#OWS: Reprieve and aftermath

By lambert strether. Cross-posted from Corrente.

The key tweet from the Guardian’s @AdamGabbatt on the ground:

BREAK: Brookfield properties have told NYPD they are postponing plans to clean it!

Summary from the New York Daily News, which (like the Guardian) had reporters on the ground in Zuccotti Park overnight. Unlike Pinch Sulzberger’s Izvestia, I might add.

In a sudden and striking about-face, the city and the owners of Zuccotti Park postponed a cleanup of the area [what, they were finally going to arrest some banksters for accounting control fraud?] early Friday that would have temporarily uprooted Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway fired off a statement just 40 minutes before the expected 7 a.m. showdown between cops and protesters, saying Brookfield Properties tabled its plans to power-wash the site.

Brookfield [Properties] believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown [yeah, like a functioning democracy would be], and we will continue to monitor the situation,” Holloway said.

Protesters read the statement aloud, setting off a wild celebration among the hundreds massed at the park, which they have occupied for the last four weeks. They hugged, sang, danced and beat on drums – all the while proclaiming victory.

Of course, the real story isn’t the drum circle (forsooth) but the organizing abilities that allowed the Occupiers to win this stand-off. So, if Bloomberg wants to keep his girlfriend’s park clean, why doesn’t he set up a public-private partnership with the Occupiers, and pay them to clean it? Ha ha, only serious.

* * *

Bloomberg cites political pressure. Guardian:

Bloomberg said city officials had put pressure on the Zuccotti park owners to call off the clean-up. “Brookfield got lots of calls from many elected officials threatening them, saying ‘if you don’t stop this we’ll make your life more difficult’.

Difficult” like this suddenly appearing story:

The owners of Zuccotti Park – Occupy Wall Street’s home base – have pocketed nearly $700,000 in government handouts since the 9/11 terror attacks.

Brookfield Properties has received at least three six-figure grants meant for small businesses hurt by 9/11, even though it’s an $8 billion company with 2,500 employees, records show.

Haw. Daily News again. I think it’s really funny to see the America’s Picture Newspaper eating Izvestia’s lunch. Whoever may own this story, it’s not Pinch Sulzberger’s stenography department. And here’s the New York City Council’s “make nice” version of “threatening.”

Nevertheless, let’s not, with Bloomberg, deny the Occupiers their agency. If they hadn’t made the genius public relations move of cleaning up the park themselves — using their own donations to hire their own garbage truck! — and making sure the world knew that’s what they were doing, would Bloomberg have sent the PowerWashers in? You bet he would have. The real story here isn’t Byzantine threats from insiders making some calls, but that the Occupiers self-organized to keep the situation fluid and hold their space.

* * *

I really object to the “cleanup” frame that even actual reporters are using, since it distracts from what’s really dirty on Wall Street, and that’s so not the Occupiers. Plus, it feeds naturally into the “dirty hippies” riff that so many in our famously free press love to run but which, alas for that narrative, is not true.

* * *

Daily News live blog here. Lots of pictures! Guardian live blog here. Technical note: At the Guardian, when you click on the bold time-stamp for each entry in the live stream, you get a link to that entry, so bloggers can cite to the link. That’s a traffic builder. Daily News IT people take note, please. Why hide your light under a bushel?

* * *

Classic. Citigroup CEO Vikram Bandit:

“I’d be happy to talk to [the Occupiers] any time they want to come up.”

Er, no, Vikram. No. They don’t come to you. You go to them. You visit the Park. That’s the process, eh?

* * *

11:52AM A communication from Pavlina R. Tcherneva on MMT in Zuccotti Park tomorrow morning:

[W]e are meeting around 10:30am tomorrow at Zuccotti park near the Welcome/information booth. We will spend the day there handing out flyers and talking to people.

I’m relieved. That little story about the skateboarder explaining the gold standard to two bemused blue shirts gave me the creeps. It’s always possible to make things worse, ya know? More information here.

1:26PM #OccupyDenver dismantled at 6AM with 21 arrests.

5:37PM The fish wrapper rots from the head. Check out how Izvestia’s editors change this headline, as the story moves from the Local edition to the City Room. If you guessed things started strong and turned to mush, you wouldn’t be wrong. Ditto the video.

9:17PM Via the MsExPat, this video from OWS on #Oct15. Why, that’s tomorrow!

October 15th: Occupy Banks from Mary Matthews on Vimeo.

NOTE Readers, I’ll keep checking in throughout the day, and updating this post. Tomorrow, #oct15, may be busy too. I’m going to be looking for background on the Occupier’s victory today, and lessons learned. But if any of you have experiences or information to share — anyone do the all-nighter? — please leave them in comments.

NOTE Readers, I’m honored to be here, and will do my best for you. Sorry about any formatting issues I may have to correct!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. readerOfTeaLeaves

    “I’d be happy to talk to [the Occupiers] any time they want to come up.”

    Er, no, Vikram. No. They don’t come to you. You go to them. You visit the Park. That’s the process, eh?


    #occupyEtiquette = you wanna talk to OWS? Then you go to them.
    And since your mom should have taught you ‘never show up empty handed,’ take pizzas.

    1. nikhil

      I don’t know. I think some of the OWS protesters should take him up on his offer.

