Posts Tagged ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Robin Hood Hedge Fund

April 5, 2015

Making money at the stock market is not about being “right”, about having the “right” opinion, but about the art of knowing the common sentiment, the public opinion, and of anticipating, and even manipulating its movements. This is what Robin Hood does. — Michel Bauwens

Hedge funds are parasites. A game for the filthy rich, who can afford to lose a few millions, and take big risks. They do not create wealth. They are global casinos that suck in money like vacuum cleaners.

It is not workers, or capital, or factories, that accumulate this wealth. It is clever algorithms that are working at high speed on super-fast computers.

Imagine that you knew the European Central Bank was going to invest a trillion euros. You get in a fraction of a second before they do. You benefit from that advance knowledge when the price shoots up.

You are riding the wave.

Investors swarm, they are sheep, they all move the same way, in the same direction. Those who get in first, make the money.

There is no intelligence involved. It is the herd mentality. It causes violent swings and volatility in the market. Major corporations can see billions wiped off their stock market valuation within minutes.

A global casino, a few winners, the rest are loses, the house (Wall Street, City of London) always comes out on top as that is the way the casino works.

You may not wish to participate, but if you have money in the bank, a pension fund, then you are a player.

That is what Robin Hood Coop are doing, they are playing the market, riding the wave, staying ahead of the pack, but using an algorithm to see where the pack is heading.

They are monitoring the data of what the biggest investors are doing, then they get in first.

It is a hedge fund whose average annual return of just over 40% makes it one of the top 4 or 5 best performing hedge funds in the world.

There is no ethics in their investment, which is questionable, and they accept that.

But let us not pretend investment is not political. Boycotting Israel is political. Divesting from fossil fuels is political. Not benefiting from the slave trade was political.

Anyone can invest, 30 euros to be a member, 30 euros to invest, any multiple of 30 euros on top, no upper limit.

Robin Hood Hedge Fund is a cooperative, one member one vote, no matter how big your investment.

There are no hedge fund management fees. It is an algorithm that is deciding where to invest.

Members can spit their profit, with a cut going to irrigate the commons.

Projects are designated, and no not to buy a yacht, and three members are randomly selected. They decide what projects will be funded.

Typical of the type of projects nominated:TechStart (public funding), The Trew Era Cafe (Russell BrandRevolution), Hackney Mosaic Project (KickStarter), The Real Junk Food Project Brighton (crowdfunder). Three social enterprises, and a community arts project. One had public funding, one funded by Russell Brand using proceeds from Revolution, and the other two relying upon crowdfunding.  All could have been nominated to obtain no strings attached funding from the Robin Hood Hedge Fund,

Robin Hood Hedge Fund could be seen as crowdfunding the open commons through the investment return of their members.

Even if as a  member you decide on a 50:50 split, that is still a 20% return on investment based upon past track record (which of course is no indicator of future performance).

Let us invest €1, which they give to the Parasite, who goes ‘out’ into the market, and sometime later comes back with €1.40, the members now have €0.40 they would have otherwise not had – and to be sure, they’ve neither laboured for, nor sacrificed any time or energy for it: so why not turn around and give some of that surplus away?

If you choose to keep more than 50% of the profit, there is a one off fee.

Note: Parasite is the name of the algorithm.

You have not worked to earn this money, but that is the point, that is how hedge funds operate. This is simply playing the hedge funds at their own game.

Basically this is pissing on Wall Street and distributing the proceeds to help the collaborative commons grow.

Corporate raiders in reverse.

But is it a giant Ponzi scheme?

But should Robin Hood Hedge Fund not invest directly in the Open Commons?

Akseli Virtanen, chairman of the board :

Robin Hood is an attempt of reactivating the body of general intellect. Not in the old political way of the last century, but in a strange way. In an insolvent way. In a monstrous or paradoxical way (but are you not taking part in the same system?!). In a disgusting way (what are the ethics of this?!). In a rebel way, maybe, but in any case in a way that is not reducible to present frameworks of knowledge and predictability (this is politics? art? is this research? or business?).

Robin Hood sounds like a ponzi scheme, a fake, or it could be a private group of aggressive entrepreneurs ready to take advantage of anybody. To become a member demands certainly something we don’t have, like belief in the possible, or imagination. This could all be a hoax or an “art project”. Robin Hood makes us uneasy, it breaks the “natural” and “easy” flow of independent action and ready environments. It is something unallowable and unimaginable, almost impossible… a monster… with its specters of mistrusts, weaknesses, confusions, fears, impossibilities, non-commitments and insolvencies… something which is closer to poetics than exchange of information and rational communication.

Robin Hood is basically a proof of concept. Can we raid Wall Street and get away with it?

In for a punt?

