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(Guardian)   I don't know what's more surprising; that Occupy Wall Street still exists as a movement or that they somehow cobbled together $15 million   (theguardian.com) divider line 48
    More: Unlikely, Occupy movement, personal debt, Wall Street, Wall Street activists  
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895 clicks; posted to Business » on 12 Nov 2013 at 5:12 PM (41 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



48 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-11-12 05:10:27 PM
It was in the fourth sentence, subby, you cock.
 
2013-11-12 05:22:23 PM
Union pawns?


farm7.static.flickr.com
 
2013-11-12 05:25:04 PM
Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).
 
2013-11-12 05:27:28 PM
Cobbled? They make shoes now?
 
2013-11-12 05:28:52 PM
I don't see that they "cobbled together $15 million." They purchased $15 million in debt at a heavy discount. Or did I misread that?
 
2013-11-12 05:30:13 PM
If these guys want to pick up my student loan through ACS, I'd be more than happy to give em my account number.
 
2013-11-12 05:30:22 PM

Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy.


This.
 
2013-11-12 05:31:24 PM
Or ... they purchased $15m worth of debt with $400,000, or for 2.67 cents on the dollar.
 
2013-11-12 05:36:26 PM

Unobtanium: I don't see that they "cobbled together $15 million." They purchased $15 million in debt at a heavy discount. Or did I misread that?


$15 million in debt purchased for around $400k.

I wonder how long they can keep up this scheme.
 
2013-11-12 05:36:29 PM

tbhouston: Union pawns?


[farm7.static.flickr.com image 500x420]



I hope the sports team for "New York Administrative Employees" is called The Sinecures.
 
2013-11-12 05:37:33 PM

Shostie: Unobtanium: I don't see that they "cobbled together $15 million." They purchased $15 million in debt at a heavy discount. Or did I misread that?

$15 million in debt purchased for around $400k.

I wonder how long they can keep up this scheme.


As long as they continue to have donors funding their cause, they can continue to buy as much debt as they can afford.
 
2013-11-12 05:42:14 PM

mcreadyblue: Cobbled? They make shoes now?


Indeed they do sir, and mend broken souls.
 
2013-11-12 05:43:22 PM

Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).


Why? Plenty of companies manage their working capital by factoring receivables to third parties. What's wrong with selling debt like any other financial instrument? If you buy a treasury security or municipal bond or corporate bond, shouldn't you be able to sell it?
 
2013-11-12 05:43:26 PM

Minarets: Shostie: Unobtanium: I don't see that they "cobbled together $15 million." They purchased $15 million in debt at a heavy discount. Or did I misread that?

$15 million in debt purchased for around $400k.

I wonder how long they can keep up this scheme.

As long as they continue to have donors funding their cause, they can continue to buy as much debt as they can afford.


Technically, they can continue to buy as much debt as they can afford even if they're totally unfunded.
 
2013-11-12 05:47:04 PM
I guess it is helpful to whoever's debt they bought and forgave, but the details of how they report it to the credit reporting agencies is important. The article says they are "anti credit." If they report the collection as settled, IIRC, then the person's credit improves in 36 months versus 7 years for bankruptcy.

They can start going into debt again 4 years sooner. Yay?
 
2013-11-12 05:58:27 PM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Technically, they can continue to buy as much debt as they can afford even if they're totally unfunded.


They just need some shills to take out a big credit-card advance or home-equity loan, donate that amount to OWS, then stop making payments. OWS can then buy that debt for cents on the dollar and cancel it.
 
2013-11-12 05:59:07 PM
You sound scared, subby.
 
2013-11-12 06:02:08 PM
Not surprised.

This looks a lot like the cultural revolution of the 60s. The movement was horribly disorganized at first, got laughed into silence for a few years, then came roaring back with a vengeance. Time to buy stock in popcorn.
 
2013-11-12 06:14:12 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).

Why? Plenty of companies manage their working capital by factoring receivables to third parties. What's wrong with selling debt like any other financial instrument? If you buy a treasury security or municipal bond or corporate bond, shouldn't you be able to sell it?


This.  Selling the debt is annoying as the debtor (and personally, I'd like a "terms and conditions" clause, wherein any buyer of my debt gets to service them under the same terms, conditions, and payment plans as the original loan), but it's a great way to get some needed cash flow as a lender.