      Imagine a group marches up to the Citigroup building and says they are here for a meeting with the CEO. He invited them right?

      “Uh Mr. Pandit. Your meeting with OWS is here. There are like 400 of them.”

      Ha that would be great.

      1. aletheia33

        good idea. “there are, like, 4,000 of them.” i’m sure his office is big enough for them all to sit down. they could have an interesting dialogue with him, especially if they insisted he use the human microphone to communicate and on filming the whole encounter.

        he has issued a clear invitation–why not RSVP yes? they can say things to him that no one who knows him or works for him can say. one of the important manifestations of #OWS is the creation of a new social space where people can express hitherto forbidden, taboo truths to one another about the realities of power. a way to puncture the assumption-bubble the 1% can’t see out of. how often in his daily round does he have to sit down and face a challenge to his whole worldview?

        i’d love to at that meeting. and a video of it could be quite powerful–what kind of arrogance might it capture, what other unconscious revelations? how often do the 99% even get a close look at these people?

        this invitation coming from this guy is actually kind of an amazing opportunity, i hope they take him up on it.

      2. different clue


        Rationally, you could be correct. They maybe ought to accept his invitation and go see him.

        Emotionally, I don’t agree. Emotionally, I think this is just a case of the “Good Kind King” summoning a delegation from among the peasants to find out just why it is the peasants are so revolting. I would prefer the peasants to summon the King instead. That would indicate a symbolic overturn of the present pyramid of power.

        1. JasonRines

          You are correct Different Clue. Ultimately, I believe the American people are enforcing these three concepts while planting the seeds for a new tree of liberty.

          Beyond altering the violated Employer/Employee relationship is the enforcement of Justice. Second is Free Speech and last but not least if needed, to Self Defense. While Americans frame these concepts in a constitution it is the concepts themselves which are being enforced by OWS. If the American people want to enforce God given concepts, they should consider meeting with 1% and inviting them to participate in live, video debate where the audience not only judges the dialogue but begins sharing information and constructing solutions.

          The corruption will end but the knock-on effects are going to take time to heal. Let’s get all the rage out online over a few months and if the Employee refuses to allow severence by getting private money out of government (Fascism) then the justification for the concept of self-defense and abolishing the government comes next.

          Our Founding Fathers have been here before. First attempt alter, then abolish if not successful. And for God’s sake afterward let’s agree that the old debate on nationalized banking between Madison and Hamilton has been settled. Our money system should be private banks and national currency, banking should not power to tax through inflation. Bankers make loans in a free market and that is all they should do.

  2. aletheia33

    when i called the NYC mayor’s office at last evening to urge him not to send in the police to clear the park, i spoke with a friendly, relaxed woman who told me they were getting lots of calls, and from all over the country, and read me a script of a message that i assume various supporting groups provided to people who wanted to call, and asked me if i wanted to add anything to it, which i did.

    the city then kindly sent me an email with my message recorded in it, as transcribed by the “customer service” person (i think it’s interesting that mayor’s office calls its call-in center “customer service,” as if the gov’t is a business purveying services to buyers), here, FWIW:
    “I am against the eviction of Occupy Wall Street protestors. This is a violation of the first amendment [right] to assemble peacefully. The City should respect the 1st Amendment rights of the protestors occupying Zuccotti Park.” (script she read from )

    after we agreed on my message, this woman seemed quite ready to talk and listen, in fact i had to be kind of abrupt to bring the call to an end. she said she’d visited zuccotti park more than once and seemed to imply that the situation there seemed fine to her, although i got the impression she’d been trained not to make any direct statements agreeing with callers on any matters. i told her the cleanup was planned for 7 a.m. and the occupiers had decided they were not going to leave. her response: “oh god, that’s really going to mess up the morning commute.”

    1. John

      The woman who took my call called it Liberty Park without skipping a beat. She said something about they should be allowed to exercise their first amendment rights and asked if that was my message. I said yes but I had more to add.

      Condensed version: until the criminals on Wall Street that crashed this economy and stole trillions of dollars from us are held accountable, we the people, the 99%, are going to keep coming and coming and coming until justice is done in America.

      1. JasonRines

        What was stolen from us long ago was Liberty. Selling the rest of us out to China and adopting their political system of State-Run Capitalism which is purposely choosing Fascism is a violation of several Amendments and was treason.

        “Americans have too much freedom” Bill Clinton
        Too bad the Republican party also seemed to agree with Bill. Revenge is a waste of time. After the country liberates itself segregate out the nasty 300 CFR’s to their own deserted island. Hey worked for Great Britain and Australia is a nice place now.

    1. aletheia33

      enjoyed your piece and well put.

      apropos of your thoughts, whenever i see #OWS is having a gathering in washington square park, i send a silent thanks to jane jacobs for defending that public square on behalf of the people against the imperial designs of robert moses, who well understood the power inherent in control of land and space. as did she.

      when a few thousand people show up within a couple of hours of being called on to help defend the first amendment, and simply stand in a space, as they did early this morning at zuccotti park, all of them ready and willing to be arrested simply for refusing to move, and this potential has emerged in less than a month’s time … something truly great has happened on american soil.

      they are saying now “we are the tipping point.” they keep coming up with these great, new statements!

  3. Bev

    very good story.


    Demonstrations Ongoing Across the Nation!

