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Peter Chapman

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"Occupy Credit" - Instead of a disorganized street protest, can we all unite in mass as consumers to occupy the credit system itself?

Truly at the root of all of our global economic problems is a deeply flawed system of credit. Although I suspect the bond market is the origin of this system, it is impossible to make a change at such a foundational level without causing a major meltdown. I think it is fair to assume that we are not satisfied with the efforts made thus far by our governments to rectify the situation and I am hopeful that we, the consumer, can take a stand collectively and start the difficult process of real equalising credit reform. In the last 45 years, the virtually unfettered access to/creation of mass credit/leverage for consumers, banks, corporations and governments has created a dire situation that is likely only to further deepen the income gap and cause further global strife.

Can we improve the existing structure and allow the changes to penetrate over time to the foundation? Sounds like trickle-down economics to me?

My “Idea” is to start with a set of demands for credit reform that are created by-the-people that will immediately impact the mass consumer and stop the usurious policies in force with banks and enforced by our governments. These changes would have to be implemented over a negotiated timeline to avoid a shock to the system.

We set demands, we set a deadline for agreement and we stand together as an organized 99% that make an immediate and useful change for all.

Don’t want to meet our demands? Watch 2, then 20, then 200 million people decide not to pay their credit debt for one month. Still no agreement? How about we all wait 3 months to pay?

Trouble for the creditors is that they are too leveraged to tolerate this type of mass default, even if it is just for 30 days. It turns out that their system only exists because we all allow it to because of the every-man-for-himself culture we have adopted/been fed.

200 million people say “no more” and if they don’t agree, THEY go bankrupt.

Easy + effective with no permanent damage to credit rating

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    Feb 1 2012: "Truly at the root of all of our global economic problems is a deeply flawed system of credit." I don't want to split hairs :)

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. I don't agree but I sometimes wrong.
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    Jan 31 2012: Varian, check out "Mutual Credit". http://www.google.co.cr/search?q=mutual+credit&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

    This is a "demand" that is widely supported. But I don't agree with you that the flawed credit system is the root of the economic problem, and I think the fact that mutual credit won't fix it is evidence.

    The problem, imo, is that the marketplace rewards irresponsible development because that's cheaper, including irresponsible use of human resources.
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        Feb 2 2012: You are welcome. I was somehow thinking that you are Peter, whom started the discussion with the comment that our flawed credit system is the root of problem.

        I think we have plenty of food, but the market has a big, obvious flaw. You see, people are paid to produce the essential commodities that people consume, which seems ideal, except the global market gives this most important work to the lowest bidders but sells these most important commodities to the highest bidders, and so the people doing that work don't earn enough to get their fair share.

        My thinking is that Earth needs a better designed marketplace and then two or three times as many people so that we can be everywhere and so protect all the resources from the few who are irresponsible. I'm working with people around the globe on this design at http://reconomy.net, which proposes introducing a new kind of money. Among other things, this new money would solve a lot of the credit problem.
  • Jan 31 2012: Hi Pete,

    Have you considered that your debt is not erased if "they" go bankrupt. On the other hand, you've destroyed the ability of anyone to get loans for any reason. You've gone a long way towards destroing the concept of a contract. That is, the ability of people to make and keep promies. Our world, and I don't just mean the financial world, is based on the idea that we can make and keep agreements. Have fun in that world.

    Best wishes,
    Doug
    • Jan 31 2012: Thanks Doug, I do appreciate this contribution. I definitely know that by going bankrupt all you are doing is deferring your responsibility to other consumers which I believe is very wrong. I do not want "them" to go bankrupt and I certainly do not want anyone else to go bankrupt either. The idea is to start a conversation with a very one-sided financial system and see where it goes... Yes, it may sound threatening, but I do not propose a drastic change immediately as that is not pragmatic (just like demonstrating in the streets). What we all need is an agreement to pursue a fair and balanced system of credit over time that allows a consumer to participate with full knowledge and disclosure. I do not want to destroy a contract but rather make them more robust with fiduciary obligations placed on both parties to trully ensure they understand and therefore consent to the terms of that agreement. There are lots of opportunities to remove predators, greed and consumer ignorance from the system and still keep it going. I agree that integrity is absolutely critical to the success of our society, but I think there are many concrete, statistics backed facts that prove that is not happening, with the favour greatly in the side of the lender. It’s not just me whining about fees and loans I don’t want to pay back; it’s a reckless system of credit that has caused/allowed ignorant consumers (that includes corp’s + governments) to over-borrow, over-leverage and ultimately transfer a great deal of real wealth to a small minority. The key here is that government has proven insufficient to regulate this system even when they tried, they failed miserably. Currently the consumer really has no choice but to go along when there is no alternative. What choices do we really have when it comes to considering a mortgage contract for example? Buy and agree to ridiculous terms or don’t buy. That sounds like an ultimatum to me. Sorry for ranting and raving...
  • Jan 31 2012: I think deferred gratification, living below one's means, and responsible savings and investing would do a lot to make things better at the personal, corporate, and government levels. Borrowing should be a well thought out decision rather than a daily act of convenience when using a Visa card to buy a coffee. The credit system may be flawed from the perspective of the public, but it is making business money, so there is no flaw there. I think the flaw is in the current mindset of folks that believe they deserve things before they have worked to get them.
    • Jan 31 2012: I completely agree with you Robert with the exception of your comment that it is making businesses money. I believe access to credit provides access to growth for companies only superficially. I believe it is absolutely clear now that the wealth held in our society is not held by contributing businesses but rather a small minority that insists on perpetuating a very one-sided and flawed system that is designed to hoard wealth for no reason other than that they can (it seems). That is wrong... it's not worse or better than a family borrowing a mortage that they know they cannot afford, but it is still wrong and it all needs to change.
  • Jan 30 2012: Hi Peter,

    Here's what it sounds like to me. You asked for the loan, they gave you the money, you don't want to pay it back.

    Did I miss something?

    Best wishes,
    Doug Bell