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-   -   The Wall Street Occupation (http://www.rpgwatch.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14923)

Ubereil September 27th, 2011 15:42

The Wall Street Occupation
 
What are your thoughts of it? Or, more interestingly, what are your thoughts of mainstream medias' (lack of) take on it?

(Some info can be found here, but due to the lack of coverage it's hard to say what is and what isn't happening.)

Übereil

blatantninja September 27th, 2011 16:37

There's not a lot of coverage because really it hasn't been that big of a deal. I was down in that area last week and the rally didn't seem much bigger than any of the others I've seen there in recent years (I think the estimate was around 500 people).

Over the weekend it seemed to get a bit bigger with them starting in Union Square and trying to march down (which is about 2 miles I think). It got ugly though when the police stopped them. The sad thing is that all they had to do was apply for a permit and they could have marched no problem. They approve those things all the time. Of course, that isn't what the organizers wanted, they wanted confrontation so they can get on the news.

On Tuesday, I was heading down to a meeting I had near the NYU campus and one of these people came on my subway car spouting off about the rally. He was going around asking every single person in the car if they would come down and join it. Most people ignored him. I was wearing a suit, looked very much the banker type. When he came to me, I responded with a smile "I believe that would constitute a conflict of interest for me." He was not happy, but I got a few laughs from the other riders around me.

Thrasher September 27th, 2011 21:26

Quote:

Four protesters were arrested for wearing masks.
WTF? Apprently there is a law in NYC against 2 or more people in a group wearing a mask. No Mardi Gras for you NYC.

blatantninja September 27th, 2011 21:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thrasher (Post 1061094905)
WTF? Apprently there is a law in NYC against 2 or more people in a group wearing a mask. No Mardi Gras for you NYC.

That one's news to me. I guess they don't enforce it during the massive Halloween parade in the East Village.

Thrasher September 27th, 2011 21:41

Convenient!

dteowner September 27th, 2011 21:44

Perhaps the legal difference is in the permit specs? I assume these folks had to get a permit for their protest, particularly since they got busted for not having a permit to march.

Thrasher September 27th, 2011 21:50

Perhaps the permit has to include words about wearing masks? Bizarre.

dteowner September 27th, 2011 22:02

I expect the rules for a parade permit are more lenient than for a protest rally permit, given the latter is more likely to end badly.

Tanno September 28th, 2011 15:30

I saw the pics and I think it has to do with the Anonymous' mask, which gave them the idea of having them arrested either for the hackers' attack or of the indignants.

BTW, what's really going on in Wall Street? All I hear is that Wall Street is a corrupted bank or something else and those guys are marching to strike them back and want Wall Street to be closed. So what's really going on there?

blatantninja September 28th, 2011 16:09

Quote:

Originally Posted by Tanno (Post 1061095047)
I saw the pics and I think it has to do with the Anonymous' mask, which gave them the idea of having them arrested either for the hackers' attack or of the indignants.

BTW, what's really going on in Wall Street? All I hear is that Wall Street is a corrupted bank or something else and those guys are marching to strike them back and want Wall Street to be closed. So what's really going on there?

The short synopsis that the Fed, the Treasury and Wall Street are so intertwined at this point that effectively the US taxpayers are the insurance for any bad bed a big bank makes. So basically the banks can take just about any risk they want, because if they are Too Big To Fail, they know the government is going to bail them out.

This has led to a lot of unscrupulous behavior. Add in that the Fed has actively manipulated things so that banks that are basically insolvent don't appear that way (BofA comes to mind), and its a powder keg. You can only continue the charade for so long.

This behavior is not unique to the US though as the ECB has been doing basically the same thing. Eventually you have to pay the piper though. I think the next few years are going to see breakups of most of the major banks and a several of the mid-tier as well as a few at the top just go completely bust. Wall Street in 2016 will look very different than it does today.

dteowner September 28th, 2011 17:53

You think the big banks blow up of their own accord, choose to break into smaller pieces to avoid problems (preempt regulatory dismantling, for example), or get shredded by Barack to corner populist votes?

blatantninja September 28th, 2011 19:02

Quote:

Originally Posted by dteowner (Post 1061095063)
You think the big banks blow up of their own accord, choose to break into smaller pieces to avoid problems (preempt regulatory dismantling, for example), or get shredded by Barack to corner populist votes?


Combination of the first two. The Fed has already requested BofA to basically make a living will for the possibility of breaking it up. That's not really an Obama thing, though he's probably on board with it. Ultimately what I think we'll see is one blow up, followed up by a forced merger of the blown up bank with someone that is supposedly solvent, followed by forced break ups of the remaining players.

