Occupy Everywhere & Economic News Round-Up

[Trigger warning for violence.]

Below is video of an Occupy Oakland protester being shot with a rubber bullet while filming the police line in the early hours of November 3: "While filming a police line at Occupy Oakland after midnight on Nov. 3 following the Nov. 2 general strike, an officer opens fire and shoots me with a rubber bullet. I was standing well back. There was no violence or confrontations of any kind underway." [Via Zaid at Think Progress.]

CNN—A roundup of Occupy protests: "On Monday, a hearing will be held [in Atlanta] for a protester who was charged Saturday night with aggravated assault and obstruction after police said he assaulted a motorcycle officer patrolling the area. However, demonstrators said the officer 'accelerated into a demonstrator.' ... Riverside [California] police arrested 11 people Sunday after a group of about 40 demonstrators formed a human chain to prevent officers from pulling down tents near City Hall, Occupy organizers said." Etc. Meanwhile, in Chicago, police have installed surveillance equipment near Occupy Chicago HQ.

Welcome to America 2.0!

Here's some of the other stuff I've been reading this morning...

NPR—What Do Occupy Wall Street Protesters Want?: "Occupy Wall Street is in its second month of protest, and the frustration with financial big wigs continues to grow. Tomorrow's protesters will track 11 miles from Upper Manhattan to Lower Manhattan, ending in Zuccotti Park, the place where it all started seven weeks ago. They're calling the walk End to End for 99%."

The GuardianUS entrepreneurs cash in on Occupy movement: "The revolution could be trademarked in the US as more entrepreneurs seek to profit from the Occupy demonstrations. T-shirts began to appear days after the first protest on 17 September, a march through lower Manhattan. Now T-shirts, coffee mugs and other merchandise are being offered on the campsites that have sprung up in cities across the US. The US patent and trademark office has received a spate of applications." Perfect.

Barry Ritholtz in the Washington PostWhat caused the financial crisis? The Big Lie goes viral: "A Big Lie is so colossal that no one would believe that someone could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. There are many examples: Claims that Earth is not warming, or that evolution is not the best thesis we have for how humans developed. Those opposed to stimulus spending have gone so far as to claim that the infrastructure of the United States is just fine, Grade A (not D, as the we discussed last month), and needs little repair. Wall Street has its own version: Its Big Lie is that banks and investment houses are merely victims of the crash. You see, the entire boom and bust was caused by misguided government policies. It was not irresponsible lending or derivative or excess leverage or misguided compensation packages, but rather long-standing housing policies that were at fault. Indeed, the arguments these folks make fail to withstand even casual scrutiny. But that has not stopped people who should know better from repeating them."

WaPoWall Street's resurgent prosperity frustrates its claims, and Obama's: "President Obama has called people who work on Wall Street 'fat-cat bankers,' and his reelection campaign has sought to harness public frustration with Wall Street. Financial executives retort that the president's pursuit of financial regulations is punitive and that new rules may be 'holding us back.' But both sides face an inconvenient fact: During Obama's tenure, Wall Street has roared back, even as the broader economy has struggled. The largest banks are larger than they were when Obama took office and are nearing the level of profits they were making before the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, according to government data."

New York TimesThe Next Fight Over Jobs: "The way the job market is going, it will never be robust enough to bring down the unemployment rate, now at 9 percent, or 13.9 million people. Monthly job growth has slowed to an average of just 90,000 new jobs a month over the past six months, a pace at which growth in the working-age population will always exceed the number of new jobs being created. High unemployment and low job growth, which have plagued the economy all through the current 'recovery,' hurt both consumer spending and economic growth. But don't count on government to do the obvious and urgent thing—intervene to create jobs. Tragically, the more entrenched the jobs shortage becomes, the more paralyzed Congress becomes."

Paul Krugman in the New York TimesHere Comes the Sun: "Let's face it: a large part of our political class, including essentially the entire GOP, is deeply invested in an energy sector dominated by fossil fuels, and actively hostile to alternatives. This political class will do everything it can to ensure subsidies for the extraction and use of fossil fuels, directly with taxpayers' money and indirectly by letting the industry off the hook for environmental costs, while ridiculing technologies like solar. So what you need to know is that nothing you hear from these people is true. Fracking is not a dream come true; solar is now cost-effective. Here comes the sun, if we're willing to let it in."

In Eurozone news...

The Guardian's live coverage is here.

CNN—Greece's prime minister to quit in deal to salvage bailout package: "Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will step down as his government's leader, the country's president announced Sunday night—agreeing to do so on the condition that the controversial 130 billion euro bailout deal is approved. The announcement follows a meeting on Sunday in which Papandreou and Antonis Samaras—the leader of the New Democracy party, Greece's leading opposition party—agreed to form a new government."

The GuardianItaly hails businessman a hero after he launches appeal to save the economy: "A businessman has become an unlikely national hero after urging Italians to buy up government bonds to help drag the country back from the brink of an economic meltdown. As the prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, scrambles to deliver key reforms, the Tuscan financial services entrepreneur Giuliano Melani announced his appeal with a full-page ad in the leading daily Corriere della Sera, complete with his telephone number and email address. Melani says the bill for Italian government bonds expiring annually is €260-270bn (£223-232bn), a sum which would be taken care of if every Italian paid €4,500."

CNN Money—Europe: The worst-case scenarios: "That upheaval [in Greece] serves as just another reminder that the the crisis is far from over. ... Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy, put the odds of Greece leaving the eurozone at zero in the near term. Global Insight, another consultancy, puts it at about one in three. But UBS's Magnus puts it at 50-50 in the next year or two, and 80% by 2016."

This is not good:

The GuardianFar right on rise in Europe, says report: "The far right is on the rise across Europe as a new generation of young, web-based supporters embrace hardline nationalist and anti-immigrant groups, a study has revealed ahead of a meeting of politicians and academics in Brussels to examine the phenomenon. Research by the British thinktank Demos for the first time examines attitudes among supporters of the far right online. Using advertisements on Facebook group pages, they persuaded more than 10,000 followers of 14 parties and street organisations in 11 countries to fill in detailed questionnaires. The study reveals a continent-wide spread of hardline nationalist sentiment among the young, mainly men. Deeply cynical about their own governments and the EU, their generalised fear about the future is focused on cultural identity, with immigration—particularly a perceived spread of Islamic influence—a concern."

As always, please feel welcome and encouraged to leave links to what you've been reading and/or writing in comments.

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