    A major opportunity in the monetary reform movement is developing at places such as Wall Street in New York and the Federal Reserve Banks across the country. Now is the time to bring awareness of the solution to the monetary injustice that grips our nation. Help to further this progress by distributing as many copies as you can of the following four documents at your local demonstrations!

    Monetary Reform Now (half page flyer)
    The Need for Monetary Reform
    Fact Sheet for NEED Act
    Updated 32-page Brochure


    Byron Dale simply, powerfully describes the source of our money injustice:


    Why Are We Short Of Money? Why?

    The World Economy Trembles
    Because Every Nation Is Short Of Money.


    Money Is The Easiest Thing In The World To Create.

    It Is Done On a Computer.
    Type It In. Press enter.
    That Is, In Fact, How They Do It Now.
    But, They Only Do It As A Loan.


    Because You Let Them.
    That’s Stupid.
    Don’t Be Stupid.

    You Can’t Borrow Yourself Out Of Debt.


    In The United States, You Do Not Have To Settle For
    Banker Created Debt.
    There Is The Solution To This Economic Crisis.


    Think about it:
    If the banks are the only ones who create money,
    and you have to give it back to them (loan payments) – two things happen.

    1st. You have to give it back!! You never get to keep it in exchange for goods/services. In the aggregate (combined picture) you do the work, but can’t keep the money.


    2nd. If the banks are the only ones allowed to create money, and then only as a loan, in the aggregate, you have to borrow to pay interest!

    IMPOSSIBLE to get out of debt.


    U.S. Constitution
    The Congress shall have Power …
    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof…

    So Do It!!




    Kucinich Proposes Landmark Jobs Plan

    Bill To Put 7 Million Americans Back to Work, Rebuild Infrastructure

    Washington D.C. (September 21, 2011) — As the nation struggles with long-term unemployment at rates not seen in generations and as infrastructure crumbles across the nation, Congressman Kucinich (D-OH) today introduced a dramatic new proposal to address our structural economic problems directly by creating over 7 million jobs.

    The National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act of 2011 would allow the federal government to directly fund badly-needed infrastructure repairs and fund education systems nationwide by spending money into circulation without increasing the national debt or causing inflation. 


    “The ability to coin money is an inherent power under Article I, Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The NEED Act would control inflation because it will enable the government to invest in America by creating infrastructure, which is real wealth. Inflation is caused when new money is created without the creation of new wealth,” explained Kucinich. 

    The proposal would also establish fiscal integrity, reassert Congressional sovereignty and regain control of monetary policy from private banks.



    By: Gamma Globalist

    The Occupy movement coincides fortuitously with bold financial legislation introduced earlier this year. HR 2990, the National Emergency Employment Defense (NEED) Act, proposes nationalizing the US central bank, the Federal Reserve. What this means for the dollar is that it will be un-privatized, changing from a debt-based currency to a debt-free one overnight. The monetary system is then geared to produce public wealth rather than bankster wealth.

    To anyone concerned about the national debt, austerity cuts, unemployment, or the extreme concentration of wealth and power among the elite, the NEED Act is what you have been waiting (and protesting) for.

    Don’t confuse this proposal with the specious calls to replace “fiat” money with gold (commodity) currency. The problem is not fiat but rather debt-based currency, controlled by and for banksters. The NEED Act does “end the Fed” as we know it, but achieves this the right way: with sovereign, debt-free Treasury notes. Gold currency, on the other hand, is an elitist scheme which would devastate the already reeling middle class.

    Under HR 2990, the dollar is to be issued by US Treasury as a public asset and spent into circulation for the public good. This will allow government to invest in large-scale projects without borrowing or adding to the national debt. Millions of unemployed can be put back to work rebuilding and expanding America’s infrastructure. Debt-free money could also clear the way for single payer health care – a reform which would save lives and money while boosting the economy.

    The author of HR 2990, Dennis Kucinich, has pledged his support for the Occupy movement and vows to OccupyCONGRESS:

    1. F. Beard


      Excellent points.

      But rather than fight over who will control a single government/private sector money supply would not the wisest course be to have separate government and private sector money supplies per Matthew 22:16-22 (“Render to Caesar …”)?

      That way, the government could spend freely without affecting the private sector and likewise the government and its payees would be insulated from private sector money mismanagement. Additionally, the overall private sector would be more robust since private money creation would be widely decentralized.

      1. LA-CC

        I don’t see how that would work, but I think it would be fun to see two distinct currencies and note how much of it flowing through our system is ‘government’ vs private sector money.:)

        1. F. Beard

          I don’t see how that would work, LA-CC

          Well, we know government does not need banks and as for the private sector why the heck should its money system need government privileges such as the FED, legal tender laws for private debts, government deposit insurance, etc? It does not make sense philosophically speaking.

          but I think it would be fun to see two distinct currencies LA-CC

          Actually, there would be one government money supply and any number of private money supplies.

          and note how much of it flowing through our system is ‘government’ vs private sector money.:) LA-CC

          The availability of private money supplies for private debts would tend to keep fiat honest and vice versa. All money creators would have an incentive to manage their money supplies properly because people could choose other money supplies if they did not.