Unfortunately our government is 100% reactionary and they've pretty much used all the ammunition they have to kick the can down the road so to speak. The only thing left is significant to hyper inflation and, not even talking about the ramifications of that for the entire country, it simply isn't possible to enact in any meaningful time frame that would save the TBTF banks.

Alrik Fassbauer September 29th, 2011 12:09

What I don't like is that the TBTF banks never pay back for having been saved.

We see it here with the "Hypo Real Estate" bank which was considered as an Too Big To Fail bank as well - it was saved through hunfreds of millions or even more money through the government -> the tax payers in the end - and they were still doling out ten thousands or even millions of "bonus payments" to high-level employees …

Which rrived in the minds of the public as :

Too Big To Fail Bank -> is saved through the gov't -> is saved through the publi = the tax payers -> the money lands in the pockets of the bankers.

Result - in the minds of the public : Bankers are = gigantic parasites who become richer and richer through the money of Joe Public.

And this is just unfair. And this is what the public thinks right now, no matter what.
And even no matter whether a bank is obliged through treaties to pay bonus payments to high-level bankers within the firm.

blatantninja September 29th, 2011 13:04

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer (Post 1061095190)
What I don't like is that the TBTF banks never pay back for having been saved.

In the US that hasn't been entirely true. The government got back all the money, plus a return, from BofA. They made a good chunk of money back from AIG, though AIG was so in the hole that there was no way they'd ever recover all of it.

Quote:

We see it here with the "Hypo Real Estate" bank which was considered as an Too Big To Fail bank as well - it was saved through hunfreds of millions or even more money through the government -> the tax payers in the end - and they were still doling out ten thousands or even millions of "bonus payments" to high-level employees …
Goldman essentially did that after getting in essence a bailout via AIG. It was pretty disgusting, but at the same time, they never received any money directly from the government, so its hard to find a legal or legitimate way to say they shouldn't have done that. The real issue was that the government never should have paid 100 cents on the dollar for AIG's CDS contracts.

dteowner September 29th, 2011 15:17

True. Obama (and, to a much lesser extent, Dubya) completely missed the opportunity. Even if you buy into TBTF, that doesn't preclude "Not Too Big to Take an Epic Bath". Paying (to pick a random number) 50 cents on the dollar might have been sufficient to avert a complete financial meltdown while still allowing the offending banks to suffer the consequences of their horrible decisions.

BillSeurer September 29th, 2011 16:33

Don't let the actual bank company fail but totally crucify the top executives. Make them lose their jobs, pay back most of their salaries for the past 10 years (let them keep minimum wage level), forbid them from working in baking for the next 906 years, whatever, but make them pay for their mistakes.

How it works now:
Someone takes over as the CEO of a big bank (really any big company)
They get a signing bonus of millions
They get a good salary and huge stock grants
They have a golden parachute where if they leave they get millions more

So, what is their incentive? Bet the whole thing on incredibly risky behavior! If they fail and get fired so what? They still have the signing bonus and golden parachute (enough for most people to live on for many lifetimes). If they succeed they make bazillions on the stock.

Thrasher September 29th, 2011 17:36

This the problem when you elevate the corporation to the same level as the individual, and protect employees from legal repercussions of their work done for the corporation.

BillSeurer September 29th, 2011 17:55

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillSeurer (Post 1061095237)
…forbid them from working in baking….

Yes, no cookie or doughnut making for them! No, ah hem, banking either.

blatantninja September 29th, 2011 20:42

Now look, I've done some unscrupulous things in my time, but banning me from baking? That's cold man, cold.

BillSeurer September 30th, 2011 19:47

Hey, we just had a PERFECT example of what is wrong with executives at big companies: Apotheker at HP.

Before he was fired he had already taken home most of his $1.2 million annual salary, a $4 million signing bonus and an additional $4.6 million awarded for relocation assistance and to offset payments that he forfeited from his previous employer, SAP (SAP).

Apotheker will receive $7.2 million in severance, which will be paid out over the next 18 months. He'll also receive a bonus of $2.4 million for his 11 months of service.

Also, HP will pay Apotheker up to $300,000 for any losses or fees on the sale of his California home, and will immediately vest 156,000 shares of stock valued at $3.6 million on the day Apotheker got the boot.

Holy crap! *I* would have gladly driven HP into the ground for half that approx. $24 million.


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