Nov 24, 11 12:10 am


Nov 25, 11 10:36 am

Why America is no longer a free country, and the American Dream has become a thing of the past. Our leaders are not on our side. They are oppressing, which can make things worse.

1. get the money out of politics
2. reform the banking system to prevent fraud and manipulation, with the most frequent item being to restore the Glass-Steagall Act
3. draft laws against the little-known loophole that currently allows members of Congress to pass legislation affecting Delaware-based corporations in which they themselves are investors.

Nov 26, 11 4:48 pm


Nov 26, 11 6:32 pm

Methinks frac is just trying to provoke a response out of the rest of us. No mic check for him.

Nov 27, 11 12:38 pm


Nov 27, 11 2:10 pm

new info about the bank bailout


The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates...   ...Saved by the bailout, bankers lobbied against government regulations, a job made easier by the Fed, which never disclosed the details of the rescue to lawmakers even as Congress doled out more money and debated new rules aimed at preventing the next collapse.

Nov 28, 11 5:26 pm

politricks, baby.


Nov 28, 11 6:26 pm

and in other news - looks like citigroup is the first to be dragged out into the light.


unfortunately we're going to have to wait until July for the trial...

Nov 28, 11 8:09 pm

...great article - thanks for the link toasteroven.  I'm amazed anyone in government, let alone the federal government is showing any regard for "the public interest":

Judge Rakoff wrote. “In any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives, there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth.”

I wonder which corporation will pay him to retire early...? 

Nov 28, 11 9:46 pm

oh - IF this actually goes to trial - SEC can still appeal or citi can agree to a bigger settlement...


word on the street is that Rakoff is a staunch free-market conservative - maybe he's had a change of heart?  who knows...

Nov 28, 11 10:28 pm

Just curious....Do you guys think that this OWS movement and anti-corporation mentality will lead to the collapse of the corporate culture. I must admit, I personally would not see this as necessarily a bad thing. Sure, It will initially lead to job losses, economic damage etc but this will in turn recover. There is no reason why a number of small businesses would not be able to create the same amount of jobs/ taxes/ revenues that one corporation does.

Bring back the local bakery/ bookshop/ tailor?

Nov 29, 11 2:26 pm

...actually, it's the big corporation (i.e. Nike) with record profits that can afford to send jobs overseas or to Mexico that causes job losses (see "The Big One" by Michael Moore.  I think that video was made in 1989).  Corporations are relevant, but they need to be brought into balance - quit undermining the labor market and exploiting cheap labor elsewhere.  The only market they're creating here is the fodder for predatory lending.

Bring back the craftsman and artisan, shop local, Etsy has been a handy resource too.

Nov 29, 11 3:00 pm

Small business stinks.  Only corporations can create billionaires!  And architects need billionaires!

Oh.  And this is an awesome piece of socialist anarchy, give money to the people & bankrupt the banks in the process = brilliant!

"Economist Steve Keen is one of the few economists to have predicted the global financial crisis and now he says we are already in a Great Depression. He says the way to escape it is to bankrupt the banks, nationalise the financial system and pay off people's debt.
He admits what he is advocating is radical but says it is time governments gave money to debtors to pay down debt instead of to creditors such as banks who have held onto it."

But it will never happen so we might as well just kill ourselfs now, yo!

Nov 29, 11 3:46 pm

yo no don't kill! grab a fistfull o' these!

and ..

Nov 29, 11 3:48 pm

Print off more money, thats always worked in the past right?

Nov 29, 11 5:55 pm

As much as I love this - and they have a really rock solid argument: in a nutshell, Washington State courts last year found the state was already NOT meeting its constitutional obligation to fund education, yet this special session was specifically for legislators to make further cuts - I can't help but compare it to the Tea Party's temper tantrums at public meetings during the election and how angry those made me, because they were preventing public discourse from happening within an agreed-upon framework.  

Perhaps the difference between this and the disruption of the breakfast at which Scott Walker was Occupied is whether one has to pay to attend, whether it's a public meeting or a private one.  Walker's breakfast was a paid event, so the protestors bought their tickets like everyone else.  Public legislative meetings do need to have a level of order.

That said, when egregious actions are happening impoliteness needs to be expected, and  I can't wait for a People's Mic to break out in the US Senate!

Nov 30, 11 8:54 am

do you feel better?

Nov 30, 11 10:04 am

- I can't help but compare it to the Tea Party's temper tantrums at public meetings during the election and how angry those made me, because they were preventing public discourse from happening within an agreed-upon framework.

how was asking tough questions of congresspeople at town hall meetings (where congresspeople ask their voters to ask them questions) 'preventing public discourse from happening'?  it seems to me the 'agreed-upon framework' was the congress dude will be there - show up and ask your questions.

'temper tantrums' lol

Nov 30, 11 10:23 am

Occupy LA's legacy: Stench, trash, property damage

By ROBERT JABLON, Associated Press

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

(11-30) 11:51 PST Los Angeles, CA (AP) --

The reek of urine and unwashed bodies hung over the former Occupy Los Angeles camp Wednesday as masked sanitation workers hauled away 25 tons of debris from the barren lawns around City Hall.

