From:   shaista husain <>
Sent time:   Wednesday, October 05, 2011 6:46:25 AM
Subject:   Re: [september17discuss] Re: OccupyWallStreet Economic Statement Draft 1

The unprecedented support and endorsements by labor organizations joining the occupation is already an enormous victory--big props to labor outreach--i think we would pigeonhole ourselves with one demand--it is counter to our decentralized and autonomous structure--although consensus means we are unified one shouldn't vulgarize it to mean we are homogenous--we are heterogenous--multi-form in our diversity and strategically best served by multiple fronts of resistance and alliances--we are building bridges and as a coalition our ability to galvanize further action.

Perhaps, instead of arguing over demands we can begin to define ourselves by supporting and endorsing other protests, drafting and passing these in the GA. In this way it is not some abstract demands, but more concrete alliances, voicing OUR support of other protest movements---for example, --like the -- THere is a hunger strike in our prisons, the media is not giving enough attention to. We could show solidarity with prisoners who are silenced and locked away and support their demands. for example, we could also oppose Tar Sands and endorse those working to save our environment.  WHile we hash out whether we will have demands/values/program etc.. perhaps we can begin to add OUR support and solidarity, not only with organized labor and civil groups who are giving us huge support, but also to those who need our support. Build bridges. (obviously this is happening whether we formalize it or not, but it would be great to formalize it and articulate it with GA approval.)

In solidarity,

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 5:58 PM, gail zawacki <> wrote:
But we aren't protesting one thing, like the Iraq war.  If you look at photos of the signs people carry, their are multiple issues.  I have argued that we could make the one demand - get corporate money out of politics - and many of the other issues would, and should, be resolved in a real democracy according to what the majority of the people want v. what will profit the plutocracy greatest.

However there is quite a bit of resistance to boiling it all down to one demand on the part of some of the most active and passionate occupiers, and to allow it to be an evolving and organic process - and so I tend to think it's up to the press, like Matt T., to explain THAT position, rather than pressure OWS to capitulate.

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 4:07 PM, Cesar <> wrote:
I do not expect nothing but populist concesions. If they start to work for the people tomorrow, great, it will advance our goals, but our strategy is to grow our power. 

Sent from phone


On Oct 4, 2011, at 3:34 PM, Matthew Taibbi <> wrote:

Let me ask you a question. If this were the Iraq war you were protesting instead of Wall Street corruption, would it be "naive" to demand a withdrawal from Iraq?

Are you saying it's "naive" because it's unreasonable to expect results? I don't understand the use of that word in this context.

--- On Tue, 10/4/11, Cesar <> wrote:

From: Cesar <>

Subject: Re: OccupyWallStreet Economic Statement Draft 1
To: "Matthew Taibbi" <>
Cc: "Yves Smith" <>, "Dylan Ratigan" <>, "Michael Hudson" <>, "WilliamBlack" <>, "David DeGraw" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "Nomi" <>, "Michael" <>, "Mike Papantonio" <>, "MichaelKrieger" <>, "George Washington" <>, "Tyler Durden" <>, "" <>, "Karl" <>, "Barry" <>, "Kevin Zeese" <>, "max" <>, "Matt" <>, "Simon" <>, "Zach" <>, "David CayJohnston" <>, "Bill Laggner" <>, "Paul" <>, "Noam Chomsky" <>, "BillMoyers" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>
Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 3:05 PM

I am for elaborating collective discourse, but perhaps better in terms of general GOALS rather than demands. Demads are naive at this point, to put it shoftly.
This is not incompatible with strategic actions that may achieve short term victories. Due to our location I think we should provide our view of the economic facts, and prioritize our actions toward short term and long term solutions.
Regarding the elaboration of collective discourse, perhaps we should try some form of open source or similar wiki-process that would facilitate multiple contributions from diverse viewpoints.

Sent from phone


On Oct 4, 2011, at 10:40 AM, Matthew Taibbi <> wrote:

I disagree with the notion that there shouldn't be demands. I think there should be a few simple ones. It's not a MSM conspiracy when the press wonders what the movement wants or who is leading it. I think there are a lot of people in the press and even on Wall Street who are ready to support the movement wholeheartedly, if it could articulate some specifics.

