Friday, 7 October 2011

This is what I think about the Occupy Wall street movement.

One of my regular readers - Steve - recently asked me what I think about the "Occupy Wall Street" movement.

Well, Steve, they scare me. I fear chaos and disorder. A riotous mob is a recurring nightmare for me, that goes back to childhood. They are a disorderly rabble, and if they prosper they will offer only social unrest. As a Londoner, I found the recent riots extremely disturbing. It was a tense time, where some of my deepest anxieties came to surface.

I believe the demands of the "Occupy Wall Street" are impossiblist nonsense. In any practical sense, they offer nothing useful.

However, I also believe that the roots of this movement is in the irresponsible and inflationary policies of western governments. When the likes of Greenspan and King unleashed their asset bubbles, they set of an inevitable chain reaction that would lead to a crash, and an economic slump that would increase discontent and eventually destabilise politics in advanced economies. The "Occupy Wall Street" movement is really only symptom of an illness that has afflicted the advanced economies for the last two decades.

Quantitative easing is just the latest manifestation of this short sighted and destructive approach to economic policy. What Western economies need is order; balanced budgets, positive interest rates, and genuine welfare reform that restores incentives for work and investment.


Stevie b. said...

Alice - sorry - deleted my longest post ever by accident - maybe it's a blessing! Will try and re-do the basics of it later

Electro-Kevin said...

You're not alone in feeling those insecurities, Alice. Far from it.

I'm watching Jeremy Kyle at this very moment !

I don't know what your qualifications or situation are.

Doesn't a nice Australian city take your fancy ? They'd want someone like you, surely ?

Stevie b. said...

Hi Alice - ok, 2nd go around - not as eloquent (relatively speaking) as I'm convinced my 1st marvellous effort was, but anyway...

I'd guess we're basically on the same hymn-sheet as far as your post on QE is concerned, but I think really QE and OWS are 2 sides of the same coin. You say you fear chaos and disorder, but what do you think is going on & will continue to go on in the financial markets? OWS may be disorganised and "impossibilist nonsense & offer nothing useful", but surely that's what we're now getting with conventional economic so-called wisdom already! OWS knows what it's against and may not really know what it wants or how to get there, but it's a start on the road to knowing and demanding what we the people do NOT want. Let's hope OWS doesn't get hijacked by vested interests (I see that the unions are taking an interest already).

I put it all this way in a post on Jeremy Warner's piece in today's Telegraph. It may be rambling but basically it's what I (and it would seem lots of others) feel:

"King said on Channel 4 news that he's -really sorry- for pensioners on fixed incomes or anyone about to retire on what is likely to be an even poorer annuity rate than before.

So there we have it. King is really sorry for all the millions on or about to be on a fixed income. So that's all right then - thank you Sir Mervyn - most kind - I'm sure we all feel a lot better.

How very ruddy dare he? How dare he screw millions of people to save the necks and maintain the lifestyle of the few? He should help jail and not bail the bankers who caused this
situation, never mind the ruddy regulators who allowed it all to develop (& not excluding the so, so kind governor of the BoE)

He actually admits he hasn't got a clue as to what might happen next, so why is he choosing to going down the road most
certain to cause the greatest pain to the majority whilst letting the privileged minority get off scot-free?

Let shareholders suffer
(as they should) & bondholders take haircuts (as they should),
whilst protecting depositors and hiving-off the spiv side to separate entities [equivalent to Lloyd's of London] from core banking. This way the wide-boys can keep their speculative gains but also be totally responsible for the inevitable (computerised) losses and we can all get back to monetary sanity"

The problem is the enemy - well described in this piece by Robert Reich

OWS is a start against this tiny, all-powerful clique. I hope the PTB get their extremely well-deserved comeuppance.

And by the way, you mention negative interest rates, but not in the sense in which I'm curious about them.
I'm hoping you can help me out here, cos my idea of economics is particularly poor in this area. Why can the BoE not have negative interest rates for the banks who deposit money with the BoE? Currently they get money for doing nothing. If banks were charged for leaving money this way, instead of getting money for old rope & still maintaining an ongoing cushy lifestyle while we all pay for it, maybe they'd like to try and earn some honestly by doing what they're supposed to do - lend.

Stevie b. said...

Michael Fowke said...

"What Western economies need is order."

Order, and calm?

The only peace for us now is in the grave.

Stevie b. said...

Sorry to bang on, but I think Yves nails it here:

someday said...

"In truth, those camped out in Zuccotti Park are running a commune more than a protest. They have established a small communitarian village, which is punctuated by a small cabal of the angry, the insane, and the ignorant."

Electro-Kevin said...

PS, Society is still extremely safe compared to other eras.

Anxiety will always be with you whatever you do or where ever you go. It's an evolutionary left-over.

Stevie b. said...

Well Alice - I guess Martin Armstrong
kind-of agrees with you.

Food for thought for Steve...

Laban said...

"Occupy Wall Street" is alas the usual far-left suspects.

Demand three: Guaranteed living wage income regardless of employment.

Demand four: Free college education.

Demand eight: Racial and gender equal rights amendment.

Demand nine: Open borders migration. anyone can travel anywhere to work and live.

These demands will create so many jobs it will be completely impossible to fill them without an open borders policy.

In the words of Dennis Mangan :

Like radical environmentalists - green on the outside, red within - Occupy Wall Street has another agenda than the one they say they have. Ostensibly protesting Wall Street's unreasonable influence with the government, a position even Ron Paul supporters could get behind, what they're really after is the full slate of leftist demands. If these people really wanted jobs, they would demand that open borders, which we essentially already have, should be stopped. But it appears that the elementary notion of supply and demand is lost on them. Those expensive college degrees were even more worthless than they thought.

Alice Cook said...


I agree.

I was thinking of doing a post on their demands.

The main argument would be that it is same old ideas rehashed for the anti-banking theme that is running around at the moment.


Stevie b. said...

Well Alice, looks like we'll beg to differ on this one - for now anyway..