R’uh R’oh. OWS Rolling Jubilee got some ‘splaining to do

ruh roh

Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism, who has often defended and praised Occupy Wall Street, slams their Rolling Jubilee project over lack of transparency and an apparent refusal to account for the $617,000 it raised to pay off consumer debt.

There has been no news on the Rolling Jubilee site in months nor has their been any explanation of how the money is being spent. Worse, members of the Board of Directors of RJ have signing power on checks under $10,000. a deeply curious arrangement which, to put it mildly, is unheard of.

I spoke to someone who sits on the board of a foundation with a $100 million endowment and has also been on the boards of smaller not for profits. When I told him that Rolling Jubilee gave board members signing authority up to $10,000, the first sentence out of his mouth expressed shock. The second had the words “criminal” and “attorney general” in it. An investigative journalist who looked at the financial policies page said by e-mail: “This is shocking. They’re either corrupt or incredibly incompetent, either way this is appalling.”

Veteran leftie Doug Henwood posted about this on Facebook and is bending over backwards to give RJ a chance to explain. However, the very first comment to his post was a highly defensive rant from RJ organizer Ann Larson.

As a RJ organizer, I’m telling you this is all utter nonsense. This armchair bashing of leftists is stupid and insane. Yves is going to be embarrassed, as she should be, when the truth comes out. RJ has met its public promise, and that fact will be announced when we’ve done our due diligence and when we’re good and ready, not when some screeching ranter tells us to.

Yves Smith is not a screeching ranter. Larson’s is so defensive that it would make any forensic accountant immediately suspicious. RJ needs to explain fast, before they are forced to do so.