If OWS could identify a few basic problems -- over-concentration of capital, regulatory capture, overweening influence of money on politics, excess financialization of the economy, tax unfairness, etc -- and propose some first-step solutions to all of those things (break up the banks, force bailout recipients to give up lobbying, end the carried interest and capital gains exemptions as Michael points out, etc), you'd have more allies, you'd be educating the public about a subject that it has a tough time getting real information about through normal media, and it would prevent the other side of the debate from being able to define the movement in their own (inevitably unflattering) terms.

The only thing preventing millions of people from going out onto the streets on their own is that they don't understand how Wall Street works or what it does. That to me is why the movement needs to be specific. It has a responsibility to explain these problems to the general public and to show that solutions do exist and that they're attainable. People I think need more than just the knowledge that they can protest -- they need to believe that they can fix things and that someone out there has the answers. And a lot of the people on this email list do have the answers and could provide that leadership that is so desperately needed.

--- On Tue, 10/4/11, Dylan Ratigan <> wrote:

From: Dylan Ratigan <>
Subject: Re: OccupyWallStreet Economic Statement Draft 1
To: "Yves Smith" <>
Cc: "Michael Hudson" <>, "Black, William" <>, "David DeGraw" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "Winter Siroco" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "Nomi" <>, "Michael" <>, "Mike Papantonio" <>, "Michael Krieger" <>, "George Washington" <>, "Tyler Durden" <>, "" <>, "Karl" <>, "Barry" <>, "Kevin Zeese" <>, "max" <>, "Matt" <>, "Simon" <>, "Zach" <>, "David Cay Johnston" <>, "Bill Laggner" <>, "Paul" <>, "Noam Chomsky" <>, "Moyers, Bill" <>, "" <>, "" <>, "" <>
Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2011, 9:17 AM

I agree with Yves entirely. The focus on simple shared principle and intent to align with all who agree with that principle is a unique strength. Learning, teaching and growing.

On Tue, Oct 4, 2011 at 4:11 AM, Yves Smith <> wrote:
I disagree strongly with the idea of any demands now. The number participating are far too small for the effort to have any bargaining leverage or to be perceived to represent anyone.

What is hugely disconcerting to the MSM and the officialdom is the lack of demands and the lack of easy to identify leadership These need to be understood as strengths, not weaknesses. The labor union movement was over time completely discredited because the leadership was quickly corrupted and sold out the membership.

The "We are the 99%" is a VERY powerful message. It basically says "We don't need to negotiate. This is our country and we want it back from the top 1% which has been selling us out." The     1% know damned well what the 99% want. If you forced any 10 in the top 1% of them to make a list of 10 things they thought the other 99% wanted, I guarantee you'd have no more than 16 real issues (at most) among the 100 answers you'd get in total. And I strongly suspect the 99% would agree or at most restate them.

They are MUCH better off making a general statement along the "We Are 99%" that holds their ground, and makes clear that their first priority is establishing their presence, building a critical mass and representation around the US. There should be a clever way of throwing the demand for demands back on the media: "It has taken years to create this mess, the public has been sold on the idea that it is powerless. Our first aim is to convey that the bottom 99% doesn't merely have the right to a seat at the table, it should not have to negotiate with the top 1% because the elites depend on our acquiescence and support for their very survival."

There has to be a nice way to say that, but I would brush off the demand and make it clear that organization/membership building and (I hate to use that tired 60s term, but it fits) consciousness raising are the first priorities. The more the numbers swell, the more power this effort has.  Issuing demands is not on the critical path right now and has the potential to deter people from joining. The broader public understands damned well what the aims are even if the elites and their media lapdogs are playing stupid.