Arundhati Roy speaking at the heart of Empire

November 20, 2011

What they are doing becomes so important because it is in the heart of empire, or what used to be empire. And to criticize and to protest against the model that the rest of the world is aspiring to is a very important and a very serious business. So…it makes me very, very hopeful that after a long time you’re seeing some nascent political, real political anger here. — Arundhati Roy

Indian activist and writer Arundhati Roy speaking at the People’s University in Washington Square Park, held at Judson Memorial Church, in the heart of the Empire.

Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is “So Important Because It is in the Heart of Empire”

Paramilitary policing and police brutality from Seattle to Occupy Wall Street

November 20, 2011
A man sits in front of a police line at City Hall during an anti-Wall Street protest in Oakland, California, 25 October 2011. (REUTERS/Kim White)

A man sits in front of a police line at City Hall during an anti-Wall Street protest in Oakland, California, 25 October 2011. (REUTERS/Kim White)

Warning: Some may find the scenes of police brutality disturbing!

Today (Saturday) security thugs attacked peaceful protesters in Tahrir Square, many were injured, at least one killed. The tear gas used in Tahrir Square has Made in US stamped on it. Supply of security and torture equipment is big business.

But are they not getting a green light for this brutality from the US, a nod and a wink, watch what we do and follow our example?

Earlier in the week we saw the brutal police crack down on Occupy Wall Street, press were cleared from the area, news helicopters blocked from flying overhead, local residents locked in their apartments. The camp was trashed, books and and laptops trashed or stolen.

NYPD police brutality against Occupy Wall Street
Only Nazis destroy books

A couple of weeks before we saw the brutal crackdown in Portland. The irony is that Tahrir Square marched to the US Embassy to protest violence against peaceful protesters in the US.

The worse though has been the pepper-spraying of protesters. Not the use by police in self-defence when overwhelmed by an angry mob, but the police setting upon demonstrators, then pepper-spraying them,

In Seattle a 84-year old woman was pepper-sprayed in the face. She has still not recovered.

84-Year-Old Dorli Rainey, Pepper-Sprayed at Occupy Seattle, Denounces “Worsening” Police Crackdowns

I recall the Seattle WTO protests and the brutal police crackdown, out of which grew the global Indymedia network and the anti-globalisation network. Talking with a Bolivian activist some time later, she said she showed in Bolivia film footage of people being tear-gased on the street in Seattle. The locals in Bolivia had their eyes opened. They were used to violent supression of protest, but this was in the West.

84-Year-Old Dorli Rainey, pepper-sprayed at Occupy Seattle, was there during the Battle of Seattle a decade ago. She says the police brutality is now far worse.

Norm Stamper, the former police chief of Seattle, admits he was wrong then and as a retired chief of police is highly critical of police tactics and what he terms paramilitary policing.

Paramilitary Policing From Seattle to Occupy Wall Street
Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism

Remember Kent State and the killing of students in the 1960s? Has anything changed?

On UC Davis university campus the police were invited on campus by the chancellor. Students were held and pepper-sprayed into their eyes and down their throats.

Without any provocation whatsoever, other than the bodies of these students sitting where they were on the ground, with their arms linked, police pepper-sprayed students. Students remained on the ground, now writhing in pain, with their arms linked.

What happened next?

Police used batons to try to push the students apart. Those they could separate, they arrested, kneeling on their bodies and pushing their heads into the ground. Those they could not separate, they pepper-sprayed directly in the face, holding these students as they did so. When students covered their eyes with their clothing, police forced open their mouths and pepper-sprayed down their throats. Several of these students were hospitalized. Others are seriously injured. One of them, forty-five minutes after being pepper-sprayed down his throat, was still coughing up blood.

Peaceful students and faculty members attacked on their own campus at the behest of the chancellor. The chancellor should at least have the decency to resign.

Open Letter to Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Police Pepper Spraying UC Davis Students

Homeland Security was not formed to combat terrorism but to repress and brutalise US citizens!

Is this the democracy the houseboy in the White House is exporting to the world?

The revolution has started

November 17, 2011
has the Lord Mayor got the message? - Lewis Whyld

has the Lord Mayor got the message? - Lewis Whyld

The Arab Spring, the Spanish youth movement, now Occupy the World.

The people have spoken and their voice is growing stronger.

Violence will not supress the voice of the people.

It was tried in Tahrir Square. The people resisted, a dictator was toppled.

It was tried in Portland. The people are back.

It was tried in New York. The people are back.

It was tried in Libya. Col Gadhaffi was dragged like a rat out of a drain and a bullet put through hs head.

In Syria Assad has resorted to violence. He has a simple choice, hand himself over to the International Criminal Court or be removed from power with a bullet through the head.

This is not a revoultion of left or right, such terms lack meaning.

