Occupy Wall Street protested in strength at Times Square, NYC this past Saturday, October 15, 2011, as pictured. The movement is gathering in momentum and now seems to be resonating around the world. While Occupy Wall Street as a movement appears diffuse and leaderless for now, the frustration and anger that the hundreds of thousands of worldwide protesters feel is palpable. The anger primarily relates to the corporate and bank takeover of economies around the world. This blog has often expressed the dangers in adopting the Wall Street Economy as the official economic policy of the United States--one in which "what is good for Wall Street" is deemed without interrogation as "good for America." When the Wall Street economy is embraced as official U.S. policy, then we see a government willing to provide taxpayer funded bailouts that end up (a) rescuing Wall Street executives from their reckless and fraudulent conduct; (b) paying bonuses and executive compensation to corporate leadership at record rates, while unemployment skyrockets; and (c) paying lobbyists hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for lobbying against reform and new regulation. Simply stated, TARP bailout funds ended up in the pockets of lobbyists working hard against Dodd-Frank legislative proposals. Additionally, TARP bailout funds ended up as hoarded capital enabling near record executive compensation based on faux-profit balance sheets. Occupy Wall Street decries all of these corporate realities, and more.
Despite the diffuse goals of Occupy Wall Street, some have attempted to capture the movement in words. Below is a video link to one formal statement of the Occupy Wall Street movement as read by Keith Olbermann:
According to the Wall Street Journal, the worldwide protests have been primarily peaceful, though riots did break out in Rome, Italy. "The protest in Rome was one of many rallies taking place around the world as part of an international day of protest inspired by the "Indignant Ones" movement in Spain and the Occupy Wall Street protests in the U.S. Most of the protests were peaceful."
(photo of Times Square protest courtesy of AP)