‘The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners.
According to Oxfam, the world’s rich are getting richer, leaving hundreds of millions of people facing a life “trapped in poverty” as global “inequality spirals out of control”.
The report found that the number of billionaires in the world has more than doubled to 1,646 since the financial crisis of 2009, and Oxfam says is evidence that the benefits of a return to economic growth are “not being shared with the vast majority”.’
‘The Federal Reserve and its bullion bank agents (JP Morgan, Scotia, and HSBC) have been using naked short-selling to drive down the price of gold since September 2011. The latest containment effort began in mid-July of this year, after gold had moved higher in price from the beginning of June and was threatening to take out key technical levels, which would have triggered a flood of buying from hedge funds.
The Fed and its agents rig the gold price in the New York Comex futures (paper gold) market. The bullion banks have the ability to print an unlimited supply of gold contracts which are sold in large volumes at times when Comex activity is light.
Generally, on the other side of the trade the buyers of contracts are large hedge funds and other speculators, who use the contracts to speculate on the direction of the gold price. The hedge funds and speculators have no interest in acquiring physical gold and settle their bets in cash, which makes it possible for the bullion banks to sell claims to gold that they cannot back with physical metal. Contracts sold without underlying gold to back them are called “uncovered contracts” or “naked shorts.” It is illegal to engage in naked shorting in the stock and bond markets, but it is permitted in the gold futures market.’
- Price-fixing on gold, oil and financial products to become criminal offence
- Insider Trading and Financial Terrorism on Comex
- FCA: ‘No evidence’ of gold price rigging
- British MPs urge watchdog to probe price-rigging in gold market
- Gold Price Manipulation Was “Routine”, FT Reports
- New concerns surround the way the world gold price is set
- Barclays slapped with $44 million fine over gold price fix
- FT’s Gold Price Manipulation Article That Was Removed
- Gold Fix Study Shows Signs of Decade of Bank Manipulation
- Metals, Currency Rigging Is Worse Than Libor, Bafin Says
- Matt Taibbi: The Biggest Price-Fixing Scandal Ever
‘Gold and currencies markets are starting to show their first nerves ahead of a referendum in Switzerland that could potentially force the country’s central bank to buy thousands of metric tons of gold and never sell it, complicating its so far credible policies to hold down the franc.
A ‘yes’ result in the so-called “Save Our Swiss Gold” vote Nov. 30 wouldn’t be the end of the matter, with the controversial measure facing several hurdles before it could ever be passed into law.
Still, a ruling in favor of the motion would force the Swiss National Bank to hold some 20% of its about $547 billion assets in the precious metal, returning to the weighting it last held in gold in 2008. This harks back to a time when Switzerland held a dominant role in global gold markets.’
- Gold price could benefit from Swiss vote
- Fed Ends QE? Greenspan Says Gold “Measurably” “Higher” In 5 Years
- Things That Make You Go Hmmm… Like The Swiss Gold Status Quo Showdown
- Currency traders eye Swiss vote on gold holdings
- How the central bank squandered Switzerland’s gold reserves
- Next big market shock can come from ‘Save Swiss gold’ movement
- Ron Paul: Switzerland Gold Referendum A Healthy Conversation
- Analyst: Switzerland Is Only Country That Would Vote For Bigger Gold Reserves
- “Save Our Swiss Gold ” – Game Changer For Gold?
‘Trust in others and confidence in societal institutions are at their lowest point in over three decades, analyses of national survey data reveal. The findings are forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Compared to Americans in the 1970s-2000s, Americans in the last few years are less likely to say they can trust others, and are less likely to believe that institutions such as government, the press, religious organizations, schools, and large corporations are ‘doing a good job,'” explains psychological scientist and lead researcher Jean M. Twenge of San Diego State University.’
‘According to a new report, the richest one percent have got their mitts on almost half the world’s assets. Think that’s the end of the story? Think again. This is only the beginning.
The “Global Annual Wealth Report,” freshly released by investment giant Credit Suisse, analyzes the shocking trend of growing wealth inequality around the world. What the researchers find is that global wealth has increased every year since 2008, and that personal wealth seems to be rising at the fastest rate ever recorded, much of it driven by strong equity markets. But the benefits of this growth have largely been channeled to those who are already affluent. While the restaurant workers in America struggled to achieve wages of $10 an hour for their labor, those invested in equities saw their wealth soar without lifting a finger. So it goes around the world.’