It is a revolution on the ground and in cyber space and the people are winning.

This is not people against people, one country pitted against another. It is people united across country, across race, across colour, across ethnicity, across religion.

It is the people pitted against corrupt politicians and their paymasters.

It is the people pitted against those who exploit the poor and marginalised, against those who exploit the earth for their own greed.

We are the revolution
Bankers love Boris
Only Nazis destroy books
NYPD police brutality against Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street Protesters Return to Zuccotti Park After 200 Arrested, Camping Barred
Arundhati Roy: Occupy Wall Street is “So Important Because It is in the Heart of Empire”
Tahrir Square in NYC
It is time for Twitter and its citizens to take back #OccupyWallStreet

Only Nazis destroy books

November 17, 2011
The People's  Library

The People's Library

the people's library

the people's library

If you thought only Nazis destroyed books, think again.

The Church not only sought out heritics and burnt them at the stake, they destroyed their writings too. Muslim fundamantalists destroy books. As did a crazed pastor who thought it was ok to burn the Koran to make a point.

To that list we must now add the thugs of the NYPD and the Mayor of New York.

When the NYPD trashed Occupy Wall Street a couple of nights ago, they destroyed the cycle power system, trashed or stole several laptops and a wifi system. They also trashed or stole the People’s Library containing around 5,500 maybe more books. At least 50 of these books were donated and signed by their authors.

Will the mayor and NYPD be compensating for all that they have stolen or trashed?

Jail Notes
UPDATE: State of Seized Library
The People’s Library and the future of OWS
NYPD police brutality against Occupy Wall Street

NYPD police brutality against Occupy Wall Street

November 15, 2011
NYPD blockade in contempt of injunction

NYPD blockade in contempt of injunction

pedal power bike systems that powered the entire camp trashed by NYPD

pedal power bike systems that powered the entire camp trashed by NYPD

If the mayor and Wall Street think this is just about a park, then they don’t have clue about what’s next. — Michael Moore

It’s too late. Tens of millions of Americans won’t let the Occupy Wall Street momentum stop. They want the banks stopped and they want their America back. — Michael Moore

Phase Two of this massive, nonviolent MAJORITY movement will now commence. Wall St will wish they had just left it alone in the park. — Michael Moore

I urge you to call the 1st precinct in New York at 1-212-334-0611 to demand that NYPD stops their attacks on Occupy Wall Street protesters. — Bianca Jagger

Last night NYPD targeted Occupy Wall Street, the area was sealed off, journalists were denied access, local residents were locked in their apartments and not allowed out, even news helicopters were not allowed to fly overhead.

Occupy Wall Street: New York police clear Zuccotti Park

Protesters were not deterred and vowed to return. A temporary injunction was granted allowing them to return, but in a blatant contempt of court, the New York Mayor and NYPD have ignored the injunction.

Is this the form of democracy the houseboy in the White House wishes to export? Has his Wall Street backers whispered in his ear, enough is enough, do you not want us to fill your campaign coffers?

A call out has gone to local churches to follow the example of St Paul’s and work with the protesters.

Today Occupy London Stock Exchange marched to the US Embassy in London to protest the police brutality. They found a police cordon and only those with US passports allowed through.

Solidarity Action with Occupy Wall Street eviction
Occupy London expresses solidarity with Occupy Wall Street at the US embassy

Last night was the Lord Mayor’s Banquet. Peaceful protesters were attacked, seven were arrested. Their bail conditions that they may not be within the City of London means they have to leave St Paul’s in-the-Camp, but fortunately Finsbury Square is not in the City of London.

Police use unprovoked force against peaceful Occupy London campaigners

St Paul’s in-the-Camp held a feast for the poor.

On Sunday private security evicted people from St Paul’s who wished to attend the Remembrance Sunday service, including an Iraq war veteran.

On Guy Fawkes night, police kettled people from the camp who tried to join the Jarrow March.

Guy Fawkes night

St Paul’s learnt the error of their ways and are working with the camp, but this message has not got through to clergy at other cathedrals who are repeating the same mistakes made by St Paul’s.

Church support for camps is tested by protesters’ conduct

The City of London are rumoured to be re-instating their legal action against the camp. The City of London broke off amicable talks with the camp.

Occupy London faces renewed eviction attempt

Mayor Boris calls on the judges to have to courage to clear St Paul’s in-the-Camp. He seems to forget, as does the City of London, that we live in a democracy, which means the right to protest, not the right to be for sale to the highest bidder.

Boris calls for judges to have the courage to remove ‘crusties’

And by the way Boris, if you troubled to visit the camp rather than talking out of your arse, you would see that it is not obstructing the highway!

Michael Moore explains Occupy Wall Street to the BBC

October 20, 2011

Michael Moore explains Occupy Wall Street to the BBC.