Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 10, 2011, 6:38 p.m. EST by supportamericans
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Week Four of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).
Get smart business people to come out in support of OWS. This morning on Bloomberg Radio, PIMCO’s Bill Gross told Tom Keene “it’s no wonder that people are protesting in the streets.” That’s a big deal. Bill carries a lot of weight in financial circles. You need other “reasonable” CEOs and money managers (aside from George Soros) coming out in support of what you’re doing. All the CEOs of retail companies should be in support of what you’re saying. After all, you’re the only people that buy their stuff.
Start blaming corporatist politicians — Democrats and Republicans — as part of this mess too, not just big business. Who broke up Glass-Steagall, allowing the big banks to get way bigger? President Clinton. Who advised him to do so? Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Who did President Obama turn to at the height of the financial crisis in 2009? Clinton’s old team including Summers. Who allowed the financial regulators to be asleep at the switch while the credit bubble grew out of control in the middle part of last decade? Former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Republican Chris Cox, appointed by President Bush. Who cheered on the over-expansion of credit for housing before the bubble burst? Barney Frank. There is equal blame on both sides of the political aisle for the current recession we’re in, aside from Big Business. You need to point that out, if you expect it to stop.
Demand Glass-Steagall Be Brought Back. If you don’t know what that is, that’s a problem. It was put in place after the Great Depression to separate commercial banks from investment banks. Bill Clinton got rid of it in the 1990s because he said our capital markets had matured. That was wrong. The truth is big bank lobbyists paid to get it abolished so their profits would go up. It should be brought back and reinstated.
Demand SEC be given a budget to do its job. This is the agency that is supposed to monitor our capital markets. You know the saying good fences make good neighbors? The SEC is the good fence that lets our capitalist system function robustly. The SEC is the “rules of the game” for capitalism. Every sport needs rules. Otherwise it becomes a mockery. Crony capitalism is not capitalism. Yet, the SEC is currently operating on a hand-to-mouth basis without a clear budget. It’s got to be properly funded.
Get the mid-size banks and credit unions on your side.
Point out to Right-Wingers that Neither Ayn Rand nor Milton Friedman Favored Corporate Cronyism. The folks who describe themselves as conservative say OWS is anti-business and the protesters should get a job. You tell them that you’re pro-capitalist in the way that Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman: you want true free market capitalism without crony capitalism. That means you don’t want to see corporations buying off government to get their way. You don’t want to see industries collapse down to 2 or 3 players so that competition is erased and prices go up. Tell these so-called conservatives that you’re more conservative than them.
Support the Volcker Rule. Paul Volcker’s new rule has leaked out today. It is intended to reduce banks from making risky investments with their own capital that put their deposits at risk. Banks shouldn’t be hedge funds. Banks should be very boring and in the business of making loans. If bankers want to be hedge funds, they should quit their cushy jobs, go raise outside capital from hard-nosed investors and run their own hedge fund. Don’t use depositors’ money to play fantasy hedge fund manager.
Draft Chrystia Freeland to your cause. She’s the Digital Editor at Thomson Reuters. She’s also written the most about the disappearance of the Middle Class. She believes that America (rich or poor) can’t be successful unless the Middle Class of America is successful. In my view, her ideas are much more relevant and realistic than Michael Moore’s.