Remember the Rolling Jubilee, the Occupy-adjacent project that raised money to buy and forgive debt? Naked Capitalism has an update on what’s been going on with the project, and it’s kiiiiinnnnnd of a bummer. Basically: They promised transparency, and they haven’t been transparent. Yves Smith tried repeatedly to get them to disclose what they’ve been up to, and came to this conclusion:
“It’s troubling to find the members of the Rolling Jubilee board try to avoid answering basic questions and living up to promises they made by taking the position, in effect, that they have good intentions and a good cause and thus aren’t required to provide much in the way of responses.”
The initial update was that they haven’t updated. And the update is: Please await update. (“Although we haven’t announced the details of our most recent purchases yet, we are very proud that we have not just met this promise but exceeded it. We are currently gearing up to make our next announcement in mid-November.“)
Last week American Student Assistance released an 8-minute movie horror movie called THE RED. It’s about debt, and after the film ends, there’s a call to action to face your own debt (“you can’t outrun it, all you can do is face it and fight it”). I spoke with ASA managing director Sue Burton about her organization and what they’re doing to help people confront their student loans.
LS: Tell me about your organization, Sue Burton.
SB: American Student Assistance has been around for 57 years helping borrowers navigate repaying loans. SALT is our program to help students get ahead of their loans. We’ve found the best way to help students manage their loans is to help them when they’re make borrowing decisions, to get them informed and engaged for when they ultimately leave school.
LS: Your movie gave me a knot in my stomach.
SB: The goal is to drive awareness of the power of solutions. So much is written about the problem of student loan debt—but we want students to feel empowered to take action, to look at solutions, to get themselves informed about their options. You can ask people if they have student loans and they’ll say, oh yeah, but you ask much, they have no idea.
Students are disengaged from the details of their loans and how to manage those loans—they’re paralyzed.