‘The richest 1% of the world’s population are getting wealthier, owning more than 48% of global wealth, according to a report published on Tuesday which warned growing inequality could be a trigger for recession.
According to the Credit Suisse global wealth report (pdf), a person needs just $3,650 – including the value of equity in their home – to be among the wealthiest half of world citizens. However, more than $77,000 is required to be a member of the top 10% of global wealth holders, and $798,000 to belong to the top 1%.
“Taken together, the bottom half of the global population own less than 1% of total wealth. In sharp contrast, the richest decile hold 87% of the world’s wealth, and the top percentile alone account for 48.2% of global assets,” said the annual report, now in its fifth year.’
- Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report
- Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world
- Britain’s five richest families worth more than poorest 20%
- Piketty’s Inequality Story in Six Charts
- Pope Francis denounces ‘trickle-down’ economics
- The Global 1%: Exposing the Transnational Ruling Class
- From The Price of Inequality: Joseph Stiglitz on the 1 Percent Problem
- £13tn hoard hidden from taxman by global elite
- Why economic inequality leads to collapse
- The Rise of the New Global Elite
Editor’s Note: Robert Johnson is the Executive Director of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a Senior Fellow and Director of the “Project on Global Finance” at the Roosevelt Institute. He was also a former currency trader on Wall Street who worked under George Soros.
‘We are on the road in Detroit, broadcasting from the “Great Lakes State” of Michigan, which has one of the longest freshwater coastlines in the country. But its residents are increasingly concerned about their access to affordable water. A judge overseeing Detroit’s bankruptcy recently ruled the city can continue shutting off water to residents who have fallen behind on payments after a judge concluded there is no “enforceable right” to water. The city began cutting off water to thousands of households several months ago, prompting protests from residents and the United Nations. Today, some 350 to 400 customers reportedly continue to lose water service daily in Detroit, where poverty rate is approximately 40 percent, and people have seen their water bills increase by 119 percent within the last decade. Most of the residents are African-American. Two-thirds of those impacted by the water shutoffs involve families with children. We speak with Alice Jennings, the lead attorney for residents who have lost their water access. “What’s happening here is nothing short of a humanitarian crisis,” Jennings says. “In a military way, the truck would start at one end of the street, and by the time it reached the other end maybe 50 percent of the homes were shut off.”’ (Democracy Now!)
- The South Bronx Came Back—Can Detroit?
- One in six Detroit babies born pre-term
- Child Poverty Rampant in Many of Biggest U.S. Cities
- Michigan incomes rise 1.7%, poverty levels unchanged
- Shutoff: Detroit’s Water War
- Despite Calls for Humanity, Detroit Resumes Water Shutoffs
- When Water is a Commodity Instead of a Human Right
- Companies proclaim water the next oil in a rush to turn resources into profit
- Detroit: The bankrupt city turned corporate luxury brand
- Michigan Leads Nation in Massive Corporate Tax Breaks
- Detroit Red Wings Get New $400 Million Taxpayer-Financed Stadium While the City Goes Bankrupt
- Is Detroit’s Bankruptcy Really a Feeding Frenzy for Privatization?
- Detroit’s Collapse Reveals the Awful Dystopia that the United States Is Becoming
- A financial dictator for Detroit
- Decline of Detroit
‘Three separate versions of a secretive Federal Reserve Bank of New York manual known as the “Doomsday Book” were entered into court evidence under seal Tuesday as part of a classaction lawsuit by shareholders of American International Group Inc.
The “Doomsday Book” is essentially a private compilation of emergency measures that the Federal Reserve could take in the event of a financial crisis or other market-destabilizing event. The book has never been made public.
It’s existence of the book isn’t secret: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner references it in his recent financial-crisis book, “Stress Test,” calling it a catalog of “our actual firefighting equipment.”
But Fed officials have refused to release it, and Justice Department officials at a court hearing on Tuesday said the Federal Reserve Bank of New York wanted to keep the book under seal.’
- Just What Is In The Fed’s “Doomsday Book”?
- Geithner borrowed page from ‘Doomsday’ book for AIG bailout
- A.I.G. Trial Puts Geithner, and His Book, on Hot Seat
- Geithner: AIG failure would have been ‘scarier’ than that of Lehmans
- Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner Face Grilling Over AIG Bailout
- Did Tim Geithner Leak Every Fed Announcement To The Banks?
