Occupy Wall Street. Police vs people in NY.

OG_slinger wrote:
absurddoctor wrote:

Weren't those University police, with the University itself making the payout?

In the case of UC Davis, yes.

But as Robear pointed out protesters in DC and NYC have also sued, and are continuing to sue, the cities over everything from false arrest to getting pepper sprayed. As far as I know none of those cases have actually made their way through the court system yet, which kinda just reinforces my position. The settlements will trickle through over the years and there will continue to be very little connection between police behavior and those payments.

The case of UC Davis was what we were talking about. So the fines do come from the department responsible. Do you think the University is really going to write off that many millions of dollars and not make any changes to prevent that kind of loss again?

Not that I think it absolutely won't happen, but I do consider the fine to be an actual repercussion that they will feel.

SixteenBlue wrote:

The case of UC Davis was what we were talking about. So the fines do come from the department responsible. Do you think the University is really going to write off that many millions of dollars and not make any changes to prevent that kind of loss again?

Not that I think it absolutely won't happen, but I do consider the fine to be an actual repercussion that they will feel.

No, you were talking about UC Davis. I was talking about cities like Oakland, NYC, and DC.

In the case of UC Davis the money for the settlement isn't coming from the university's police department. It's coming from it's General Liability Risk Program, a self-funded insurance program the university has to cover all lawsuits. So the university basically already had a budget line item for "lawsuits" and if the money wasn't used for this settlement, it would just be used for the next settlement, perhaps for someone slipping and falling on university property.

So there's really no direct line connection between UC Davis police behavior and any real financial cost to the university.

The primary driver for change in the case of UC Davis is bad publicity. The university doesn't want a cop pepper spraying sitting, passive students to be what people think when they think about the school.

That will be what drives any changes in policy or behavior, if any. But like I said before, the only thing that's come out of the incident is a pretty little report that calls for campus police to get some additional training and that the university reviews and updates its protocols for handling incidents like this. Will the university actually follow the report's recommendations? Who knows?

What is clear is that if they do and future campus police do actually go through the additional training it will simply be another thing they do. They will not explicitly be told they are doing so because one of their fellow officers f*cked up so badly that everyone in the department paid the price so they had best pay close attention.

But as Robear pointed out protesters in DC and NYC have also sued, and are continuing to sue, the cities over everything from false arrest to getting pepper sprayed. As far as I know none of those cases have actually made their way through the court system yet, which kinda just reinforces my position. The settlements will trickle through over the years and there will continue to be very little connection between police behavior and those payments.

Yep. Although the case(s) around false arrest of protesters who were herded into public areas and than arrested en masse during some of the pre-Occupy World Bank protests were resolved in favor of the protesters. I'm pretty sure police behavior since then has not included that particular brand of bone-headed stupidity. The current crop of cases all stem from December 2011 or later, so they are still being resolved.

UK bank regulator Andrew Haldane (pdf) on Occupy. (Via Naked Capitalism.)

It is now over a year since the Occupy movement commenced its
journey and entered the collective conscience of the public and policymakers. One year on, what has it achieved?

Some have suggested rather little, that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed.

I wish to argue tonight that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.

The rest of the speech is more concerned with the financial system than Occupy, but given recent discussion here about Occupy's contribution to the world, the name-check bolsters the argument that Occupy has, in fact, been instrumental in changing the terms of the debate and effecting positive (IMO) social change.

The fact that there haven't been any arrests yet with LIBOR is damning evidence of just how corrupt both the US and UK governments are.

Malor wrote:

The fact that there haven't been any arrests yet with LIBOR is damning evidence of just how corrupt both the US and UK governments are.

Can't really disagree with this.

pgroce wrote:

UK bank regulator Andrew Haldane (pdf) on Occupy. (Via Naked Capitalism.)

It is now over a year since the Occupy movement commenced its
journey and entered the collective conscience of the public and policymakers. One year on, what has it achieved?

Some have suggested rather little, that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed.

I wish to argue tonight that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.

The rest of the speech is more concerned with the financial system than Occupy, but given recent discussion here about Occupy's contribution to the world, the name-check bolsters the argument that Occupy has, in fact, been instrumental in changing the terms of the debate and effecting positive (IMO) social change.

You should probably take that with an epic pinch of salt considering how partisan and pro-banking system the Bank of England traditionally is.

