Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Occupy Wall Street Offshoot Wants to Buy Up Consumer Debt and Cancel It

with 2 comments

Very interesting idea pointed out to me by The Eldest—and it sounds like a very good idea, as well. Robert O’Brien writes in The Baltimore Fishbowl:

Occupy Wall Street activists have hit upon a novel way to provide people with debt relief: buy it up and cancel it. The initiative, called the Rolling Jubilee, buys distressed debt from banks for pennies on the dollar, and then, instead of trying to collect on it, abolishes it.

The initial funding goal of $50,000 — which the Rolling Jubilee would use to cancel $1 million of debt — has already been met twice over. (Visit the website to watch the donations, and debt eliminations, climb.)

To answer your question: No, you can not apply to have your debt specifically targeted by Rolling Jubilee. Debt is bought at random in bundles. And if your debt isn’t yet “distressed” then it’s not likely to be on the list.

How much of a dent could this effort really make in the collective debt of the American people? Maybe only a small one. Americans are something like $2.7 trillion in debt, and a trillion is a million millions.

But it’s certainly an inspiring way to offer direct relief to people who are struggling, and perhaps it will get the issue of personal debt back in the news.

You can donate to the Rolling Jubilee here. Check the website on Thursday for a live stream of their launch party, featuring Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) and Janeane Garofalo among others.

Note that for each $1 you donate, $20 worth of debt is retired.

Written by Leisureguy

13 November 2012 at 10:54 am

Posted in Business, Daily life

2 Responses

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  1. The author mentions that a trillion is a million million. That’s wrong. It’s a thousand million.


    Edward Wickham

    13 November 2012 at 12:13 pm

  2. I fear that you are mistaken. A thousand million is (in the US) a billion; we then define a trillion as a thousand billion (or a million million; or a billion thousand):

    1,000,000 = 1 million
    1,000,000,000 = 1 billion
    1,000,000,000,000 = 1 trillion.



    13 November 2012 at 12:19 pm

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