‘A prolonged period of ultra-low interest rates poses the threat of a fresh financial crisis by encouraging excessive risk taking on global markets, the International Monetary Fund has said.
The Washington-based IMF said that more than half a decade in which official borrowing costs have been close to zero had encouraged speculation rather than the hoped-for pick up in investment.
In its half-yearly global financial stability report, it said the risks to stability no longer came from the traditional banks but from the so-called shadow banking system – institutions such as hedge funds, money market funds and investment banks that do not take deposits from the public.’
‘[...] Politicians and pundits talk about welfare as if it’s solely cash given to people. Hardly ever discussed is corporate welfare: the grants and subsidies, the contracts and cut-price loans that government hands over to business. Yet some of our biggest companies and industries operate a business model that depends on them extracting money from the British taxpayer. The operators of our supposedly privatised train services are kept afloat by billions in public money. Or take the firm created by billionaire Jeff Bezos: last year it emerged that Amazon had paid less in corporation tax to the UK than it had received in government grants.
The bill for corporate welfare is huge – and largely hidden. We know a lot about the people who claim social welfare: we know how much each benefit costs the public, the government sets strict rules for eligibility – and we even have detailed estimates for how much cheating goes on. Between them, Whitehall, academia and NGOs have churned out enough surveys on social welfare claimants to fill a wing of the Bodleian library. But corporate welfare? The government has itself acknowledged: “There is no definitive source of data about spending on subsidies to businesses in the UK.” The numbers are scattered across government publications and there is not even any agreement on what counts as a corporate handout.’
- Osborne aims at tax credits and benefits in new squeeze on working poor
- LGA: Cut to council crisis funding would affect ‘thousands’
- Disney earns £170m in tax breaks as UK film industry grows
- Amazon earns more through government grants than it pays in tax
- UK banks benefited from £38bn ‘too big to fail’ state subsidy
- Britain rules the world of tax havens, Queen is warned
- UK is becoming a tax haven for multi-nationals at the expense of domestic shopkeepers
- Forget Benefits Street. When will we shame the scroungers lapping up corporate welfare?
- Scroungers: How Much Does the Corporate Welfare State Cost the Tax Payer
- The Corporate Welfare State
‘As investors fled Europe in the worst days of its sovereign debt crisis, China-based companies moved in the other direction and surged in, with cash flowing from China into some of the hardest-hit countries of the eurozone periphery.
In 2010, the total stock of Chinese direct investment in the EU was just over €6.1bn – less than what was held by India, Iceland or Nigeria. By the end of 2012, Chinese investment stock had quadrupled, to nearly €27bn, according to figures compiled by Deutsche Bank.
The buying spree, analysts say, was nothing short of a transformation of the model of Chinese outbound investment. It is expected to increase steadily over the next decade.’
- China Global Investment Tracker
- For China, First the Waldorf, Then the World
- China took 12.3 per cent of world economy in 2013
- How Much U.S. Debt Does China Hold? The U.S. Isn’t Sure
- Swiss/China swap deal opens yuan
- Yuan trading gains traction in Europe
- A parallel Chinese financial order
- China’s President Xi Jinping signs Venezuela oil deal
- China Buys Friends and Influences Nations
- Jim Rogers: China to be most important country in 21st century
- Jim Rogers: China will gain massive power and influence by bailing out EU
- China’s replica of Wall Street: Half-built and deserted skyscrapers, floods regularly
‘Remember Greece: the country that in 2010 launched Europe’s sovereign solvency crisis and the ECB’s own helpless attempts at intervention, which later was “saved”, only to default shortly thereafter (but without triggering CDS as that would end the Eurozone’s amusing monetary experiment and collapse the Deutsche Bank $100 trillion house of derivative cards), which later was again “saved” when every single global central bank made sure Greek bonds became the only yield-generating securities in the world? Well, the country which at last count was doing ok, is about to not be ok. Because according to none other than S&P, at some point over the next 15 months, Greek debt is about to be in default when the country is no longer able to cover its financing needs. In other words, back to square one.
As Bloomberg reports, citing Real News, S&P analyst Marie-France Raynaud said Greece can’t cover its own financing needs.’
- Troika Leaves Athens With No Agreement Reached
- Greece’s 2015 Budget: Too Good to Be True?
