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Rolling Jubilee's Novel Approach to Debt

Strike Debt is one of Occupy Wall Street's progeny. They debuted with The Debt Resistors' Operations Manual, a resource to help people dealing with debt and those seeking to circumvent it altogether. As it gains traction in cities across the country, one of Strike Debt's newest initiatives is The Rolling Jubilee.

Their site explains in more detail:

Banks sell debt for pennies on the dollar on a shadowy speculative market of debt buyers who then turn around and try to collect the full amount from debtors. The Rolling Jubilee intervenes by buying debt, keeping it out of the hands of collectors, and then abolishing it. We’re going into this market not to make a profit but to help each other out and highlight how the predatory debt system affects our families and communities. Think of it as a bailout of the 99% by the 99%.

At the moment of this posting, they have raised nearly $179,000 toward this purpose.

The Jubilee receives high marks from almost everyone discussing it. The Guardian ranks among the most enthusiastic supporters and even Forbes is amused.

Still, no one lifts a finger in the age of the Internet without rousing a few gadflies. Miami mortgage fraud investigator Steve Dilbert dubbed the Jubilee a "Trotskyist scam," designed to pay for its organizers to "sit in a circle and sing kumbaya." Though The Jubileers’ FAQ remains quick on the draw addressing these and other practical concerns, Alex Hern's discussion of a passed precedent in The New Statesman raises some of the most important and productive questions.