/Student loans got sold, and they "forgot" that I was already paid up through the year, and didn't let overpayment count as prepayment on future payments (So I could pay $1000 right now and not have to pay a dime until 2015 or so).
 
2013-11-12 06:19:20 PM

mutterfark: mcreadyblue: Cobbled? They make shoes now?

Indeed they do sir, and mend broken souls.


Answer him directly!
 
2013-11-12 06:22:41 PM

mcreadyblue: Cobbled? They make shoes now?


I would walk 500 miles.
 
2013-11-12 06:27:06 PM
The sad parts are that 1) it was mostly medical debt and 2) it was a drop in the bucket of the amount outstanding.
 
2013-11-12 06:30:39 PM

sdd2000: The sad parts are that 1) it was mostly medical debt and 2) it was a drop in the bucket of the amount outstanding.


And I bet some  R congressmen is going to come up with a bill to punish them for this and to keep it from happening in the future just to stick it to them.
 
2013-11-12 06:33:01 PM

Debeo Summa Credo: Why? Plenty of companies manage their working capital by factoring receivables to third parties. What's wrong with selling debt like any other financial instrument? If you buy a treasury security or municipal bond or corporate bond, shouldn't you be able to sell it?


It absolves the lender of too much responsibility in producing good debt, imposes an undue burden upon the lendee having to work with new loan servicers and often comes with other changes the lendee has no control over, and the transfers themselves have been shown to be carelessly and incorrectly documented.
If no other change, require a lendee's approval before a debt is sold.
 
2013-11-12 06:34:45 PM
So, any of you armchair economists care to explain to a layman how banks aren't killing themselves by selling debt at about 3% of it's value? Do they just not care that they're flushing %97 of their investment away? (%97 before interest and fees.) Have the borrowers declared bankruptcy or something?
 
2013-11-12 06:35:38 PM

ongbok: sdd2000: The sad parts are that 1) it was mostly medical debt and 2) it was a drop in the bucket of the amount outstanding.

And I bet some  R congressmen is going to come up with a bill to punish them for this and to keep it from happening in the future just to stick it to them.


Someone could talk to the IRS about that $15M of income that those debtors probably aren't going to report...
 
2013-11-12 06:38:23 PM
Meh, they'll fark up and spend it on pot and tacos.
 
2013-11-12 06:39:37 PM
But just fyi, buying the RIGHT debt is a sound approach to making moolas.  I bought all the GMC debt I could get my hands on and made a very tidy sum.
 
2013-11-12 07:02:40 PM
Ahh, so they're going the money route. Good to see them understand how they can actually affect change. I previously posted this a lot on many Fark threads in the past:

There are only three ways to truly change the status quo: Economically (business relationships/boycotts, trusts, campaigns and special interest groups), politically (leadership, voting and electing representatives), or martially (armed insurrection).

Protesting is a romantic, youthful idealistic pastime, but it's very ignorable and it's not very constructive. It is a three year old throwing a tantrum on the kitchen floor, only it's a group of adults doing it in a public setting. Protesting by itself has a very low percentage rate insomuch as fulfilling any of its aims (if those aims are at all concrete and realistic). They are good at raising awareness and identifying problems. They are not good at achieving solutions.

Change can only come via one of three ways listed above, and this is something the OWS movement needs to understand if it would like to see any of its hazy demands met. Currently, the movement is ignored by the insulating elites because so long as none of the protestors obtain any real power, there is nothing to fear. The system is unaffected -- OWS can starve on the street or be kicked out by the Police, it really doesn't matter.

So to get to the next level, OWS needs power. Real power. The kind of power that the Police don't kick out of the park. And they won't get it so long as they remain broke, unarmed and leaderless -- none of their demands will be addressed, no one will pay any attention to them.

There is no such thing as any group in history that has ever achieved its goals without having at least one of those three traits.

So kudos to them for finally figuring this out.
 
2013-11-12 07:03:13 PM

Ego edo infantia cattus: So, any of you armchair economists care to explain to a layman how banks aren't killing themselves by selling debt at about 3% of it's value? Do they just not care that they're flushing %97 of their investment away? (%97 before interest and fees.) Have the borrowers declared bankruptcy or something?