EDIT: sorry forgot to mention that technically the Bank of England isn't our regulator of banks. The Financial Services Authority is "the independent body that regulates the financial services industry in the UK". Well it was until our current parliament decided that most of FSA's duties should be part of The Bank of England. Which will more or less leave us with no independent oversight of financial goings on. Yay!

That said the FAS were utterly toothless in the past so I doubt anything will change going forward.

Serious question - what laws were broken? I agree with the sentiment entirely - Malor, I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENT ENTIRELY - but I'm curious what the charges would be. Is this an area that's even covered by the law?

Robear wrote:

Serious question - what laws were broken? I agree with the sentiment entirely - Malor, I AGREE WITH THE SENTIMENT ENTIRELY - but I'm curious what the charges would be. Is this an area that's even covered by the law?

Almost certainly covered by insider trading and fraud laws.

How so, Dan?

If I'm remembering right, many investors were specifically misled about the risk potential of loan products. Some investors were actually aware of the risks, and short sold against their own stocks failing, using inside information. I'm assuming we're talking about the same thing, anyway, but I may be referencing a different end of the financial meltdown.

Robear wrote:

How so, Dan?

With regards fraud a selection of banks colluded together to lie to the LIBOR desk about their position so that they could later make money on a mis-set LIBOR rate. Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United States Department of Justice fined Barclays for their role in this. Fore knowledge of the direction the rate was going to be set also allowed people to set your financial position to benefit from the fraud, which is usually the kind of behaviour covered by insider trading laws. Oh and once it became known that this was multiple banks acting together I'm pretty sure that would fall foul of Price Fixing legislation which certainly the Canadians are(were?) investigating several banks over.

Related to what charges can be brought up against them:

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/10/31/495...

The problem? In 2009, it was discovered that higher-ups at Countrywide had engaged in insider trading during the housing boom – which is how they had so much money to give out in the first place. Their punishment was to pay nearly $70 million in penalties. Since Bank of America now owned Countrywide, it was responsible for footing the bill.

By 2010, Countrywide was in trouble again – this time for allegedly overcharging customers who were having enough trouble making their mortgage payments to begin with. This time, Countrywide got hit was a $108 million punishment.

The next year, though, Countrywide was back in the news. This time, they were accused of discriminating against Hispanic and African-American borrowers during the housing boom. Once again, Bank of America had to dig deep into its pockets to pay the penalty – this time, to the tune of $335 million.

Today, Bank of America is being sued for issues related to Countrywide. Specifically, Countrywide is accused of defrauding the government-backed mortgage agencies by giving out loans without having the proper controls in place. In layman's terms, it means Countrywide is accused of giving out home loans recklessly, without checking to see if it was going to people who deserved it or not – and doing so knowing that taxpayer money would be there to pay the bills if things went wrong.

With regards fraud a selection of banks colluded together to lie to the LIBOR desk about their position so that they could later make money on a mis-set LIBOR rate. Both the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the United States Department of Justice fined Barclays for their role in this. Fore knowledge of the direction the rate was going to be set also allowed people to set your financial position to benefit from the fraud, which is usually the kind of behaviour covered by insider trading laws. Oh and once it became known that this was multiple banks acting together I'm pretty sure that would fall foul of Price Fixing legislation which certainly the Canadians are(were?) investigating several banks over.

Okay, that makes total sense. They should go down for that; I was worried there was no applicable law.

I would love to see indictments and investigations. Any plans on boosting the budget that the justice department gets to investigate anti-trust cases? Do we take money from the war on terror? Remember that systemic de-regulation of the banking industry that was so great for the economy? You cannot, after the fact, try to recreate an environment that would have led to prosecutions this far after the fact. And what little return to normal oversight we have will likely get stuck being unfunded by republicans in congress; possibly rolling them back by Romney.

We won't see prosecutions, because no one was watching and to retrace that is well beyond the budgetary means of federal prosecutors. These are very expensive investigations and suits to initiate.

If you want prosecutions, write the guys and gals holding the purse strings and tell them to boost the budget for the FTC, SEC, and the US Prosecutor's Office. Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

KingGorilla wrote:

If you want prosecutions, write the guys and gals holding the purse strings and tell them to boost the budget for the FTC, SEC, and the US Prosecutor's Office. Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

How is your letter going to countermand the massive amounts of cash the banking industry spends on lobbying?

I appreciate that comes off as a little glib but it's a serious problem in this sphere.

Because as it stands, we are continuing to de-fund the very offices that would enforce the new regulations, and prosecute violators.