On Oct 3, 2011, at 3:54 PM, Michael Hudson wrote:

> I suggest putting a specific POLICY DEMAND.
>    How about "Bankruptcy legislation to free people without jobs from
> student loan debt."
>    Or more accurately: "Tax capital gains as high as wages."
> "Remove the tax deductibility of debt."
> "A Public Option for Credit Cards -- lower the rates and penalties."
>    Michael Hudson
> On 10/3/11 3:37 PM, "Black, William" <> wrote:
>> I would recommend adding/substituting something along these lines.  If we're
>> going to raise the subject of "fraud" we need to give some of the supporting
>> facts.
>> The systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) are inaccurately called "too
>> big to fail" banks.  The administration calls them "systemically important,"
>> and acts as if they deserve a gold star.  The ugly truth, however, is what
>> Wall Street and each administration screams when the SDIs get in trouble.
>> They warn us that if a single SDI fails it will cause a global financial
>> crisis.  There are roughly 20 U.S. SDIs and about the same number abroad.
>> That means that we roll the dice 40 times a day to see which SDI will blow up
>> next and drag the world economy into crisis.  Economists agree that the SDIs
>> are so large that they are grotesquely inefficient.  In "good times,"
>> therefore, they harm our economy.  It is insane not to shrink the SDIs to the
>> point that they no longer hold the global economy hostage.  The ability -- and
>> willingness -- of the CEOs that control SDIs to hold our economy hostage makes
>> the SDIs too big to regulate and prosecute.  It also allows them to extort,
>> dominate, and degrade our democracies.  The SDIs pose a clear and present
>> danger to the U.S. and the world.
>> It takes a global effort against the SDIs because they constantly put nations
>> in competition with each other in order to generate a "race to the bottom."
>> We are always being warned that if the U.S. adopts even minimal regulation of
>> its SDIs they will flee to the City of London or be unable to compete with
>> Germany's "universal" banks.  The result of the race to the bottom, however,
>> as Ireland, Iceland, the UK, and U.S. all experienced is that we create
>> intensely criminogenic environment that creates epidemics of "control fraud."
>> Control fraud -- frauds led by CEOs who use seemingly legitimate entities as
>> "weapons" to defraud -- cause greater financial losses than all other forms of
>> property crime -- combined.  Because of the political power of the SDIs and
>> the destruction of effective regulation these fraudulent SDIs now commit
>> endemic fraud with impunity.
>> Effective financial regulation is essential if markets are to work.
>> Regulators have to serve as the "cops on the beat" to keep the fraudsters from
>> gaining a competitive advantage over honest firms.  George Akerlof, the
>> economist who identified and labeled this perverse ("Gresham's") dynamic was
>> awarded the Nobel Prize in 2001 for his insight about how control fraud makes
>> market forces perverse.
>> “[D]ishonest dealings tend to drive honest dealings out of the market. The
>> cost of dishonesty, therefore, lies not only in the amount by which the
>> purchaser is cheated; the cost also must include the loss incurred from
>> driving legitimate business out of existence.”  George Akerlof (1970).
>> One of the most perceptive observers of humanity recognized this same dynamic
>> two centuries before Akerlof.
>> "The Lilliputians look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft.  For, they
>> allege, care and vigilance, with a very common understanding, can protect a
>> man’s goods from thieves, but honesty hath no fence against superior cunning.
>> . . where fraud is permitted or connived at, or hath no law to punish it, the
>> honest dealer is always undone, and the knave gets the advantage."  Swift, J.
>> Gulliver’s Travels
>> We are the allies of honest banks and bankers.  We are their essential allies,
>> for only effective regulation permits them to exist and prosper.  Think of
>> what would happen to banks if we took the regular cops off the beat and
>> stopped prosecuting bank robbers.  That's what happens when we take the
>> regulatory cops off the beat.  The only difference is that it is the
>> controlling officers who loot the bank in the absence of the regulatory cops
>> on the beat.  It is the anti-regulators who are the enemy of honest banks and
>> bankers.
>> Top criminologists, effective financial regulators, and Nobel Laureates in
>> economics have confirmed that epidemics of control fraud, such as the FBI
>> warned of in September 2004, can cause financial bubbles to hyper-inflate and
>> drive catastrophic financial crises.  Indeed, the FBI predicted in September
>> 2004 that the developing "epidemic" of mortgage fraud would cause a financial
>> "crisis" if it were not stopped.  It grew massively after 2004.  The
