A New Way Forward

I’m cautiously optimistic about A New Way Forward, and its basic platform of how to fix the financial system:

NATIONALIZE: Experts agree on the means—Insolvent banks that are too big to fail must incur a temporary FDIC intervention – no more blank check taxpayer handouts….

REORGANIZE: Current CEOs and board members must be removed and bonuses wiped out. The financial elite must share in the cost of what they have caused….

DECENTRALIZE: Banks must be broken up and sold back to the private market with strong, new regulatory and antitrust rules in place—new banks, managed by new people. Any bank that’s “too big to fail” means that it’s too big for a free market to function….

These aren’t necessarily new thoughts but I’m heartened by the thought that this protest movement might come with a concrete platform. I support protest movements in the abstract, but if you’re just mad about stuff, without having specific actions you’re advocating, then I’m probably not going to bother to show up to support your vague unfocused anger.

The coalition forming around this site would seem to be somewhat left, which makes sense, though I sort of imagine ideally being able to attract some of the center-rightists who’ve been appalled by the Bush years. For example, comments over on Naked Capitalism or Barry Ritholtz’s blog come from a lot of people who mostly are strongly pro-capitalist but for years have been crowing as loudly as anybody else about the problems in the finance sector.

I always end up hoping these movements can be fairly focused on their specifics, so as to make broad coalitions, and then I almost always end up being disappointed. Oh well. There’s a protest in Union Square on Saturday and I’ll most likely go, 90% to support and 10% just to observe. We’ll see how this goes.

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Tagged: finance, politics

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