Collapsed and overturned tents, scattered bedding, paperback books, bicycles, shoes, food and other belongings were tossed by shovel or pitchfork into trash trucks after a small army of police peacefully swarmed the nearly two-month encampment. City officials who had tolerated the economic protest for weeks had finally declared the area a health and safety hazard earlier in the week.

Crews set up concrete barriers and chain-link fencing around the sea of debris and dirt that used to be grass. Left behind was a sea of belongings. Frontloaders scooped up larger items, including wooden cabinets.

"It's so contaminated, it doesn't even make sense to sort it out," said Jose "Pepe" Garcia, 49, superintendent of the city's north central sanitation district.

A dozen city sanitation workers were suited up in white coveralls, gloves and boots after reports that there might be a lice or flea infestation, Garcia said.

Sanitation workers had been hauling away as much as 2 tons of trash a day from the site, but hygiene remained a problem despite rows of portable toilets, he said. Plastic gallon bottles of urine and smaller bottles were set aside for special disposal.

"They had no means to wash up. They had no means to shower," Garcia said. "You've got bottles of urine, that's the biggest hazard in there."

Crews have cleaned up homeless encampments with similar issues before but never on the scale of the Occupy LA bivouac.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Elton Atkins, a city refuse collection supervisor.

(rest of story clicky linky above-y)

Nov 30, 11 6:16 pm

I think the article above is an analogy for what predatory lenders did to our neighborhoods through foreclosure and a metaphor for what Wall Street did to our retirement accounts.

Nov 30, 11 7:04 pm

...thanks for demonstrating the "validity" of trickle down economics Occupee-ers!

Nov 30, 11 7:11 pm

General loan strike: an interesting idea, though I think the THREAT of it is what would be effective in bringing financial reform.  The actual ACTION of the strike seems like it could be damaging in deeper ways than the author admits, though maybe it would just be like the closing scene in Fight Club: everything erased, so we're all on the same playing field again.

That said, although I don't think my mortgage is underwater, I'd be happy to stop paying my student loans in a year.

Dec 1, 11 10:29 am

donna - I don't think that's is a good idea - we'd all just end up screwing ourselves... banks can make money off of people who don't pay.  plus my few remaining loan payments are to the federal government, not to a private company, so who would it send a message to?


personally - i think keeping pressure on the Obama admin and the SEC to PROSECUTE banks who break the law, instead of having them pay a measly fine is by far the most important goal.  right now we've got a bunch of people on the right who keep spreading this lie that FNMA and the CRA are solely responsible for the crisis - but once a lot of this evidence is made public and these bank executives are dragged off to jail people will finally understand just how much criminal activity goes on at the big banks and which politicians allowed all of this to happen.  both sides (especially the free-market fundamentalists within the republican party) are very scared of any of this stuff coming out in the open - so we must keep the pressure.


yes, there is a lot of personal debt floating around and many people are hurting, but we're still missing a lot of the narrative and no one has been brought to justice.  IMO - only after bankers (and some politicians) are hog-tied and dumped into the east river can we start to tackle these other social issues.

Dec 1, 11 11:59 am

Good point, I listened to a news article recently that pointed out that when the SEC "settles" these financial cases (for the past 20 years) with a fine and no admission of guilt, the underlying reason is to prevent any legal basis for future civil lawsuits.

Well, just another example:

"The fund manager says he was shocked that Paulson would furnish such specific information -- to his mind, leaving little doubt that the Treasury Department would carry out the plan. The managers attending the meeting were thus given a choice opportunity to trade on that information. " - Bloomberg

Dec 1, 11 12:33 pm

Oakland has been occupied by £€$$  (bottom left, bright shiny letters)

i've been away from archinect for too long, and it warms my heart to see community members in the movement. thanks, everyone. In the meantime, i have 12 pages of posts to read.

Dec 1, 11 1:14 pm

ugh...certainly i've been away long enough that now i have to figure out link tricks in 2.0




Dec 1, 11 1:18 pm

¥€$ !!

Dec 1, 11 1:27 pm
Erik Evens (EKE)

When I signed the contract on my home loan, and on my student loan docs (long since repaid), I made a promise to repay.  I stand by my word, and would make those payments until I was in some way physically unable to do so.  It's a matter of personal integrity.  I'm grateful that there was someone willing to loan me money to make something that I wanted possible.  I would never simply stop paying a loan to "make a statement".  Old fashioned, I guess.

Dec 1, 11 1:50 pm

Student loans have skyrocketed past the cost of inflation though, so it's not so much a matter of integrity as it is a question of why college costs are increasing while faculty/resource sizes are decreasing.  Even our "public" universities have become privatized, in a sense, and more and more students are finding themselves unable to get the access to the education they need in order to make it into the middle class.

Those UC Davis protesters were upset that their tuition was going to go up some 80% within 5 years.  Who can afford that?


