad you’re afraid of us. The People have the power now.

  21. doom

    Remember the international protest movement that made Reagan tack from Missiles Galore to START?

    Occupy Wall Street/October 2011 derives directly from it, with the benefit of a couple decades of networking and consensus-building. The Right to Peace was defined to include freedom from economic coercion and exclusion, and the scrappy social-justice black blocs and body painters joined up. Now it’s about everything that’s wrong, but it coheres because it’s grounded in rights and rule of law. And there’s body paint!!

  22. Susan the other

    There is so much confusion about what communism is. Only silly wabbits think this protest is an evil Marxist plot. Wabbit should read MARX by Wheen. Marx himself was a proper citizen, albeit it exiled to London. He wanted his daughters to marry well and live in prosperous, civilized comfort.

    All of the hysteria by the “nobility” about economic justice that followed the 1848 uprising in Germany really conflated all sorts of concepts. The Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks were just kinda Republicans and Democrats. They went to the coffee houses, sat on opposite sides of the room, and debated loudly what should be done. They believed in democratic principles. When this enlightenment was mixed with poverty and unconscionable injustice, and the powers of the time didn’t have a clue how to make things better, only then did it turn into revolution.

    History always serves us up a plate of irony because change is inevitable. We are living in a capitalist democracy which also doesn’t have a clue and has so far been obstructionist. It is simply time for change. And we can learn from all the revolutions that preceded us.

  23. mario

    This whole thing with demonstrations is a meaningless noise considering the macro. Wallstreet without Main Street will cannibalize itself, and main street is being cannibalized by the technology for a while now. Things will never be the same.

  24. BarbaraNH

    I think Occupy Wall St should be supported by any and all who are fed up with the corporate takeover of the country, in all its aspects. I don’t see anyone else sending that message so directly, personally, and in concert with other people.

    It’s easy to sit back and criticize while sipping whatever in front of your computer screen. It’s not so easy to sleep out on the wet ground night after night in order to make your point.

    Whether they’ll be “effective” or they’re “unfocused” or whatever isn’t really what’s important at this point. The fact is they’re out there making their voices heard about all the things they think are wrong. They’re speaking for me too in many ways, so I intend to help them instead criticize them.

  25. mario

    Many make their choice by not borrowing and paying debt in full.

    And yet many default… I’ve read a lot of critique on servicers, but there are some borrowers out there too…. No one is compaining while residing in the house without paying for it for a year or two and then letting the bank clean up the mess.

  26. F. Beard

    No one is compaining while residing in the house without paying for it for a year or two and then letting the bank clean up the mess. mario

    Every single American (on average) should own their home free and clear since it was their own stolen purchasing power that was used to build it. That is the inescapable moral logic of credit extension in a government enforced monopoly money supply.

    Or at least they should own 95% assuming 20-1 bank leverage.

    1. F. Beard

      So you think risking Great Depression II and WW III is more sane? In a world with nuclear and biological weapons?

  27. beowulf

    Boston Fed – “Avoid Engaging with Any Demonstrators”

    May the shade of Ralph Flanders haunt them.
    Vermont’s [Republican] Senator Ralph E. Flanders, ex-president of Boston’s Federal Reserve Bank, thought he had spotted the devil. It was Speculation. “The situation today in the commodity markets is comparable to that in the stockmarket in 1929,” said he, “and it could have the same disastrous results.” He demanded that trading on margin be eliminated and that trading in grains be put on a cash basis.,9171,798178,00.html

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