Not Everyone is Fond of the Rolling Jubilee

Tomorrow, Strike Debt is holding their fundraiser for its Rolling Jubilee, their project to buy loads of debt for pennies on the dollar, and then forgive it. There is much love for the movement: We’ve mentioned how much we’re into it, Forbes is getting behind it, and the New York Times, which seemed a little resistant when it came to covering the Occupy movement, is even giving the Jubilee some ink.

But there has been some criticism as well, or at least, some questions about what the Rolling Jubilee will actually be able to accomplish in the grand scheme of things (it won’t, for example, actually get the banks to change any of their unfair lending practices, or prevent people from accruing debt again after their debt is forgiven). Bloomberg Businessweek’s new managing editor Janet Paskin (and my former boss) is not impressed. In addition, Dissent has a terrific email discussion about the Jubilee between Andrew Ross, an organizer with Strike Debt and a professor at NYU, and Seth Ackerman, an editor at Jacobin, which has been critical of the project. I do think experiments like these are helpful to do. Will it do anything to fix the system? Probably not. But it’s a starting point.



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