          1. The Heretic

            1st objection: Legitamacy, Counterfeiting and fraud: It takes alot of effort, both in design and continous monitoring and enforcement, to defend a currency against fraud and counterfeiting. Even with the backing of the national government and it’s police agencies, national currencies are still vulnerable to criminal activites….if we multiply the number of currencies in a nation, we multiply the effort of monitoring /enforcement. This can become very expensive and confusing for the ordinary person.

            2nd objection…. Private control without oversight. A private issuer would have the ability to control the amount of currency issued, the interest rate,
            3rd objection… Legitamacy, inflation, and currency revulsion.
            It is against the interests of a national government to allow any competition against it’s national currency on it’s national soil. The benefit of a single legitamite common currency is that all persons must accept it as payment. Thus everyone can be assured that if they recieve payment of the national currency, then they can be confident that someone else, in their nation will happliy accept it. If multipule currencies are allowed to flourish, then it also implies that a supplier may choose the currency of payment and may exclude other currencies as payment. If they do accept the other currency as payment, what will be the convertability of that currency? We would need to setup more market trading mechanism or some form currency board, and we would need to try to insure the integritty of these institutions. In effect, we would need to grow our financial services industry and regulatory agencies to handle the workload… We are adding more needless complexity.
            4th objection… Black market operations. More currencies means more opportunity to arbitrage the currencies or to engage in ‘sideline payments’ with the other currencies.
            Hence, I would summarize, that adding currencies to a nation adds chaos , uncertainty, and transaction costs to a nation, without adding any benefits. I beleve our national purpose will be best served by having a single currency regulated and issued by an honest and competent government who serves the interests of the 99%. The problem our nation faces is that of fosterig the honest and competent government.

  4. reslez

    “Cleaning” = obvious and heavy-handed attempt to end the Occupation in NYC. While Zucotti Park may remain active it looks like authorities successfully drove the occupiers out of their location in Denver:

    It had been due to reopen to the public at 5 a.m. local time, but @OccupyDenver said the authorities had told them it was now closed indefinitely. “We can continue from the sidewalks,” it said in a tweet. (link)

    So it was due to reopen at 5 AM, but the authorities were lying about that (of course) and the park will remain closed.

    The situation remains extremely fluid. Authorities are eager for any opportunity to brand the protesters as violent radicals, which would scare off elements of the middle class.

  5. optimader

    This site is very slow here today..

    In anycase, clicking past msnbc, typical tone deaf headline
    ‘Occupy’ protesters clash with NYPD; 14 arrested

    Shouldnt it read:
    NYPD clash with ‘Occupy’ protesters ; 14 arrested

      1. optimader

        My Dear Ambrit,

        absolutely correct, Boss Bloomberg..

        History, with all her volumes vast, Hath but one page.
        Canto IV (1818)
        Stanza 108.

        1. lambert strether

          Michael “Backdoor Man” Bloomberg, or possibly “Back Door” Bloomberg, in honor of his graceful exit from Cipriani’s to avoid accepting a petition from the Occupiers to allow them to stay in Zuccotti Park…. Which he then had to allow anyhow. It’s a two-fer!

  6. CaitlinO

    Finally, something to do with globalization that I can get behind:

    Students Storm Goldman Sachs in Milan


    And The Onion reports that a OWS protestor’s head was used to ring the bell at the NYSE this morning:


    Watch the blog for lots of news and links:


  7. MsExPat

    I was pretty sure, when I went to sleep last night, that OWS would still be around this morning. Not because of the protestors’ creativity, commitment and resilience, although that’s of course a huge part of it. It was when I read the letter from the OWS lawyers that I figured Brookfield would have to back off.


    The greed of the New York real estate oligarchs and their government enablers has come back to bite them in the foot. The “Publicly Owned Private Space” is a legal minefield.

    1. craazyman

      Boy, I thought they’d be toast. It was amazing this morning to see them not only still there, but serving breakfast to whoever wanted to eat! They even offered me eggs, bagels, toast and coffee, even though I had a suit and tie on. Nobody cared.

      Man oh man. These are some really, really impressive people, by and large. I can’t admire enough the man and young woman who led a group discussion last night about spreading the message — which focused on economic justice. They were totally inclusive, inviting of discussion, they answered all questions cordially and respectfully, and there wasn’t the slightest trace of power-tripping arrogance or haughtiness. It was a form of consciousness that was startling in its majesty, made only more so by the circumstances and the pressures on them at the time.

      And frankly, there are a few dirty hippies there — scattered here and there across the pavement — but so what. Clothes don’t make the man or woman. And It’s hard to be clean when you’re sleeping in a park and what’s wrong with being a hippie anyway? :) I’d rather look beyond the clothes and tatoos to the character.

      1. aletheia33

        @ craazyman, thanks for the report.

        after giving their stone home a vigorous cleaning (in pouring rain), packing up all their equipment, staying up all night sending out SOSes to anyone they can rouse to come down and support them, and preparing to stand together in civil disobedience and get arrested–having wrapped that all up–they move right along into a busy day of varied activities and planning for their next big event, the party in times square tomorrow evening.

        ah, the energy of the young… the determined, and the righteous.

    2. LucyLulu

      Very enlightening article, MsExPat. I’d think if NYC never wrote laws to cover privately owned public spaces (except that they be open to public 24 hrs per day), that would make eviction rather time-consuming and difficult.

