Friday, December 21, 2012

Is Strike Debt a good idea?

The "Strike Debt" movement is promoting a "Rolling Jubilee", in which distressed debt is purchased at a discounted rate and dismissed. This keeps the debt out of the hands of vulture funds who would turn to the legal system to confiscate whatever wealth they can from the debtor.

So can this work? It sounds similar to buying the freedom of slaves: it may help the individual in front of you, but it supports the system that enslaved them in the first place. Thoughts?

tip, of all places, to Reuters.


b-psycho said...

Last I'd heard the debt wasn't connected to individual people at the purchase level. So rather than buying specific people's debts it sounds more like they buy tracts of debt & then people at other end just happen to notice "hey, no one's bugging me anymore, cool...".

While I agree it's really not striking the root of the problem (necessity of increased debt for mere living, & bloating relevance of high finance as result), taking that on is going to require several different angles. In the meantime, if some can get out from under it while keeping at least one piece of the puzzle in public consciousness, why not?

Ricketson said...

Thanks for the comment, B. I think I like it too.

My concern was that it would prop up the price of the debt and effectively be a donation to the creditor. But the program would probably have to get unrealistically big to have that effect. As long as it is small and well managed, it will probably just displace the vultures/speculators. Sounds like a win.