Wall Street

The 1979 march on Wall Street offered a smaller, more whimsical glimpse of what would come 30 years later. It’s fitting as a premonitory event, especially if one believes that the economic crises of the 1970s were never truly solved, but merely lay dormant before returning with a vengeance in 2008:

This is a short clip from the film “Early Warnings” that details the sit-in that happened on Wall Street on the 50th Anniversary of the 1929 Stock Market Crash. The protesters were demanding an end to financial support for the nuclear industry and the action was part of the larger occupations at the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant. The costumed figures on stilts are from the Bread and Puppet Theatre.


Will Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD manage to evict the #OWS protesters tomorrow? Drew Grant’s report for the New York Observer suggests maybe not:

After being told that they would have to “temporarily” vacate Zuccotti Park for sanitation reasons by Mayor Bloomberg, Occupy Wall Street responded to what one member is calling “an eviction notice.”

According to one of OWS’ Media team, a young man named Luke, there is “no way” that the protesters can comply with all the outlines set in Brookfield’s letter to the city, since OWS has been expressly forbidden from emptying the parks trash receptacles themselves; that the “cleaning” would include the removal of all tarps and sleeping bags, which the residents have been using to spend the night in the parks.




Behead the banksters?

“I do say that I am in favor of the return of the guillotine and that is for the worst of the worst of the guilty. I first would allow the guilty bankers to pay, you know, the ability to pay back anything over $100 million [of] personal wealth because I believe in a maximum wage of $100 million. And if they are unable to live on that amount of that amount then they should, you know, go to the reeducation camps and if that doesn’t help, then being beheaded,” — Roseanne Barr




A Report from A Front That May Soon Be Shut Down

Before you read on, watch this: a video from the base camp of the #OccupyWall Street protest that is now in its seventh day. It’s called “No One Can Predict the Moment of Revolution.”  (The video was produced by Martyna Starosta and her friend Iva)

These are the faces of a wannabe revolution, more than a protest but not yet quite a major movement. The spirit is infectious perhaps because of the sincerity of the participants and their obvious commitment to their ideals.

Occupy Wall Street is more than a protest; it is as much an exercise in building a leaderless, bottom-up resistance community with a more democratic approach to challenging the system where everyone is encouraged to have a say.

But saying that also leads to a conflict between my emotional identification with the kids that have rallied in this small park/public space on Liberty Street to exercise some liberty,  with a despairing analysis that wishes this enterprise well but harbors deep doubts about its staying power and impact…


In a fantastic new series called Meltdown, Al Jazeera looks at the people and machinations around the globe that were behind the financial collapse of 2008, beginning with the assertion that for a brief period, Henry Paulson “was the de facto president of the United States.”


Via Who Rules America?, a financial manager provides his perspective on the wealthiest one percent and 0.1 percent of Americans — i.e. his clients — regarding who they are, how they got…



In need of a pick-me-up? The Tumblr Brokers With Hands On Their Faces offers an unending stream of more-pleasing-than-lolcats shots of Wall Street brokers smooshing and contorting their faces in their hands as they “find out the latest numbers” or some such. I like to think that they just realized that money is an imaginary social construct and can scarcely believe what fools they’ve been.

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Other Guys CreditsIf I had to pick one issue that I think many more people should really, really be curious about, I’d say the backstory behind so-called recent “financial crisis”, (which has been documented in such films as Inside Job, Capitalism: A Love Story and Plunder: The Crime of Our Time to name a few), is at the top of my list. Therefore, I was surprised when I saw at the end of the Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg comedy, The Other Guys, to find this “message” embedded in a mainstream entertainment film. As Gary Susman wrote on Moviefone’s Blog:

The movie may be a silly farce about New York cops who stumble upon a Bernie Madoff-like Ponzi scheme that threatens to defraud billions from city workers. But buried in the comedy is a serious point about what really constitutes grand theft these days, a point illustrated over the closing credits by a PowerPoint-like presentation full of jazzy infographics and serious statistics outlining just how much Wall Street and corporate leaders have enriched themselves at the expense of American workers and taxpayers…

It’s a fascinating sequence, both from a design perspective and from the unlikely prospect of seeing a major corporation (in this case, Sony) release a mass-entertainment movie that also wants to educate moviegoers about the legalized wealth-grab that’s benefiting major corporations…


Strauss-Kahn And The Secret Culture Of Aggressive Sexuality In The High Pressure World Of Bankers And Banksters. My colleague Mike Whitney asks: “So, what are the chances that Strauss-Kahn will get a…



In his usual clear, profane manner, Matt Taibbi lays out why Goldman Sachs’s executives must face criminal charges as soon as possible. Via Rolling Stone: America has been waiting for a case…


A Hated Financial Center Is Bouncing Back. How Did They Do It? Two years ago as financial reform was put on the U.S. Congressional agenda, a skeptical Senator, Dick Durbin of Illinois,…





Matt Taibbi asks “Why is the Federal Reserve forking over $220 million in bailout money to the wives of two Morgan Stanley bigwigs?”, as ever in Rolling Stone: America has two national…