We Don’t Need No Debt Forgiveness

Confession Booth

Confession Booth

Ann Pettifor, co-founder of the Jubilee 2000 campaign, hits the nail on the head in an interview with Salon when she says we should not use the language of “debt forgiveness”:

“I would not use the language of “debt forgiveness.” This phrase was strictly prohibited in Jubilee 2000, because it implied that the debtor was the “sinner” and needed “forgiveness.” Instead we argued that there is co-responsibility for the debt, and within that frame the more powerful creditor must take a greater share of responsibility for the losses associated with the debt. As things stand in the U.S., as far as I can see, Wall Street takes no responsibility for the vast debts it heaped on the shoulders of working Americans – debts vast as space.”

Read more at Salon

Meanwhile, money managers are confessing loss, but not sin…

Yesterday, Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan at Reuters published an essay entitled “The Confession Season“. Confessions of huge losses are starting to come in from some of the biggest U.S. money managers. Apparently they made some wrong bets guessing which way things would go in the market casino. Besides sending out “sorry” letters to investors, many are also on the defensive against the  Occupy Wall Street protesters, claiming that they are unfairly being vilified.

The article draws attention to John Paulson, “famous hedge fund manager” whose fund is down 47 percent this year:

Paulson’s confession, however, was overshadowed  some by a somewhat defensive statement he issued after the conference call, in which he blasted the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests…He said it’s wrong for anti-Wall Street protestors to vilify business and in particular, the “top 1 percent of New Yorkers” who pay over 40 percent of all income taxes. But Paulson made no mention of the roughly $5 billion personal payday he had in 2010.

The article goes on to say that its unlikely that the OWS demonstrations will elicit any confessions of wrongdoing from the money managers, who are loathe to take any responsibility for the financial crisis, or acknowledge that the debt burden crushing US citizens is unpayable.

Mention is made of some economists calling for jubilee. On this issue the bankers are silent.