- Greece Vows Tax Cuts, Economic Growth in 2015
- Greece Depends On Chinese Investments
- Merkel and Samaras laud Greece’s progress on reforms
- Google tries boosting Greek tourism – and maybe itself, too
- Private Bad Debt Buildup Casts Shadow on Greek Rebound
- Greece downgraded to ‘emerging market’ status
Thousands of people who have taken out payday loans from firms other than Wonga should also have their interest and charges wiped out, say consumer and legal experts.
This follows the announcement on Thursday that the payday lender was forced by the Financial Conduct Authority, the new City regulator to write off £220m of loans to 375,000 borrowers after the firm admitted those people should never have been given loans.
The company, which charges annualised interest rates of up to 5,853% a year and has been accused by MPs of “legal loan sharking”, said it would entirely wipe out loans to 330,000 people, and scrap interest and charges owed by a further 45,000 customers.’
‘[...] As stories on Occupy Central flood the front pages of the mainstream news media, both the BBC and CNN have published handy “explainers” that confuse more than they explain, making no real effort to dig into the economic roots of discontent. The “Beeb” went as far as to ask whether “Hong Kong’s future as a financial centre” was “threatened” – giving us some insight into where the global establishment’s priorities lie.
But regardless of what the BBC wants the world to believe, Occupy Central isn’t so much a fight for democracy as a fight for social justice. It’s true that Hong Kongers are angry over Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs, whether these be immigration from China, encroachments on the freedom of the press, or the nationalistic-propagandistic “moral and national education” program. These issues, while serious, pale in comparison to the increasingly difficult realities of everyday life in Hong Kong. As City University of Hong Kong professor Toby Carroll points out, one in five Hong Kongers live below the poverty line, while inequality has risen to levels among the highest in the world.’
- Beijing’s options in Hong Kong
- China’s Long Game and Occupy Central
- Poll Says Hong Kongers Would Prefer British Rule
- China tells foreign countries not to meddle in Hong Kong
- White House Shows Support For Aspirations Of Hong Kong People
- Hong Kong’s Biggest Protests in Decades Challenge China on Political Freedom
- Pro-Beijing Media Accuses Hong Kong Student Leader of U.S. Government Ties
- Hong Kong’s Schoolboy Leaders Of Pro-Democracy Dissent (Documentary)
- How Hong Kong Became A Hub Of Chinese Dissent
- The Roots of Hong Kong’s ‘Umbrella Revolution’
‘Share trades worth more than the size of Sweden’s economy had to be cancelled in Tokyo after what is believed to be the biggest “fat finger” error on record.
It is thought to be the most extreme example of a trader in financial markets inputting hopelessly wrong figures while working under intense pressure. The identity of the trader is not yet known.
Mistaken orders for shares in 42 major Japanese companies, including household names such as Toyota, Honda, Canon and Sony, totalling ¥67.78trn (£381bn) were overturned, according to data from the Japan Securities Dealers Association.’
‘Ben S. Bernanke said the mortgage market is still so tight that he’s having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.
The former Federal Reserve chairman, speaking at a conference in Chicago, told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. — “just between the two of us” — that “I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”
When the audience laughed, Bernanke said, “I’m not making that up.”
“I think it’s entirely possible” that lenders “may have gone a little bit too far on mortgage credit conditions,” he said.’
‘We tend to perceive our identities as stable and largely separate from outside forces. But over decades of research and therapeutic practice, I have become convinced that economic change is having a profound effect not only on our values but also on our personalities. Thirty years of neoliberalism, free-market forces and privatisation have taken their toll, as relentless pressure to achieve has become normative. If you’re reading this sceptically, I put this simple statement to you: meritocratic neoliberalism favours certain personality traits and penalises others.’
- Hollande warns France of tough spending cuts
- France quietly counts its friends for EU deficit leniency
- Is France Dying?
- Front National wins seats in French senate for first time
- Merkel praises France’s economic reform plans
- Nicolas Sarkozy sets out comeback plans for France’s UMP party on TV
- French economy flat-lines as business activity falters
- French farmers torch tax office in Brittany protest
- France is ‘sick’, Economy minister says
- Rise In French Unemployment
- The Political Crisis in France
- France’s economics ills worsen but all remedies appear unpalatable
- France begs its citizens to lighten up with tourists
- France’s Ticking Time Bomb
- Forget Ukip – euroscepticism in France would give Farage a run for his money
- Manuel Valls, the socialist government of France to the right
- Who is Manuel Valls, President Hollande’s new Prime Minister?
