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China: No Clear Solution to the Wall Street Occupation

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

A month on since the Wall Street demonstration began, “Occupy” protests even spread to several cities in Asia this past weekend.

According to New York-based investment banker and adjunct professor in the Zicklin School of Business at CUNY, Jay Guo, writing on his blog [zh], protesters at the original site have yet show much sign of being ready to pack up and head home, while in the meantime similar protests have popped up across the country in 70 other cities, finding lots of support in each.

The American dream is fading away, Guo says, and a lot of the blame falls on United States President Obama, who despite repeated calls made during his 2008 election campaign to initiate reforms, has yet to deliver:



What's more worrisome, though, is how this differs from past economic crises. There isn't a single profession that shows any hope of being able to bring the country out of this crisis. Not just that, but the present power structures haven't shown any will to push through reforms. With the public left with no hope in sight, conflict is guaranteed to continue spreading through society.

The American dream is drifting away, and the Occupy Wall Street movement is going strong.

Occupy Hong Kong in Exchange Square, Hong Kong, China. Image by anissatung, copyright Demotix (15/10/11).

Occupy Hong Kong in Exchange Square, Hong Kong, China. Image by anissatung, copyright Demotix (15/10/11).

Then, if bankers say they don't have the answers and the political process is equally unable to repair either itself or the economy, how do you start over? National Business Daily columnist Ye Tan looked at the more radical, or possibly legal, approach in her post this weekend [zh] of chasing the “fat cats” out of Wall Street and the global economic system:


The occupation of Wall Street drags on and has spread everywhere, with public anger directed at the bankers there on Wall Street. The greedy banker fat cats are being held as the criminals responsible for rising unemployment and the sluggish economy. After they take over Wall Street, though, what will the protestors do? If the fat cats go, they'll just be replaced by a bunch of new fat cats.
The extreme inequality seen in the current financial era isn't just present in the United States, but globally, and China is no exception. You can get rid of the fat cats, but you can't just take over Wall Street.

What if, though, instead of more fat cats, zombies end up taking over Wall Street and start working on a public bailout plan? That's almost the question Yale Professor of Finance Zhiwu Chen seemed to be asking in a recent interview he gave [zh] to Phoenix TV:



Of course they have the right [to be there], but looking at it from another aspect, as an economist, I think that what they're actually doing is shooting themselves in the foot. To the point, I know that they all have their own reasons for being there, and that the protesters have different reasons for wanting to demonstrate.

But in the end, if they truly do end up taking Wall Street down, and especially if, through their rallies, they end up giving politicians and those in Congress from the Democratic Party more reason to introduce greater regulatory measures—or even laws—which raise taxes on high-income earners, in the end there's only going to be one result, and that will be an inevitable decline in the supply of financial services available to the American public.



Put simply, if a number of Wall Street firms end up getting shut down and banks are forced to leave, in the end it's going to be the overall American economy, affecting both entrepreneurs and corporations, that won't be able to receive sufficient financial support, enough capital support, as there just won't have been as much as there once was. If this means that all the future Steve Jobs among all these corporations and entrepreneurs aren't going to be able to raise much capital, or receive much support from Wall Street, then where will American job growth come from?

These people out rallying and demonstrating and protesting, their allies and supporters, when it comes time for them to find work, who's going to be there to give them a job?

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

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