This is very deliberate, and it is part of the corruption.

Well Dan, feels weird, you and people like you can still vote. More importantly, our elected officials are still old white men largely, a letter means a lot. The funky math is 1 letter represents thousands of people who are outraged but did not write a letter.

There are also citizen suits against regulators. The Sierra Club has a pretty good record bring suit against the EPA to perform its regulatory duty. That is where my outrage lies. We do not have that caliber of citizen watch dog for finances.

For me Malor corruption may indeed play a role. But this is also a predictable cycle. For the Cronyism of Grant we got the trust busting of Roosevelt. For the appeasement of Hoover, we got the reformer...Roosevelt(funny how that works). With Reagan and Bush's hands off we saw a return to regulatory normalcy under Clinton (but never back to the reigns from the 50's and 60's).

With Reagan and Bush's hands off we saw a return to regulatory normalcy under Clinton (but never back to the reigns from the 50's and 60's).

Well, with the exception of the repeal of Glass-Steagall at the end of Clinton's term. That's one he lost, although he turned it into other legislative successes in the process.

Is Occupy Wall Street Outperforming the Red Cross in Hurricane Relief? [Slate]

Occupy’s afterlife — a dispatch from New York’s dark zones [Jacobin Mag]

Occupy Sandy Efforts Highlight Need for Solidarity, Not Charity [The Nation]

If you're looking to help, you can sign up here and more information is here. http://interoccupy.net/occupysandy/

OWS is buying debt then cancellig it. Very clever.

http://rollingjubilee.org/

Huh, that's interesting.

Malor, Aetius, Minarchist, what do you think of the Rolling Jubilee? A valid way to drain inflated debts out of the system? Or just an attention-getting move?

I'm curious about how they are actualizing this process... Are they doing it for random applicants? Are they working with some debt collection agencies to take care of it?

Robear wrote:

Malor, Aetius, Minarchist, what do you think of the Rolling Jubilee? A valid way to drain inflated debts out of the system? Or just an attention-getting move?

I think that they are feeding into the process and making it continue to be a viable thing. After you buy the debt from them the companies don't care what you do with it. You paid them money and that is all they want. Good intentions but I don't think they thought this one through.

plavonica wrote:
Robear wrote:

Malor, Aetius, Minarchist, what do you think of the Rolling Jubilee? A valid way to drain inflated debts out of the system? Or just an attention-getting move?

I think that they are feeding into the process and making it continue to be a viable thing. After you buy the debt from them the companies don't care what you do with it. You paid them money and that is all they want. Good intentions but I don't think they thought this one through.

The companies are selling it at a major loss, though. Better to get pennies on the dollar than nothing. This typically happens because the company buying it has pitbulls set to kill the indebted's family in order to collect (this analogy is only *slightly* hyperbolic). But if that company just forgives the debt....no harm done, the original debtor is still punished, and (hopefully) the indebted doesn't repeat their errors.

weswilson wrote:

I'm curious about how they are actualizing this process... Are they doing it for random applicants? Are they working with some debt collection agencies to take care of it?

From that web site above:

We buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals' debt - instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.

So basically they've set themselves up as a Collection Agency/Lottery. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
I'd almost rather they used those funds for micro-loans or actual services and not just random debt cancellation.
I'd give even odds that the majority of people helped by this initiative couldn't care less since they had no intention (or ability) to pay those debts in the first place. Wiping out the debt doesn't change that situation.

Rezzy wrote:

So basically they've set themselves up as a Collection Agency/Lottery. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
I'd almost rather they used those funds for micro-loans or actual services and not just random debt cancellation.
I'd give even odds that the majority of people helped by this initiative couldn't care less since they had no intention (or ability) to pay those debts in the first place. Wiping out the debt doesn't change that situation.

That's quite an assumption.

Seth wrote:
We buy debt for pennies on the dollar, but instead of collecting it, we abolish it. We cannot buy specific individuals' debt - instead, we help liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal.

Yes, but how do they determine that? Are they doing it for applicants? Are they working with some debt collection agency to take random debtors off their books? What's the process for determining the random debt?

Rezzy wrote:

Wiping out the debt doesn't change that situation.

Actually, debt on the books is debt on the books. Taking it off the books, by paying it off (even at a loss), does improve the overall "indebtedness" of Americans. I just suspect that this project will not be able to affect any large percentage of our actual debt as a nation of debtors.