debt jubilee

Starting Monday, thousands of Croatia’s poorest citizens will benefit from an unusual gift: They will have their debts wiped out. Named “fresh start,” the government scheme aims to help some of the 317,000 Croatians whose bank accounts have been blocked due to their debts.

Given that Croatia is a relatively small Mediterranean country of only 4.4 million inhabitants, the number of indebted citizens is significant and has become a major economic burden for the country. After six years of recession, growth predictions for Croatia’s economy remain low for this year.

“We assess that this measure will be applicable to some 60,000 citizens,” Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opacic was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Thus they will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt,” Opacic said earlier this month.

Among economists, the scheme is regarded as unprecedented and exceptional. “I can’t think of anything comparable,” Dean Baker, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, told The Washington Post.

On Monday, February 23, fifteen former students of Corinthian Colleges Inc., a network of for-profit colleges, declared a debt strike by refusing to repay their federal loans. Taking a bold and unprecendented stand on the current student debt crisis, the Corinthian 15, who are members of the Debt Collective, are demanding that the Department of Education discharge their debts, as well as those of former and current Corinthian students.

The Debt Collective evolved out of the post-Occupy project Rolling Jubilee, a volunteer-run initiative that uses crowdfunded donations to buy and then abolish portfolios of educational and medical debts. This past week, Rolling Jubilee abolished $13 million in tuition debts belonging to students of Everest College, a member of the Corinthian Colleges network.

Keep reading

Razmig Keucheyan: Debt audits show that austerity is politically motivated to favour social elites. Is a new working-class internationalism in the air?

As history has shown, France is capable of the best and the worst, and often in short periods of time.

On the day following Marine Le Pen’s Front National victory in the European elections, however, France made a decisive contribution to the reinvention of a radical politics for the 21st century. On that day, thecommittee for a citizen’s audit on the public debt issued a 30-page report on French public debt, its origins and evolution in the past decades. The report was written by a group of experts in public finances under the coordination of Michel Husson, one of France’s finest critical economists. Its conclusion is straightforward: 60% of French public debt is illegitimate.

Anyone who has read a newspaper in recent years knows how important debt is to contemporary politics. As David Graeber among others has shown, we live in debtocracies, not democracies. Debt, rather than popular will, is the governing principle of our societies, through the devastating austerity policies implemented in the name of debt reduction. Debt was also a triggering cause of the most innovative social movements in recent years, the Occupy movement. …


Michael Hudson talks about debt deflation, the problems of dollar hegemony, and the need for debt jubilees.


Nasty echo on Michael … but a very worthy discussion.

Croatia just cancelled the debts of its poorest citizens

Croatia just cancelled the debts of its poorest citizens

Thanks, @j4lyn! If Croatia and Iceland can do it, so can Canada, the US, and the EU … -LW

(Rick Noack)  Starting Monday, thousands of Croatia’s poorest citizens will benefit from an unusual gift: They will have their debts wiped out. Named “fresh start,” the government scheme aims to help some of the 317,000 Croatians whose bank accounts have been blocked due to their debts.

Given that…

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In the foreclosure crisis, regulators missed the fraud to begin with, and then mediated the aid meant to mitigate the harm through the same intermediaries that caused it — aka, the banks. In the case of Corinthian, the Department of Education is doing the same — asking borrowers to muddle along and pay their fraudulent debts, and telling them to turn to bailed-out schools, now owned by ECMC, to complete their degree programs.

For-profit colleges and the financial industry have a lot in common. Both regularly targeted vulnerable populations — veterans, minorities, and low-income people. Both used high-pressure sales tactics to pressure borrowers into high-interest loans with deceptive terms. Both sold the same story about “respectability” and the American Dream to entice low-income people to take on massive, predatory debt, and then used shame to convince people of their moral obligation to pay it. And both have armies of lobbyists, massive government subsidies, and bailouts when they run into trouble.

But there’s one key difference between the foreclosure crisis and the Corinthian one: Corinthian students are organizing. 107 Corinthian students (and counting) have said they aren’t going to wait for the Department of Education to cancel their debts — they are refusing to pay them now. Their brave act applies not just a clear moral pressure on the Department, but one that hits its profits as well.


Global Debt Jubilee?  Is this our one demand?  This would remove all debt from the balance sheets of all personal, family, business and businesses, banks, holding companies, and governments.  This might be what is needed to allow us to forever ban derivatives forward, and restore Glass Steagle, regulation, and sanity to our economies (personal, family, business and all levels of governments).

TIL: There's a company that takes donations to purchase student loans at pennies on the dollar just to wipe them out and has wiped $32m to date.

We have always said that Rolling Jubilee is not a solution to the debt crisis. We will continue using the funds collected by Rolling Jubilee to conduct debt purchases that highlight different aspects of the debt system. But as of December 31st, 2013, we have…



Higher-Ed Hustle: Don’t miss it!

A consequence of the new academy may very well be privatization. As the state and corporate interests encroach on the public education system this becomes a very real possibility. Privatization does two things, raises money for the state, and benefits the upper tier of society, allowing only those with the most capital to afford high tuition rates while a great majority of the public would only be able to attain lower levels of educational training. What better way to destroy free markets? What better way to capture society? What is happening in our universities mimics the bipartisan neo-liberal economic consensus - push the public out-of-the-way and use state power to advance those with a monopoly on capital.
—  –Grant Mincy, The New Academy

Truthbombs about the history of Debt from David Graeber.

… The idea of debt write-offs is not even that unfamiliar. In David Graeber’s history Debt: The first 5000 years, he shows how debt jubilees have been common since the debt slates were wiped clean in ancient Mesopotamia. More recently, we’ve had debt cancellation for developing countries and, right now, the Jubilee Debt Campaign is calling for a similar solution for countries like Greece. Yet, unless they are forced to listen, today’s bankers will ignore all pleas for ‘forgiveness’. A debtors’ strike is about using the power that debt gives to people to demand concessions. …

Πόσα έχει πληρώσει η Ελλάδα στο ΔΝΤ και Ευρωπαίους δανειστές;

Ερώτηση προς την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή σχετικά με τα χρήματα που έχει δώσει η Ελλάδα σε ΔΝΤ κι Ευρωπαίους δανειστές κατέθεσε ο Δημήτρης Παπαδημούλης. Ο αντιπρόεδρος του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου στηρίζει την ερώτησή του στην έρευνα του Jubilee Debt Campaign, σύμφωνα με την οποία ο ελληνικός λαός δεν έχει ωφεληθεί από το πρόγραμμα διάσωσης.  (more…)

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