Article published online in The Nation on December 22nd, 2011:
Revolution through Banking?
Carne Ross | December 22, 2011
It has been clear for some time that the conduct of the banking and financial industry is one very important cause of the 2008 credit crunch. Moreover, for-profit banks by and large fail to deliver services to the poor, deepening poor people's marginalization from the mainstream economy. The banks relentless pursuit of profit, an intrinsic feature of the industry (as of...
This note was shared with members of the OWS working group on Alternative Banking today:
The Commons: A Good Bank
This note has been prepared by the alternative banking working group of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The note is for discussion with the OWS movement and more broadly.
The purpose of this note is to describe the characteristics of an ideal bank that embodies the values of the OWS movement. The current...
The Daily Telegraph features The Leaderless Revolution as a book of the year for 2011. Key passage below:
John Burnside. The surprise hit of 2011, in our house at least, was The Leaderless Revolution (Simon and Schuster, £16.99), an inspiring plea for emergent anarchism from former British WMD and sanctions expert Carne Ross. If everyone read this book, politics might begin to be about trusting each other rather than lobbies, subsidies and cynicism
Huffington Post did a great little piece on the Alternative Banking working group that I'm part of. You can find the original article here. I've also pasted it below. Thank you Janell Ross for coming along, and taking an interest.
While weatherworn protesters continue to demonstrate in Zuccotti Park and prepare for winter, one arm of the Occupy Wall Street movement is debating a far larger concern: the architecture of an alternative financial system they say...
The Alternative Banking working group of Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is meeting this afternoon. Here are some suggestions for the meetng:
Here are a few notes to get us started this afternoon. These are just suggestions for discussion.
First, an introduction. I am a former British diplomat, one of two who resigned over the Iraq war. I was in the foreign service for 15 years. I founded and now run a non-profit diplomatic advisory group, Independent Diplomat,...
The other night, at the Occupy Wall Street "General Assembly", I announced the formation of a new working group to examine alternatives to the current banking system.
The idea is to explore existing alternatives to mainstream high street banks (credit unions, cooperative banks etc), think about an ideal system, then try to set it up. No small ambition. But you've got to start somewhere.
At Zuccotti Park, I asked those interested to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if they wished to...
Independent Diplomat was really pleased to help with this visit. JB is making a documentary about the Western Sahara, and has a long-standing interest in the issue (he has visited the refugee camps in Algeria).
He visited the UN this week to address the 4th Committee, which deals with decolonization (the Western Sahara is regarded as a decolonization issue by the UN: its status is undetermined). And this pic shows him speaking (with me behind him looking stern). You can...
Here are some suggestions for a manifesto for the Occupy Wall Street protests, which are currently taking place. The manifesto attempts to summarize common concerns about current banking practices and articulate a new agenda for a better system. The banks are busy lobbying lawmakers and the Administration every day. The public must be given equal access to demand a better system. I discussed some of the problems, and in particular the inadequacy of current and planned...
After talking with a lot of people at the UN, and in the leader- and diplomat-packed corridors and lobbies of various mid-town hotels in a rainy New York City, the likely early outcomes of the Palestinian initiative are becoming a bit clearer. Any observations now however must be stated with a very clear proviso that things are moving fast, and the diplomacy is hectic. Things may change very suddenly.
It is becoming pretty clear that some of the major powers are intending to...
There's a lot of confusion about the PLO's likely attempt this week to gain full membership of the UN. In particular, many commentators (and the PLO itself) often refer to the initiative as an attempt to gain "recognition" by the UN, which it is not. The UN does not recognise states; only other states can recognise states (however, UN membership would undoubtedly boost Palestine's claim to be a state).
As a British diplomat at the UN, I helped negotiate Palestine's last "...