- Socialists Head for Drubbing in France
- Social conservatives are mobilizing in France, leading to talk of a tea party
- Despair and poverty turn French to far right
Spanish Independence Movements and the Recolonization of Southern Europe: Interview with Sister Teresa Forcades
- Spanish economy on the road to recovery, say OECD
- Domestic demand drives Spanish economy as prices fall
- Why a little economic growth won’t see an end to the pain in Spain
- Spain’s crash landlords: empty homes spawn black housing market
- Distrust and anger at Spain’s bungling banks
- 2013: Is Spain on the verge of a public health-care crisis?
- 2013: Optimism on Spanish banks grows as oligopoly looms
- 2013: Big Spanish banks rise profits fourfold to €8bn
- 2013: Worst Not Over for Spain Banks After Big Writedowns
- 2013: Marinaleda, Spain’s communist model village
- 2013: Resisting evictions Spanish style
- 2012: German banks win big from Spain bailout
- 2012: Spain’s Four Biggest Banks To Get $50B In Bailout Funds
- 2012: Spanish homeowners rally together to fight evictions by banks
- 2009: What Makes Spain’s Health Care System The Best?
‘The price of gold, down more than a third in three years, is approaching the tipping point where the mining industry would see a spike in the number of producers reducing output or even shutting down operations.
Several mines globally have already suspended output in the past 18 months, but not as many as industry watchers expected as producers focused on slashing costs and reworking mine plans to extract more profitable, higher-grade ounces.
But with bullion’s slide this week to a nine-month low of $1,208.36 an ounce, those defenses may not be enough.’
- Royal Mint puts its gold bullion up for sale
- Super-rich rush to buy ‘Italian Job’ style gold bars
- The Big Picture For Gold And Silver
- The myth of ethical gold
- China opens gold market to foreigners, seeks more pricing power
- China Holds “Gold Congress” – Positioning Itself As Global Gold Hub
- Indian Trade Deficit Widens as Gold Imports Surge 176%
- Central banks continuing to boost gold reserves
- London gold fix lawsuits to be consolidated in New York
- Three reasons to invest in Gold: Interview with Alasdair Macleod
- Barclays Manipulated Gold as Soon as It Stopped Manipulating Libor
Reuters noted last week:
A Manhattan federal judge said on Thursday that investors may pursue a lawsuit accusing 12 major banks of violating antitrust law by fixing prices and restraining competition in the roughly $21 trillion market for credit default swaps.
“The complaint provides a chronology of behavior that would probably not result from chance, coincidence, independent responses to common stimuli, or mere interdependence,” [Judge] Cote said.
The defendants include Bank of America Corp, Barclays Plc, BNP Paribas SA, Citigroup Inc , Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs Group Inc, HSBC Holdings Plc , JPMorgan Chase & Co, Morgan Stanley, Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and UBS AG.
Other defendants are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association and Markit Ltd, which provides credit derivative pricing services.
U.S. and European regulators have probed potential anticompetitive activity in CDS. In July 2013, the European Commission accused many of the defendants of colluding to block new CDS exchanges from entering the market.
“The financial crisis hardly explains the alleged secret meetings and coordinated actions,” the judge wrote. “Nor does it explain why ISDA and Markit simultaneously reversed course.”
In other words, the big banks are continuing to fix prices for CDS in secret meetings … and have torpedoed the more open and transparent CDS exchanges that Congress mandated.
- Outlook darkens on global economy, OECD says
- Six years since the Wall Street crash
- What Happened to Lehman Brothers’ Bankers?
- On the Precipice of Another Global Recession?
- Deutsche Bank: The Bubble Must Go On To Sustain The “Current Global Financial System”
- Marc Faber: World Is Probably Going Back Into Recession
- QE and the Investor Class: Central Bankers in a Deep Hole
- Jim Rickards: Stock market reality check
- Why a $16 Billion Fine Is Chicken Scratch for a Big Bank
- Too little reform, central bank risk and banking fraud – have we not learnt anything?