It's bad debt. The debt is unsecured (mostly medical) and the debtors are bankrupt/judgment-proof/unlocatable. They can't collect on it within reasonable time/cost and even if some collection group could squeeze a few more cents out of that stone, the bank might as well take its few pennies now, get that crap off the books, use the loss to reduce its tax liability, whatever.

/not an economist
//armchair certified
 
2013-11-12 07:24:09 PM
Would it be possible to buy specific debt (like my own) or is it blind?
 
2013-11-12 07:35:12 PM

satanorsanta: Would it be possible to buy specific debt (like my own) or is it blind?


IANAL, but I'd guess and say not under your own name. You would have to set up a third party collection agency and purchase it from your bank without them knowing it was you.

But knowing this, I think a fun thing to do is if your debt has already been outsourced to a third party, the next time they call is negotiation time: Ask them how much they bought it for, and then see if you can't come to a reduced rate/compromise so that your debt is more manageable and they still get their money but not the full amount.

There are already firms that offer this negotiation service. Every time you see a "debt consolidation" spam email, that's what they're offering.
 
2013-11-12 07:35:14 PM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Ego edo infantia cattus: So, any of you armchair economists care to explain to a layman how banks aren't killing themselves by selling debt at about 3% of it's value? Do they just not care that they're flushing %97 of their investment away? (%97 before interest and fees.) Have the borrowers declared bankruptcy or something?

It's bad debt. The debt is unsecured (mostly medical) and the debtors are bankrupt/judgment-proof/unlocatable. They can't collect on it within reasonable time/cost and even if some collection group could squeeze a few more cents out of that stone, the bank might as well take its few pennies now, get that crap off the books, use the loss to reduce its tax liability, whatever.

/not an economist
//armchair certified


Thanks, that's along the lines of what I was thinking, only I didn't think about them using it as a tax write off, and I wasn't thinking of medical debt as being unsecured. Makes sense I guess.
 
2013-11-12 07:39:14 PM

satanorsanta: Would it be possible to buy specific debt (like my own) or is it blind?


Blind. Says they were only able to find out whose debt they bought after they bought it.

I must say, i never expected OWS to come up with something that clever.
 
2013-11-12 07:56:23 PM
What, still no trolls arguing that this program "rewards irresponsibility" and so on?
 
2013-11-12 08:02:13 PM

Ishkur: Ahh, so they're going the money route. Good to see them understand how they can actually affect change. I previously posted this a lot on many Fark threads in the past:

There are only three ways to truly change the status quo: Economically (business relationships/boycotts, trusts, campaigns and special interest groups), politically (leadership, voting and electing representatives), or martially (armed insurrection).

Protesting is a romantic, youthful idealistic pastime, but it's very ignorable and it's not very constructive. It is a three year old throwing a tantrum on the kitchen floor, only it's a group of adults doing it in a public setting. Protesting by itself has a very low percentage rate insomuch as fulfilling any of its aims (if those aims are at all concrete and realistic). They are good at raising awareness and identifying problems. They are not good at achieving solutions.

Change can only come via one of three ways listed above, and this is something the OWS movement needs to understand if it would like to see any of its hazy demands met. Currently, the movement is ignored by the insulating elites because so long as none of the protestors obtain any real power, there is nothing to fear. The system is unaffected -- OWS can starve on the street or be kicked out by the Police, it really doesn't matter.

So to get to the next level, OWS needs power. Real power. The kind of power that the Police don't kick out of the park. And they won't get it so long as they remain broke, unarmed and leaderless -- none of their demands will be addressed, no one will pay any attention to them.

There is no such thing as any group in history that has ever achieved its goals without having at least one of those three traits.

So kudos to them for finally figuring this out.


Protesting is never going to achieve your end goals, in and of itself, this I agree with.  But I disagree with you that it's not worthwhile.  Protesting is, most of all, outreach.  It's standing up and saying, "Hey, we're pissed!  Who else is?"  And if you do that, you'll get a lot of people saying, "Hey, I'm pissed too!  How can I help?"  Without the initial round of protests that put the OWS name and message into the public sphere, it's likely they wouldn't have attracted the people with the capability to pull off the rolling jamboree, or any of their other projects.

Protests aren't the end-all/be-all, but nor are they a useless tantrum.  They're merely Step 1.
 
