A lot of misguided commentary has suggested that the worldwide Occupy movement is made up of a set of incoherent, know-nothing anti-capitalists bent on causing trouble. It is nothing of the sort, and I’m delighted today to see respected financial blogger Felix Salmon saying this about the latest contribution from a part of the #Occupy movement in the United States:
“the absolutely astonishing 325-page comment letter on the Volcker Rule which has been put together by Occupy the SEC; it’s pretty clear, from reading the letter, that the people who wrote it are whip-smart and extremely talented”
This follows another much shorter, yet nevertheless extremely coherent and pertinent comment article in the Financial Times by Occupy London. Their recommendations went over the heads of a lot of people, and part of it (on housing) went a little over mine, but the bits that I do know about are absolutely right, absolutely important, and at the leading edge of thinking on these issues. Well done (again) to them. I am pleased (and I know, from communications with some of them) that Treasure Islands has had at least some impact on their thinking.
The third blast is from one of Occupy’s supporters: Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism, another respected U.S. based financial blogger and an attendee at the Alternative Banking Working Group of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Smith says, in an interview carried by the financial blog FT Alphaville:
In two months a very small movement had a very big impact. It has changed the nature of the conversation in America in a very serious way. I don’t think you would have seen anything like as big of a backlash against Mitt Romney’s private equity fund background come to pass if Occupy hadn’t seeded the ground by questioning the way that people in the top percent, and particularly those in finance, make their money.
And, for good measure, a comment that I’d heartily agree with:
“I don’t think that the fact that they aren’t choosing to interact with the media in an expected way should be held against them.”
So here’s to the highly talented and influential Occupy movement, and my wishes that the global movement goes from strength to strength. And if you’re interested in futurology, take a look at this article highlighting the scale of the challenges now facing the U.S. movement, and the hopes that it can prosper. See also this podcast, with a more London focus.