>> fraudulent SDIs (who were far broader than Fannie and Freddie, indeed, they
>> only began to dominate the secondary market in sales of fraudulent loans after
>> 2005) ignored the FBI and industry fraud warnings for the most obvious of
>> reasons -- they were leaders the frauds.  The ongoing U.S. crisis was driven
>> overwhelmingly by fraudulent "liar's" loans.  Studies have shown that the
>> incidence of fraud in liar's loans is 90% (MBA/MARI 2006) and that by 2006
>> roughly one-third of all mortgage loans were liar's loans (Credit Suisse
>> 2007).  Rajdeep Sengupta, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St.
>> Louis, reported in 2010 in an article entitled “Alt-A: The Forgotten Segment
>> of the Mortgage Market” that:
>> "[B]etween 2003 and 2006 … subprime and Alt-A [loans grew] 94 and 340 percent,
>> respectively.  The higher levels of originations after 2003 were largely
>> sustained by the growth of the nonprime (both the subprime and Alt-A) segment
>> of the mortgage market."
>> Sengupta's data greatly understate the role of “Alt-A” loans (the euphemism
>> for “liar’s loans”) for they ignore the fact that by 2006 half of the loans
>> called “subprime” were also liar’s loans (Credit Suisse: 2007).  It was the
>> massive growth in fraudulent liar’s loans that hyper-inflated and greatly
>> extended the life of the bubble, producing the Great Recession.  The growth of
>> fraudulent loans rapidly increased, rather than decreased, after government
>> and industry anti-fraud specialists warned that liar's loans were endemically
>> fraudulent.  No one in the government ever told a bank that it had to make or
>> purchase a "liar's" loan.  No honest mortgage lender would make liar's loans
>> because doing so must cause severe losses.  Criminologists, economists aware
>> of the relevant criminological and economics literature on control fraud, and
>> a host of investigations have confirmed the endemic nature of control fraud in
>> the ongoing U.S. crisis.
>> But the banking elites that led these frauds have been able to do so with
>> impunity from prosecution.  Take on federal agency, the Office of Thrift
>> Supervision (OTS).  During the S&L debacle, the OTS made well over 10,000
>> criminal referrals and made the removal of control frauds from the industry
>> and their prosecution its top two priorities.  The agency's support and the
>> provision of 1000 FBI agents to investigate the cases led to the felony
>> conviction of over 1,000 S&L frauds.  The bulk of those convictions came from
>> the "Top 100" list that OTS and the FBI created to prioritize the
>> investigation of the worst failed S&Ls.  In the ongoing crisis -- which caused
>> losses 40 times larger than the S&L debacle, the OTS made zero criminal
>> referrals, the FBI (as recently as FY 2007) assigned only 120 agents
>> nationally to respond to the well over one million cases of mortgage fraud
>> that occurred annually, and the OTS' non-effort produced no convictions of any
>> S&L control frauds.  OTS' sister agencies, the Fed and the OCC, have the same
>> record of not even attempting to identify and prosecute the frauds.  The FDIC
>> was better, but still only a shadow of what it was in fighting fraud in the
>> early 1990s.  If control frauds can operate with impunity from criminal
>> prosecutions, then the perverse Gresham's dynamic is maximized and market
>> forces will increasingly drive honest banks and firms from the marketplace.
>> The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported on the results of the Great
>> Recession that was driven by this fraud epidemic:
>> "As this report goes to print, there are more than 26 million Americans who
>> are out of work, cannot find full-time work, or have given up looking for
>> work. About
>> four million families have lost their homes to foreclosure and another four
>> and a half million have slipped into the foreclosure process or are seriously
>> behind on their
>> mortgage payments. Nearly $11 trillion in household wealth has vanished, with
>> retirement accounts and life savings swept away. Businesses, large and small,
>> have felt the sting of a deep recession."
>> It is the fraudulent SDIs that are the massive job killers and wealth
>> destroyers.  It is the Great Recession that the fraudulent SDIs produced that
>> caused most of the growth in the federal deficits and made the fiscal crises
>> in our states and localities acute.  The senior officers that led the control
>> frauds are the opposite of the "productive class."  No one, without the aid of
>> an army, has ever destroyed more wealth and dreams than the control frauds.
>> It is past to hold them accountable, to help their victims recover, and to end
>> their ongoing frauds and corruption that have crippled our economy, our
>> democracy, and our nation.  jj
>> Best,
>> Bill Black
>> ________________________________________
>> From: David DeGraw []
>> Sent: Monday, October 03, 2011 12:33 PM