2013-11-12 08:17:09 PM

Monkeyfark Ridiculous: Ego edo infantia cattus: So, any of you armchair economists care to explain to a layman how banks aren't killing themselves by selling debt at about 3% of it's value? Do they just not care that they're flushing %97 of their investment away? (%97 before interest and fees.) Have the borrowers declared bankruptcy or something?

It's bad debt. The debt is unsecured (mostly medical) and the debtors are bankrupt/judgment-proof/unlocatable. They can't collect on it within reasonable time/cost and even if some collection group could squeeze a few more cents out of that stone, the bank might as well take its few pennies now, get that crap off the books, use the loss to reduce its tax liability, whatever.

/not an economist
//armchair certified


Actually, it's already charged off and therefore no longer considered an asset the way a non-charged off loan is. The lender has already written it off, so any income on that debt is a bonus.

/used to work with recoveries and collections
 
2013-11-12 08:33:35 PM

Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).



I agree, if only to get rid of the current bullshiat where the burden of proof regarding a debt is on the consumer.

"Sir, you ow us $300, we bought this debt from Verizon"
"No I flipping don't. I returned that stupid box years ago"
"well too bad, we are going to fark up your credit score. Good luck proving that you don't owe us money" (how can you prove a negative?)
 
2013-11-12 08:35:57 PM

Ishkur: satanorsanta: Would it be possible to buy specific debt (like my own) or is it blind?

IANAL, but I'd guess and say not under your own name. You would have to set up a third party collection agency and purchase it from your bank without them knowing it was you.

But knowing this, I think a fun thing to do is if your debt has already been outsourced to a third party, the next time they call is negotiation time: Ask them how much they bought it for, and then see if you can't come to a reduced rate/compromise so that your debt is more manageable and they still get their money but not the full amount.

There are already firms that offer this negotiation service. Every time you see a "debt consolidation" spam email, that's what they're offering.


Debt is almost always bundled before it's sold. Chances of them selling the debt of just one debtor is practically zero, unless it's a significant amount to the lender. And if a collection agency went to the hospital to ask to purchase the debt of only one particular individual, the lender would know what's up. The debtor is better off hiring their own attorney to negotiate directly with the lender.

If you ask the party that purchased the debt how much they purchased it for, the chances of them telling you are practically zero. First off, you'll probably be speaking to a phone collections goon who doesn't have access to that information. Second, even if you got to a manager who does know that information, they won't tell you because they know better than to "show their hand". As soon as they tell you how much they purchased the debt for, they lose the advantage in the negotiation, and you lose too. They lose, because they'll be showing you how cheap the purchased the debt for, and they know you'll dig in your heels until you get close to that amount. But you lose too, because once they know that you know how much the debt was purchased for, that sets a floor that you will not go under. If you try to go below that floor, they'll tell you, "We can't, because we'd take a loss" and you'd really have no other response other than, "Well, I can't pay that" which causes an instant stalemate.
Even if you somehow got a third party collection agency to tell you how much they purchased your debt for, the figure they give you will probably be a lie. In all likelihood, they'll give you a ridiculously inflated figure. They aren't obligated to tell you what they purchased the debt for, and they certainly aren't obligated to tell you the truth.
 
2013-11-12 08:40:18 PM

Ivo Shandor: If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).


There's no incentive to do the former without the latter.  Sell the debt, sell the liability, clean your books, and make a tidy profit.  It's the American Way.  Also, f*ck you, I got mine.

/not trolling, just sick of hearing this argument
//people got filthy rich doing literally nothing but reaching into the next man's pocket
 
2013-11-12 08:44:24 PM

HeartBurnKid: But I disagree with you that it's not worthwhile. Protesting is, most of all, outreach.


You're not disagreeing with me. Let me restate:

Protests are good at raising awareness and identifying problems. They are not good at finding solutions. If the problems are already well-known, then the protests are superfluous. Protesting can be a catalyst for change but it is not change itself. This is what OWS didn't understand -- they confused the means for the ends. They read up on the 60s and the Civil Rights movement and they figured all they had to do was show up and the elites will capitulate. Because that's all anyone talks about with the Civil Rights movement -- speeches and marches. They don't ever talk about the nitty-gritty legwork required to affect real change.