  8. Susan the other

    Good information. Thank you lambert strether. It remains to be seen who wins in an internet world of politics. I think it is not the banks. Gotta ask: how do you power wash massive bank fraud?

    1. another

      “[H]ow do you power wash massive bank fraud?”

      William K. Black. That’s one tried and true method.

      The deeper problem, however, is: How do we reorganize society so that criminals don’t end up in charge? We have gone ahead and allowed criminals to take over the levers of power in our society. Bankers, the politicians that serve them, what’s the difference? Are we not sufficiently ashamed of ourselves by now to seek a solution? We need an Article V Constitutional Convention to hash this out.

      Return political power to the humans. Corporations, let’s remember are simply a human invention. You know, like nuclear weapons. By now it’s clear that in creating corporations, we have created Frankenstein’s Monster. It’s time for the torches, pitchforks and chains.

      1. JasonRines

        I admire your passion Another. However, when a people through their representatives arms one select group with a license to steal (Central Banking) you revoke their license first. THEN you add some new layer of protection to seperate private and public purse.

        Eventually, a new crop of criminals will emerge. From a foundational standpoint, we can spread the foundation from 3d pyramid, to 4d box. The Founders knew this too and God bless em’ it gave all of us almost 250 years of a decent Republic. Until mankind reaches clinical immortality, expect future generations to have to deal with Fascism again. Perhaps mankind can once again evolve his tools to get 300 years out of a Republic, long enough to reach clinical immortality. At least, that is my lifetime goal, how to accelerate reaching clinical immortality faster. How about after the nasty decade to come the world launches Operation Eternity? Globally, we all want a new focus and vision and healthy competition in Space Travel probably kept us men from competing by obliterating ourselves. Same reason the Olympics exist.

  9. F. Beard

    That little story about the skateboarder explaining the gold standard to two bemused blue shirts gave me the creeps. Yves Smith

    It should. A gold standard is pure fascism besides being idiotic. It is very disgraceful that our present money system is so bad that a gold standard is even considered.

    1. Yves Smith

      Per other comments, this is Lambert Strether of Corrente, and we are glad to have him live blogging here!

      1. F. Beard

        You’ve misplaced your comment, apparently. No biggie.

        But while I have your attention, Yves, your site is agonizingly slow recently. I hope it is because of increased traffic.

        Did the fund raiser go well or have you launched it yet?

        1. Rex

          You’ve missed the point, apparently.

          You attributed the quote to Yves. I believe she was trying to point out this key statement at the beginning of the main post, “By lambert strether. Cross-posted from Corrente.”

  10. pdx

    We should spend some money building medical facilities, so that for-profit medical companies can hold onto their precious property while we 99% go elsewhere for needed care when the medical insurance boondoggle goes toes-up.

  11. Valissa

    Hilarious… Occupy Wall Street needs corporate sponsors http://www.marketwatch.com/story/occupy-wall-street-needs-corporate-sponsors-2011-10-14?dist=countdown

    Meantime, a lesser-known merchandiser, New York City-based Condomania, is selling “Occupy Condoms.” They sport the slogan: “We won’t be screwed!” But doesn’t this bold declaration essentially negate the need for a condom? …

    Goldman Sachs: “You won’t get arrested for obstructing the Brooklyn Bridge after we sell it to you.”

    If you’ve got ideas for potential sponsors of this movement, email them to me and I’ll publish them on my blog. Even the cause of anti-capitalism needs what capitalism provides best: commercial marketing.

    Lambert, great piece and nice to see you posting at NC!

    I am at the tail end of a 2 week vacation and am looking forward to checking out Occupy Boston some time next week.

    1. JasonRines

      Actually, getting corporate sponsors is a great idea! We want free marke capitalism, not fascism. So get sponors that are not bribing our politicians. That’s about 1/3 of them. Awsome to support CAPITALISTS and shame FASCISTS and have the people begin buying American from non-fascist corporarations.

      I’ll bet those 1/3 Capitist Corps didn’t ask or receive bailouts and at least fought against outsourcing. Intent of management and how it reflects into behavior is not that difficult to spot.

  12. Patrice

    site is *very* slow today, not sure if this will get through


    A brief description of the gala event scheduled for Oct 15th, 2011, but now postponed:

    Saturday, October 15th, beginning at 6:00 PM, a group of billionaire Investment Bankers will celebrate as the one percent (or one-one-hundredth of one percent) take Zucotti Park back from the 99 percent.

    Guests will include the historian Niall Ferguson and his Dutch-Somali wife, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, David Brooks, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Tony Hayward, the former BP boss during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, Roland Rudd, the head of the public relations firm Finsbury and Princess Florence von Preussen, 27, the great-great granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II, who has an “on and off” relationship with Mr Rothschild.

    As the sun sets over Lower Manhattan, guests will be handed flutes of Taittinger Champagne and Bellini cocktails by tuxedoed waiters.

    They will be treated to grilled squid and prawns, mozzarella, focaccia and olives as the antipasti starters, grilled local fish with salad for the main course and panna cotta with wild berries and an almond torte for dessert, as well as victory speeches by the likes of Larry Summers and Steven Schwartzman (among other billionaires) on the theme of “we are the one percent and we’re taking it back”. And in case you were wondering, these speakers will be using amplified microphones, no People’s Mic will be necessary at this billionaire party.

