Policy & Law
Personal debt is a huge problem in the US, but some Occupy Wall Street alumni think they have a solution. Since it's possible for banks to sell debt for a fraction of its worth onto third parties who then attempt to collect the full amount, Occupy offshoot Strike Debt wants to become one of those buyers — except it won't collect. After gathering donations, the Rolling Jubilee project will purchase debt from banks and wipe it off the record. The launch event is currently being streamed on its website.
At the time of writing the Rolling Jubilee had raised $243,127, which it claims gives enough buying power to cancel $4,867,367 of debt. The unprecedented scheme has a few logistical kinks; while it highlights the fact that 62 percent of bankruptcies are caused by poor health, for example, there's no way for it to know whose debt it's purchasing. It also won't be able to buy out student loans due to the lack of a secondary market. Still, it could be a compelling project for anyone who wants to make their charitable donations worth 20 times as much.
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