In fact, a good in-depth analysis of the Civil Rights movement shows how and what needs to be done: It was a socio-political movement first and foremost that staged protests, marches, rallies, boycotts, and it had the organization, cohesion and wherewithal to see its demands met. They achieved their aims because they tapped into things OWS habitually ignored: Churches, community centers, grassroots organizations, fraternal societies, black-owned businesses, volunteer centers and other outreaches -- in other words, people with money, power and influence. They offered education and literacy programs, Freedom Rides and voter registration booths, and had full support from their community.

And they succeeded because they had a plan, with concrete, realistic goals, and they had solidarity and commitment to seeing those goals achieved. They formed their own associations to fight the predominantly racist judicial and political bodies in the south, such as the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, the Congress of Racial Equality, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Montgomery Improvement Association (started by Martin Luther King Jr). It didn't happen overnight -- it was a ten year process. The things that remain in our collective consciousness, like Rosa Parks or Ruby Bridges, were planned events intended to acquire national attention and succeeded.

Civil Rights worked because it organized, it sought and obtained power, it mobilized for change, and it got it.

OWS must do the same. I sympathize with the movement, but it's distasteful to hear them not want to do any of the things that makes a movement successful. They don't want a spokesman or a leader, they don't want to set up an organization or trust, they don't want to seek relationships and partnerships with businesses and their communities because apparently "that's playing by the enemy's rules". Sorry, it may be the enemy's rules, but that's the way things get done.

Protesting throughout history has been everything from peaceful to violent, from intellectual to ignorant, from earnest to goofy to celebratory. Protests have encapsulated all types of moods, settings and public atmospheres, from rage-filled riots to meditative hunger strikes. If there's one commonality among all protests, it's that the actual protest itself does very little to change the status quo.

It's what happens after the protest that matters.

Until OWS understands this, the movement will continue to be ignored by the insulating elites.

But this debt consolidation program is a very nice start.
 
2013-11-12 09:18:36 PM

Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).


I disagree.. nothing wrong with selling a debt.  I think though that if someone buys a debt for x cents on the dollar that you should have to be notified and have the right to buy it for the same amount.
 
2013-11-12 09:37:49 PM

Unobtanium: I guess it is helpful to whoever's debt they bought and forgave, but the details of how they report it to the credit reporting agencies is important. The article says they are "anti credit." If they report the collection as settled, IIRC, then the person's credit improves in 36 months versus 7 years for bankruptcy.

They can start going into debt again 4 years sooner. Yay?


There is also the issue that forgiven debt is classed as income for tax purposes. Some of these folks might end up going from owing the bank money to owing the IRS money, albeit a smaller amount. It may not be much of an improvement depending on their circumstances.
 
2013-11-12 09:39:09 PM

WhiskeySticks: If these guys want to pick up my student loan through ACS, I'd be more than happy to give em my account number.


I'd love to sell them my college loans.
 
2013-11-12 10:25:19 PM
Somehow I get the impression that subby isn't surprised and that he probably still thinks OWS is a bunch of stupid hippies groping for attention.
 
2013-11-12 10:30:07 PM
If they want change in a hurry, they need to occupy Park Avenue not Wall Street.

Keep the rich from making their flights to Paris is more effective than troubling their lackeys.
 
2013-11-12 10:53:44 PM

nocturnal001: Ivo Shandor: Just getting rid of the concept of being able to "sell a debt" (outside of specific scenarios like bonds) would remove a lot of the bullshiat from the modern economy. If I borrow $100,000 from bank A, then bank A is the only one who should have any claim on that repayment. If they want to hire a debt collector to annoy me on their behalf, fine. If they want to sell a financial "instrument" to bank B based on the expectation that I will be making my payments, fine (but bank A is on the hook to bank B if I don't make those payments).


I agree, if only to get rid of the current bullshiat where the burden of proof regarding a debt is on the consumer.

"Sir, you ow us $300, we bought this debt from Verizon"
"No I flipping don't. I returned that stupid box years ago"
"well too bad, we are going to fark up your credit score. Good luck proving that you don't owe us money" (how can you prove a negative?)


You can send them a legal no-conract order that supposedly forces them to take you to court to prove the debt.
/IANAL
 
2013-11-12 11:30:33 PM
They sure showed those bank!

Buying the products that they were selling!
 
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