    Speeches to be followed by dancing till 5am, with music provided by DJs and a female singer in a glittering silver dress with a miniature disco ball in her hair. And just to be on the safe side, a fleet of Concorde planes have brought in several tonnes of food and wine all the way from the UK.

    During the party, Zucotti Park will be cordoned off by thick-set Montenegrin security guards wearing dark suits and ear-pieces.

    Party chatter will range from the latest catwalk fashions to the massive profits to be made by hedge funds invested in Kazakhstan as well the perils of doing business in Russia, and other investment banking topics reflecting the eclectic range of guests.

    So if you’re an investment banker, a hedge fund billionaire, a celebrity or a VIP, come join us as we take back Zucotti Park and once again make Lower Manhattan safe for billionaires.

    We are the one percent and we’re taking it back!

    1. rd

      Actually, I believe that the 1% have other things to do then.

      However, they have hired surrogates to celebrate in their place. It is all part of their important effort to increase employment and provide opportunities to the seething masses.

    2. SidFinster

      Flying food in “from the UK”? I think you mean “flying in chow from France.”

      Otherwise no billionaires will show up.

  13. abelenkpe

    What’s up with this site? It takes forever to load lately. Have tried from several locations and devices. Anyone else have this problem?

    1. ted

      Yes, This really is an excellent group of charts and graphs documenting inequality in America, and neatly packaged in a conveniently emailable package. After sending links to my friends who don’t understand OccupyWallStreet, I sent a thank you email to Henry Blodget at Business Insider. The readers of this blog should do the same.

  14. Barbyrah

    Thanks Yves, thanks Lambert. And thanks commenters.

    After reading through: laughter, tears, with more to come, I’m sure.


  15. twig

    Yes, inspiring and wonderful!

    My new guilty pleasure, thanks to the Occupy movement, is watching the TV spokesholes struggle to “explain” what’s happening. None of their pre-digested talking points work on something so outside their comfort zones, so now they have to actually think.

    They seem mystified by everything – the organization’s structure, the discipline, principles, tenacity and intelligence of the participants – things they don’t normally deal with in the world of TV infotainment.

    Very interesting watching some overpaid buffoon like Chris Matthews, Joe Klein or Howard Fineman sputter about, looking for something familiar to latch on to. What do we criticize here? Who can we throw stones at? They don’t know how to respond – the ones I’ve seen don’t even seem to know if they approve or disapprove, this is all so utterly outside their world. They’re post-comet dinosaurs, on the brink of extinction, completely irrelevant. Plus, it looks like that’s starting to sink in and they’re getting panicky. Not a pretty sight … but loads of fun to watch!

    1. rd

      Similar to the ’50s and ’60s, it doesn’t fit their model of the United States. People in the US aren’t supposed to have anything here to protest about. That is what countries do!

  16. BDBlue

    Exhibit A in why the Dems will have trouble co-opting OWS, the Governor who signed the order to have OccupyDenver dismantled is a Democrat (something I noticed several “progressive” blogs failed to mention).

    Also was the guy in the NYT piece, this guy? If so, the Times is wrong, he wasn’t a protestor, he was an observer for the National Lawyers’ Guild.

  17. tz

    They shold suggest they will appoint ‘privatized’ deputies, and erect a privatized prison in their midst and expect the authorities to pay 200% of the public-union versions.

    1. tz

      Clarification – that ows would appoint deputies and run ows detention, inc.

      Then let a bankster show up…

  18. 14th century revival


    The Jacquerie was a popular revolt in late medieval Europe by peasants that took place in northern France in the summer of 1358, during the Hundred Years’ War.[1] The revolt, which was violently suppressed after a few weeks of violence, centered in the Oise valley north of Paris. This rebellion became known as the Jacquerie because the nobles derided peasants as “Jacques” or “Jacques Bonhomme” for their padded surplice called “jacque”.[2] Their revolutionary leader Guillaume Cale was referred to by the aristocratic chronicler Froissart as Jacques Bonhomme (“Jack Goodfellow”) or Callet. The word jacquerie became synonymous with peasant uprisings in general in both English and French.


  19. 14th century revival

    In late May, peasant revolts erupted to the north of Paris as a spontaneous expression of hatred for the nobility that had brought France so low. These uprisings were collectively named the “Jacquerie” because the nobles sarcastically referred to the lower classes as “Jacques Bonhomme” (Jack Goodfellow). Also, some of the peasants wore thick leather-and-felt overcoats, known as jacques (jacks), as primitive armor is their encounters with the nobility.

    The revolts began in the village of St. Leu near the Oise River, where a group of peasants met in a cemetery to discuss their perception that the nobles had abandoned the King at Poitiers. Then, according to a contemporary chronicler, the peasants “killed a knight, put him on a spit, and roasted him with his wife and children looking on. After ten or twelve of them raped the lady, they wished to force feed them the roasted flesh of their father and husband and made them then die by a miserable death.” Over the next few weeks, similar attacks occurred all over northern France.

