Better than monopoly money
April 14, 2018 7:23 AM   Subscribe

Hilary Powell and Dan Edelstyn are the artists and filmmakers who recently took over an old co-op bank on high street in Walthamstow in an ambitious project that is part art installation, part stunt, part charity drive and part education campaign designed to inform the public about the true nature of money and credit creation. The rebel bank with a cause.
posted by Juso No Thankyou (3 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I'm cranky, its the morning, so apologies if that comes through. I don't think it is a good idea to buy old consumer debt. So you can buy what is basically a spreadsheet of debtors who are extremely unlikely to pay, debt that in most cases you cannot actually prove in court is owed, is sometimes not even the debt of the person listed or has already been paid off to some other bottom feeder, and than what? Forgive it? As far as I can see all you have done is pump money into a predatory system of debt collection, you have provided a buyer for what otherwise was probably unsaleable.

I would much rather have the money that is spend on this kind of half bakery go towards activism that coaches debtors to declare strategic bankruptcy, to ask the debt collector to put up or shut up, to sue whenever possible.
posted by Pembquist at 8:52 AM on April 14, 2018 [1 favorite]

I love this whole idea - everything about it.

In a truly moral society, the moralizing about how “donating to charities is important” would be much less necessary, because our collective taxes would pay for the services currently provided by food banks, humane societies, refuge centers, free clinics, wildlife and nature conservancies, disease research associations, and others.

And yes, yes, yes: if you can literally buy someone else’s debt for 5 cents on the dollar, then why indeed is the debtor still held in debt? Why shouldn’t the debtor be allowed the opportunity to pay off their debt at the same rate? The answer is that debtors mustn’t be allowed that option, since it would make a huge part of the predatory debt market collapse — which it should.

And the infuriating idea that the Have-Nots need to view their indebtedness as a moral failing and a character flaw, while the Haves get to consider it “just business” when they file bankruptcy and stiff debtors and workers.

Or worse, as in the case of Mitt Romney and his dastardly ilk, when they buy a company (“companies are people, my friend”), then intentionally drive up its debt, and then kill it off (or “harvest it” as Romney put it) and walk off with millions while poorer people lose their livelihoods.
posted by darkstar at 9:05 AM on April 14, 2018 [5 favorites]

That should be “when they file bankruptcy and stiff creditors and workers.“
posted by darkstar at 12:38 PM on April 14, 2018

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