The bankers, quants, and hedge fund gurus who want to reform our financial system—by helping OWS kick ass.
High up in a Manhattan conference room on Sunday, a group of investment gurus discussed Occupy Wall Street. Should they support a set of tough-sounding financial reforms just proposed on the campaign trail by presidential candidate Jon Huntsman? Or was it reasonable to demand even deeper reforms? "This isn't enough," argued Cathy O'Neil, a former hedge fund quant who organizes the group, a branch of Occupy Wall Street known as the Alternative Banking Group. She proposed that the gathering of financial experts come up with improvements to Huntsman's plan and present them to Occupy Wall Street's General Assembly. Another OWS supporter, whose day job involves consulting for private equity firms, looked up from his laptop and smiled. "That's an excellent idea!"
***Founded in early October by former British diplomat Carne Ross, the 60-person Alternative Banking Group has become a repository for OWS-friendly financial insiders. It includes current and former investment bankers, traders, and lawyers for the securities industry, but also many laymen—including housewives, people who used to sleep in Zuccotti Park, and guys with piercings who wear Che Guevara T-shirts. The group shares Occupy Wall Street's website, its nonhierarchical structure, and its distaste for partisan politics. "I'd say the one thing that everybody agrees on is that the system isn't working," O'Neil says. "And there is nothing about being a Republican or a Democrat in that statement."Read the rest at Mother Jones
Meet the Financial Wizards Working With Occupy Wall Street
By Josh Harkinson
Even the Kucinich-AMI plan is on the table.
The Alternative Banking Group's meetings can get contentious. At the confab on Sunday, which took place at Columbia University, members squared off over the NEED Act, a bill by Congressman Dennis Kucinich that would put the Federal Reserve under the control of the Treasury Department and allow it to print money without issuing new debt. The bill could be "a third way that I think would satisfy libertarians as well as people on the left," said Jamal Mahmood, an independent retirement planner. A group of white-haired Kucinich fans were onboard, but a Harvard-educated high-frequency trader worried that the plan "would turn America into Greece, basically."They clearly need some MMT advisors if any of them think that the US and Greece have anything in common financially. Ignorance abounds.
Oh, and the response from the other side?
Also at Mother Jones
Newt's New Endorser: OWS is a Muslim Brotherhood Plot!
By Tim Murphy
At a tea party event in Maryland in October, Grandy warned that Occupy Wall Street was being propped up by the Council American Islamic Relations—which, according to Grandy, is in turn a front for the Muslim Brotherhood. Is #OWS part of an Islamist plot to take over the United States? In the eyes of Gingrich's newest endorser it is.Where do they find these people?