    Frustrated by the failures of the nobility to protect them from English raiders and heavy taxation, groups of peasants rose up, forming village councils to rule regions. Small armed forces of young men were formed to maintain order. Over 150 noble estates or castles were attacked and pillaged, many of which were only occupied by women and children, the men being with the armies fighting the English. The occupants were frequently massacred, the houses looted and burnt in an orgy of violence which shocked France and ravaged this once prosperous region. The roving bands of peasants had no real organization, and many simply said they were doing what they had seen others doing. They somehow got the idea that it was possible to rid the world of nobles. Some chroniclers say that evil governors or tax collectors spread word of these attacks from village to village to stir up hatred of the nobility.

    In early June, small bands of peasants began gathering near the town of Mello in the province of Beauvais, setting up camp on a plateau near the town. The peasant army is estimated to have contained around 4,000 or 5000 men, mostly armed with agricultural tools, staves, knives, a few spears, and perhaps some hunting bows or slings. The band also included a few minor nobles, who were surely just opportunists seeking to keep their necks from being stretched. These traitors to their class added small contingents of trained soldiers, which gave the rough peasants a thin patina of discipline. The leader of this band was Guillaume Cale, a local Beauvoisin well-to-do farmer living in Paris, who was sent to continue stirring up trouble after a Parisian “revolution” was quelled a few months earlier.


  20. 14th century revival


    Casualties among the nobles at Mello were light, while the fighting at Meaux produced only one noble fatality. By contrast, the peasant forces were effectively wiped out. Many of the refugees spread out across the Beauvais countryside. They were exterminated along with thousands of other peasants, many innocent of any involvement in the rebellion, by the vengeful nobles and their mercenary allies. Villages were burnt, crops destroyed and families executed, reducing a valuable farming area into a wasteland as revenge for the peasant’s attempt to reverse the social order. The town of Meaux, for example, was burnt to the ground for their initial disloyalty.

      1. CaitlinO

        The mortality might not have just been due to military professionals. There was a little thing called the Black Death stalking the land back in those days.

        So is the moral of the story that OWS will bring back bubonic plague?

  21. 14th century revival

    It took 450 years for the peasants of France to again revolt, and we all remember the story of the Marie Antoinette…

    and the Committee for Public Safety…

    be careful what you wish for OWS because you may get actually get it…

    1. F. Beard

      be careful what you wish for OWS because you may get actually get it… 14th century revival

      So the only alternative to fascism is mass murder?

      Bah. Away with you. I smell a badly burned dinosaur (to borrow a figure of speech).

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      So the Committee for Public Safety had a commitment to non-violence? Thanks for the history lesson, 14th Century revival!

      Occupy Wall Street is leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants.

      Also, too, pasting humongous slabs of Wikipedia into the threads… Well….

    3. aet

      The Jacquarie?
      Why not tell us of Wat Tyler too?

      Are you seriously comparing 21st century people with illiterate medieval peasants? Why?

      Why not instead compare OWS to any armed revolution, anywhere at anytime?
      It seems that there would be as much warranting that comparison, as yours.

      Especially seeing as OWS has not been characterized by violence AT ALL, save that implicitly threatened from the “Authorities”; and the ONLY calls for violence that I’ve seen “associated with OWS”, has been in extremist “letters to the editor”, “self-associating” with OWS, posted anonymously on the internet, calling for the death penalty to be re-instated without any need for prior trials for un-specified property “crimes” by “banksters” (which IMHO are simply coded calls to kill or hate well-off Jewish people).

      And those coded calls to hate and hurt and kill others, is NOT now, nor has it ever been, what OWS is “about” – though some with guns surely wish that it was.

      OWS has NOT been calling for bringing back the death penalty for mere property crimes – but neo-crypto-fascists sure have been. And loudly.

      Driving wedges, in other words. Back to the old ways, in other words – it worked with medieval peasants, maybe it’ll work now.

      All the violent need is an agent provocateur, one who would try to “put into action” those many calls to ‘kill the banksters” which one can read in the comments here, or in too many other places.

      Comments filled with violence and hatred of others.

      Gee, whom might such violent actions help? Not the OWS protesters. Arguably, only the cops, and those whom they work for (though I doubt that that really would help the police in any way). After all, dealing with violence is what the police and armed forces are best at, and is what they are prooerly trained to do. Fighting fire with fire. But what if there’s no fire?

      Are some trying to start one? Why?

      IMHO, there’s NOTHING wrong with the USA that single-payer universal health care would not go a long way to “curing”.

      NOBODY needs guns, NOBODY needs violence, NOBODY needs to be put to death for property crimes.

      But EVERYBODY will need a doctor, sooner or later – even if its only to sign the death certificate.

      1. aet

        “properly trained to do”, in the above.

        Personal note – I have been a victim of great violence in the past, so I have good reasons to hate violence.

        Others, I think, have had better “success” (sic) with violence, of that I’m sure. And as dogs do return to their vomit – so such will ALWAYS call for violence.

        One should keep a wary eye on those, if you know any such. Advice fwiw…

  22. Patricia

    Sheesh I told you to tell about the Wobblies, Ma!

    Instead you just had to make a morality tale: Don’t treat your dear little peasants badly or else everything will get wrecked and they’ll still come back after 450 years to knock you over.

      1. Patrricia

        I misplaced my comment, aet. Meant it for 14th cent revival. That person deliberately sent a fear-pain-and-despair tale. I was too tired to engage, but thought a little blow might disperse the miasma.