>> To:;; Winter Siroco;
>>; Nomi; Black, William;;
>> Michael; Mike Papantonio; Michael Krieger; George Washington; Tyler Durden;
>>; Karl; Barry; Kevin Zeese; max; Matt; Simon; Zach; David
>> Cay Johnston; Bill Laggner; Paul; Noam Chomsky; Moyers, Bill;
>> Subject: Re: OccupyWallStreet Economic Statement Draft 1
>> here it is w/ Dylan's suggested revisions, the ending needs smoothing out,
>> let's see if we can finalize something tonight in GA - flooded w/ calls rght
>> now, will be on NBC w/ Brian William tonight
>> we are publishing this statement in response to misinformation being spread
>> throughout some media outlets, we would like to issue the statement below to
>> give some clarification as to why we are currently occupying Wall Street:
>> Now let us make something clear to our fellow American citizens.  We - old,
>> young, rich, poor, middle class, black, white, blue, red, hippies,
>> conservatives, liberals, soldiers, teachers, lawyers, doctors, firefighters,
>> and yes, police officers - the people occupying Wall Street, are not against
>> rich people for being rich, as various corporate media outlets are attempting
>> to make you think we are.   We believe wealth should be a byproduct of working
>> together to solve our problems with aligned interests. To clarify, what we are
>> fighting against are the people, politicians and corporations who are
>> responsible for trillions of dollars in fraud.  We are fighting a political
>> system that has been hijacked and rigged against hardworking Americans by the
>> global financial elite. We are rebelling against economic tyranny.  We are
>> defending the United States against an occupying global financial oligarchy.
>> Our families have endured financial oppression for long enough.
>> We are here to defend the people of the United Sates.  America has been
>> invaded and is currently occupied by global banks that have systematically
>> looted our economy and destroyed our economic future. Through a system of
>> political bribery - campaign finance, lobbying and the revolving door between
>> Washington and Wall Street – the global financial elite have bought off our
>> politicians and now dominate our political process.
>> So-called “too big to fail” financial companies, such as Goldman Sachs, JP
>> Morgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup are responsible for trillions of
>> dollars in fraudulent activity.  As their global derivative Ponzi scheme began
>> to crash, these global corporations got paid off politicians and the Federal
>> Reserve to give them over $20 trillion dollars in taxpayer money and
>> subsidies.  After these global banks crashed our economy and took trillions of
>> dollars of our national wealth, which saved their insolvent companies from
>> going out of business, they turned around and had the audacity to give
>> themselves all-time record-breaking bonuses.
>> They used our tax dollars to give themselves all-time recording-breaking
>> bonuses.
>> At a time of national crisis, with calls for shared sacrifice, they used our
>> tax dollars to give themselves all-time record-breaking bonuses.
>> As a result of their actions, our country has been economically attacked. The
>> statistics speak for themselves.
>> According to the National Academy of Sciences, we have over 50 million
>> Americans living in poverty.  This shocking number of American families
>> currently living in poverty is at an all-time high. Over 50 million Americans
>> are also without health care. 46 million Americans are relying on food stamps
>> to feed their families. Over 64 million Americans have zero or negative net
>> worth. Over 200 million Americans are living paycheck to paycheck desperately
>> struggling to make ends meet as they are buried in debt.   As this dire
>> situation grows even more severe, the global financial elite are richer than
>> ever.  Over the course of the past generation, they have consolidated wealth
>> in unprecedented fashion. We currently have the highest inequality of wealth
>> in American history.  Not even the Robber Barons were as bad as the modern day
>> economic elite.
>> In the US, millionaire households currently have over $46 trillion in wealth.
>> On an annual basis, only one-tenth of one percent of the US population makes
>> over $1 million per year.  Breaking it down even further, 400 American
>> billionaires currently have as much wealth as 154 million Americans.  These
>> 400 people have as much wealth as half of the entire US population.
>> As we said before, we are not against rich people for being rich.   We believe
>> wealth should be a byproduct of working together to solve our problems with
>> aligned interests.
>> Our families and our country have endured financial oppression for long
>> enough.
>> Please join us or organize an action of your own.  Anything you are willing to
>> do to rebel against economic tyranny in a non-violent manner is welcome.

     Coming Soon