Occupy Finance, the book: announcement and fundraising

Crossposted on mathbabe.org.

Members of the Alt Banking Occupy group have been hard at work recently writing a book which we call Occupy Finance. Our blog for the book is here. It’s a work in progress but we’re planning to give away 1,000 copies of the book on September 17th, the 2nd anniversary of the Occupation of Zuccotti Park.

We’re modeling it after another book which was put out last year by Strike Debt called the Debt Resistor’s Operations Manual, which I blogged about it here when it came out.

Crappy Kickstarter

I want to tell you more about our book, which we’re writing by committee, but I did want to mention that in order to get the first 1,000 copies printed by September 17th, we’ll need altogether $2,500, and so far we’ve collected $2,150 from the various contributors, editors, and their friends. So we need to collect $350 at this point. If we get more then we’ll print more.

If you’d like to help us towards the last $350, we’d appreciate it – and I’ll even send you a copy of the book afterwards. But please don’t send anything you don’t want to give away, I can’t promise you some kind of formal proof of your contribution for tax purposes. This is Occupy after all, we suck at money. Consider this a crappy version of Kickstarter.

Anyway if you want to help out, send me a personal email to arrange it: cathy.oneil at gmail. I’ll basically just tell you to send me a personal check, since I’m the one fronting the money.

Audience and Mission

The mission of the book, like the mission of the Alt Banking group, is to explain the financial system and its dysfunction in plain English and to offer suggestions for how to think about it and what we can do to improve it.

The audience for this book is the 99% who are Occupy-friendly or at least Occupy-inquisitive. Specifically, we want people who know there’s something wrong, but don’t have the background to articulate what it is, to have a reference to help them define their issues. We want to give them ammunition at the water cooler.

What’s in the book?

After a stirring introduction, the book is divided into three basic parts: The Real Life Impact of Financialization, How We Got Here, and Things to do. I’ve got links below.

Keep in mind things are still in flux and will be changed, sometimes radically, before the final printing. In particular we’re actually using DropBox for most of our edits so the links below aren’t final versions (but will be eventually). Even so, the content below will give you a good idea of what we have in mind, and if you have comments or suggestions, please do tell us, thanks!

Our table of contents is as follows, and the available chapters have associated links:

Introduction: Fighting Our Way Out of the Financial Maze

The Real Life Impact of Financialization

  1. Heads They Win, Tails We Lose: Real Life Impact of Financialization on the 99%
  2. The bailout: it didn’t work, it’s still going on, and it’s making things worse

How We Got Here

  1. What Banks Do
  2. Impact of Deregulation
  3. The top ten financial outrages
  4. The muni bond industry and the 99%

Things to Do

  1. Reject common myths
  2. Smart Regulation
  3. New Money
  4. Resources
  5. Occupy!