  23. Tony Wikrent

    Citigroup CEO Vikram Bandit says: “I’d be happy to talk to [the Occupiers] any time they want to come up.”

    Obviously Vikkie doesn’t get it. We’re protesting the whole system of pirate capitalism in which corporate raiders and financial engineers have enriched themselves by asset stripping and “restructuring” companies and enterprises in the real economy, destroying the livelihoods and lives of millions of people. There is nothing more, at this point, that any pirate or financier/usurer has to say that I am interested in hearing. They have had their run. For over three decades now. Nothing they can possibly say will reverse they damage they’ve done, or restore the wealth they’ve stolen. It’s past time for them to stfu and exit the stage of world history. They can do so of their own accord. Or they can be forced. There really, really, are no other alternatives.

  24. psychohistorian

    Thanks for the postings Lambert. If enough of us do a little bit maybe it will make a difference.

  25. Skippy

    Just back from the Occupy Brisbane gathering, we had a early morning storm (with more predicted), which diminished the prospects of a larger turn out (best guess, just over a hundred at peak vs. the commitment of intent on the FB page of a thousand). Although in turn this allowed me to directly chat up the organizers..bonus! In my opinion the fragments of present ideology all share one common thread…human rights. In that it is my hope, that this will provide the solidarity to discuss and desminate relevant information in the same paddock and not across fences. BTW I was asked to submit a few contact details by one of the organizers, now I’m done for…lol.

    Also Australia has weathered the GFC better that most via government action and the present state of the resource sector…internationally…cough…China. So most Australians although starting to fret over housing concerns have yet to fear for their retirement funds or future prospects (pitchforks at rest). Most still believe that natural barriers (down here) and global demand will insulate them, as it has in the past, lucky country stuff.

    Skippy…any who…the way the luxury car market is moving down here…deals for wheels…discounts+ and financial offers oh la la…ahhh…old smells of sub prime…snort…well you know what I mean. Will end with a precession of BMW, Audi’s and Benzs driving by state and federal parliament, windows rolled down and a two fingered palm up salute offered in recognition of deeds done.

    PS…wallaby’s vs allblacks this avo (rugby world cup)…two nations emotional state rolls upon a field…how will the markets react?

    1. different clue

      If all the members and visitors and observers of the various Occupy Sites were to spend several years reading and learning various things about politics, economics, political-economics, and so forth; so as to most effectively
      arm their minds with weaponized knowledge, what would everyone here recommend that they read and/or otherwise learn about?

      I wonder if Yves Smith might think it worthwhile to post a particular post asking just such a question . . . beginning by offering her own “must read or listen to” recommendations.

      1. toxymoron

        Following Yves herself, and reading what commenters here recommend will take you a long way.
        I can recommend ‘Debunking Economics’ of Steve Keen, whose ‘Roving cavaliers of Credit’ essay was republished here (and that text made me discover NC as well professor Steve, two of of rare voices worth my time).

  26. Riggsveda

    Hey Lambert, great to see you posting here! Bon chance. I’m praying that the protesters can keep their cool (a feat that even Gandhi would find difficult under these circumstances) because the cops will only need one serious incident to go Syria on their asses–in fact, many of the bullies are probably praying for the excuse. But so far, #OWS has maintained a cohesiveness and a control that NYPD could only hope to emulate.

  27. tomk

    This comment from LGM is a handy response to those who mock/criticize the protesters for using high tech gadgets.

    EndOfTheWorld says:
    October 14, 2011 at 5:05 pm
    This Fredrick Douglass person seems to have quite a beef to pick with the noble, Southern plantation owner. And yet! YET! He has been seen, on occasion, wearing a cotton shirt.

  28. Ker

    So F. Beard, I’m trying to understand the mechanics of the dual monies system you from time to time propose as a betterment over today’s system. Suppose the private local asphalt company wins a contract to to go out and fix the potholes on the nearby interstate. How do they get compensated? Similarly suppose Sorry Sally, an employee of the federal government who sells her time and skill set in return for a paycheck in those federal monies, wants to go buy groceries from a private sector grocery store? How does she do that?

    1. F. Beard

      Suppose the private local asphalt company wins a contract to to go out and fix the potholes on the nearby interstate. How do they get compensated? Ker

      With government fiat. The value of that fiat is that it and only it can be used to pay government taxes and fees

      Similarly suppose Sorry Sally, an employee of the federal government who sells her time and skill set in return for a paycheck in those federal monies, wants to go buy groceries from a private sector grocery store? How does she do that? Ker

      People and businesses could voluntarily accept fiat for private debts and probably always would. However, people and businesses should also be free to use private monies for private debts if for some reason they were dissatisfied with fiat. (For example, the supply of fiat might be tight or the value of it might be depreciating rapidly). Computers and modern communications make any number of private currencies practical.

        1. F. Beard

          Sounds like the potholes are gonna go unfilled Ker

          Huh? You don’t believe fiat has value? Try not paying your taxes with it and see how far you get.

          and we’re back to the barter system. Ker

          Baloney unless the private sector is incompetent.

          Are you saying we need a government enforced/backed money monopoly for private debts? Are you saying fascism is necessary?

          1. F. Beard

            Just wait until Goldman Sachs gets a hold of your private currency. citalopram

            Then someone else could create another one.

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