- Elizabeth Warren Champions Bill to Restore Glass-Steagall Act and Rein in Wall Street
- Banksters Pretend that Prosecuting Wall Street Crime Will Blow Up the Economy
- Nomi Prins: Financial Crash-Collapse Coming, It Should Have Happened Already
- The SEC’s just been caught colluding with the banks it’s supposed to regulate
- Marc Faber: 2014 crash will be worse than 1987’s
- Nomi Prins: Wall Street money a big policy influencer
‘One of the most troubling aspects of the financial crisis was that government regulators let it happen in the first place. And the most compelling explanation is also the most disturbing: regulators were unduly influenced or even controlled (“captured” is the term of art) by the very banks and financial firms they were meant to rein in. This argument, popularized most notably by MIT economist Simon Johnson, has strong circumstantial evidence supporting it, but concrete proof from within regulatory agencies has, understandably, been hard to come by.
On Friday, This American Life and ProPublica announced they had found such proof. A joint report produced by ProPublica reporter Jake Bernstein (who previously won a Pulitzer for his investigative reporting on Wall Street for the two outlets) revealed the existence of 46 hours of audio recordings made inside the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which, as the Fed’s interface with the financial sector, serves as one of country’s most powerful bank regulators. Taken by former Fed bank examiner Carmen Segarra, the recordings suggest a culture within the Fed that was at best overly cautious in confronting bank wrongdoing, and at worst in bed with the banks it was regulating.’
- The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra
- Inside the New York Fed: Secret Recordings and a Culture Clash
- Michael Lewis on The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes
- 16 Important Facts From The Startling Accusations About Goldman And The New York Fed
- New York Fed rejects claims of being too soft on Goldman Sachs
- Secret tapes of Fed meetings on Goldman prompt call for US hearings
- Goldman Sachs tightens conflict-of-interest rules as scrutiny mounts
Bill Black says Eric Holder’s legacy on “too big to fail” is “too big to jail”:
Mike Papantonio on Eric Holder’s relationship to the corporate world:
Part of a Democracy Now! round-table discussion on Eric Holder’s “complex legacy”:
- Obama: Eric Holder did ‘superb job’
- The Terrible Tenure of Eric Holder
- Eric Holder to Resign: Here’s His Full Legacy
- Fox News Leads GOP Bullsh*t Parade Against Eric Holder
- Eric Holder didn’t send a single banker to jail for the mortgage crisis. Is that justice?
- What We Need From the Next Attorney General
‘Abby Martin interviews the creator of the Zeitgeist Movement, Peter Joseph, covering everything from the upcoming Zeitgeist Festival in Los Angeles on October 4th to economic and societal solutions to global problems ranging from environmental destruction to mass inequality. (Breaking the Set)
‘Abby Martin speaks with journalist and author, Chris Hedges, going over where the recent mass climate change demonstrations in New York fall short, as well as why he believes revolt is the only solution to restoring a functioning American democracy.’ (Breaking the Set)
‘George Osborne’s plans to balance the government’s books will require additional tax increases, spending cuts or welfare cuts worth more than £37bn in the first three years of the next parliament, according to Britain’s leading experts on the public finances.
In an assessment of the budget plans of the three biggest Westminster parties, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) found that austerity would continue under a Conservative, Labour or Liberal Democrat chancellor, but that Osborne had by far the toughest approach to fiscal policy.’
‘Environmental activist Anne Petermann and writer Quincy Saul describe how the People’s Climate March has no demands, no targets,and no enemy. Organizers admitted encouraging bankers to march was like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest. There is no unity other than money. One veteran activist who was involved in Occupy Wall Street said it was made known there was plenty of money to hire her and others. There is no sense of history: decades of climate-justice activism are being erased by the incessant invocation of the “biggest climate change demonstration ever.” Investigative reporter Cory Morningstar has connected the dots between the organizing groups, 350.org and Avaaz, the global online activist outfit modeled on MoveOn, and institutions like the World Bank and Clinton Global Initiative. Morningstar claims the secret of Avaaz’s success is its “expertise in behavioral change.”
That is what I find most troubling. Having worked on Madison Avenue for nearly a decade, I can smell a P.R. and marketing campaign a mile away. That’s what the People’s Climate March looks to be. According to inside sources a push early on for a Seattle-style event—organizing thousands of people to nonviolently shut down the area around the United Nations—was thwarted by paid staff with the organizing groups.’
- Climate change summit: Thousands join global protests
- Naomi Klein: Climate change is a global emergency. Stop waiting for politicians to sound the alarm
- A People’s Climate Movement: Indigenous, Labor, Faith Groups Prepare for Historic March
- Historic Climate Change Protests Only Days Away: Interview with Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese
- The Trews: Who Profits From Denying Climate Change?