Tag Archives: Wall Street

What the occupation means to me

October 14, 2011

by Arun Gupta

Co-founder of The Indypendent and The Occupied Wall Street Journal

Wall Street occupiers march on Columbus Day

PERHAPS THE most wondrous aspect of the growing Occupy Wall Street movement is that there are lessons for everyone. For the 99 percent, it’s that we still have agency, power and imagination. For the ruling 1 percent, you can’t throw people into despair and deprivation and not expect a social explosion. For the mainstream media, you can’t fit genuine democracy into five-second sound bites or look for anointed leaders. For the right, you can’t cheer revolts and uprisings one minute and condemn them the next.

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The Revolution Begins at Home: An Open Letter to Join the Wall Street Occupation (The Indypendent)

By Arun Gupta 

What is occurring on Wall Street right now is truly remarkable. For over 10 days, in the sanctum of the great cathedral of global capitalism, the dispossessed have liberated territory from the financial overlords and their police army.

They have created a unique opportunity to shift the tides of history in the tradition of other great peaceful occupations from the sit-down strikes of the 1930s to the lunch-counter sit-ins of the 1960s to the democratic uprisings across the Arab world and Europe today.


(Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/pweiskel08)

While the Wall Street occupation is growing, it needs an all-out commitment from everyone who cheered the Egyptians in Tahrir Square, said “We are all Wisconsin,” and stood in solidarity with the Greeks and Spaniards. This is a movement for anyone who lacks a job, housing or healthcare, or thinks they have no future.

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How to Wreck the Economy

This article was written during Wall Street’s crash and burn in the fall of 2008, but it is as relevant as ever, explaining the intricacies of how the banking industry, the Fed and Washington inflated the housing bubble and then watched it implode.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the biggest economic meltdown since the Great Depression but were afraid to ask.

By Arun Gupta. Illustrations By Frank Reynoso


Max Fraad Wolff consulted on and Michelle Fawcett contributed to this article. Design By Anna Gold. Color By Irina Ivanova. 
This article relied on many sources, including “The Subprime Debacle” by Karl Beitel. Monthly Review, May 2008.

From 1982 to 2000, the U.S. stock market went on the longestbull run ever, as share prices rose to dizzying heights. In the late 1990s, a combination of factors, which included the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates, created a huge price bubble in Internet stocks. A speculative bubble occurs when price far outstrips the fundamental worth of the asset. Bubbles have occurred in everything from real estate, stocks and railroads to tulips, beanie babies and comic books. As with all bubbles, it took more and more money to make a return*. This led to the Internet bubble popping in March 2000.
*For instance, if you purchased 100 shares of Apple at $10 a share and it rose to $20, it cost $1,000 to make $1,000 profit (a 100 percent return), but if the shares were $100 each and rose to $110, it would cost $10,000 to make $1,000 profit (a 10 percent return — and the loss potential would be much greater, too.

 

Many Americans joined the stock mania literally in the last days and lost considerable wealth, and some, such as Enron employees, lost their life savings. When the stock market bubble erupted, turbulence rippled through the larger economy, causing investment and corporate spending to sink and unemployment to rise. Then came the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, generating a shock wave of fear and a drop in consumer spending. Burned by the stock market, many people shifted to home purchases as a more secure way to build wealth.

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