Dec 1, 11 3:36 pm

faculty is roughly the same but administration has tripled in size since the 1970's (at least in california)

add the generous pension plans government employees get and you get your massive tuition increase

Dec 1, 11 4:23 pm

oh yes - government pension plans - which account for maybe 2%( often less) of the entire government budget - partly admin overhead, and partly matching funds like they used to do on 401k plans.  huge drain on taxpayer money.

Dec 1, 11 5:01 pm

In Los Angeles, where pension costs are expected to consume 19% of the general fund budget in the coming fiscal year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa wants voters to sign off on scaling back the pensions available to police officers and firefighters. The City Council, he said, has the authority to make those changes for the rest of the city's employees.

Dec 1, 11 5:10 pm

I've been rather surprised that the "less money" shirts haven't become an unofficial shirt of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

£€$$ really should be one of the more popular graphic memes right now but probably most Americans can't figure out how to type the pound or the euro characters.  Figures, yo!

Dec 1, 11 5:20 pm

¥€$ !!

Dec 1, 11 5:25 pm

EKE, I agree with you, but what about this: would you make the statement *if* it meant preventing the people to whom you made the promise to repay from lying, cheating, and stealing from other people like yourself?  You want to honor your debts (as do I), but if you found out those to whom you made the promise were using your good faith efforts to fund their ability to steal from others, would that change your attitude?

I don't want to do business with the financial institutions that got us into this mess.  Sadly like most people my small local mortgage company sold my loan to BofA so I now pay them, and I hate it - i've considered begging my regular, small local bank, who I love, to refinance for me, but they don't really do mortgages.

As I see it toasteroven is right: what NEEDS to happen is prosecution of those who committed crimes - which is literally thousands of people in the financial industry.  To push that agenda along, the THREAT of a general loan strike could help.  I'm also totally onboard with a general general strike: if one day there were no cashiers, waiters, cab drivers, valets, cleaning staff, security guards, IT staff, etc. the people who depend on that invisible labor would get the message right quick that their daily lives do NOT go well unless the thousands who make their routines possible are also doing their jobs.  When I was in Venice last June the water taxi employees all did a one-day general strike and yeah: every single person in the city was affected, and significantly inconvenienced.  That's the power of a strike, or the threat of one.

Dec 1, 11 9:55 pm

Marlin I've missed you!  Off to search for the shirt...

Dec 1, 11 9:55 pm
won and done williams

You do understand, FRaC, that the current problem with pension obligations has to do with a long history of states and municipalities underfunding their pension systems and now as the baby boomers are hitting retirement age, the chickens are coming home to roost. Blaming the pensioners or their public unions is misdirecting the blame away from politicians, both Republicans and Democrats alike, who have dug themselves into this hole over many decades. Unfortunately because of this long history of fiscal irresponsibility, we are now in a situation where we have to make a decision between increasing taxes, cutting benefits or cutting services. Given the myopic intransigence of the Republican party's stance on taxes, I can see where this is headed...

Dec 1, 11 10:08 pm

"Myopic intransigence" it - because it's all about the here-now: timing; they're the quick-fix party; it's immediacy that characterizes the Republicans rather than long-term strategy.  For instance, being pro-life AND pro-capital punishment; spending more on the penal system than on education; and defending tax cuts for "job creators" - those in the privileged position to hire without being burdened with the responsibility to retire employees:  they're the ADHD party. No wonder they're against teaching evolution, it suggests due process.

Dec 1, 11 11:25 pm

Marlin, I'll try:

Dec 1, 11 11:34 pm

Maybe we could get all the architects to strike?

Oh yea, most of them are not working......

Dec 2, 11 1:38 am

Donna, as always i miss you and every1.0 as well. and Donna, i proudly point out the November 2 Occupy Oakland General Strike:

Dec 2, 11 2:56 am

FRaC - 

what they don't tell you is that public employees pay into the pension fund, which is taken out of their salaries and managed by the state - while it may consume 19% of the state's budget on paper, it's actually largely NOT paid for by taxpayers.  actual hard cost to state is considerably less - not including healthcare it's typically less than 2% in most states.


cost of healthcare is a real problem, though...

Dec 2, 11 9:44 am

The reason people are pissed off about pensions is because once you start laying off employees suddenly the state has to foot the bill for what would have been covered by people who replace the jobs of those who are retiring.  it's not as big a problem as people on the right are making it out to be (and conveniently leaving out what the actual costs are to taxpayers) - plus if they force people to switch over to privately managed 401Ks even though they're losing a good chunk of revenue they can point to that 19% cut out of the state budget as "real savings" - and people who don't know any better will say we cut down the size of government blah blah blah... but really we're moving taxpayer money that is part of public employee's salary to private banks.

Dec 2, 11 10:04 am

being pro-life AND pro-capital punishment

what about being pro-abortion AND anti-capital punishment?

Dec 2, 11 10:06 am

...what about it?

Dec 2, 11 1:42 pm

Marlin that picture is beautiful.

Iceland is interesting - the government had Interpol issue international arrest warrants for the heads of the banks that collapsed.  Here in the US, we pay our banking heads tens of thousands of dollars to give lectures at our business schools. WTF.

Dec 2, 11 10:53 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: