A Wall Street Journal report on the finances of the Occupy Wall Street movement has some surprising information in it.
Of the $700,000 in "donations" collected last fall, only $170,000 remains. And money is not exactly pouring in at the rate it was in the early days of the protest. According to the Journal's story, the money could be gone very soon:
"If we keep spending at the rate at which we have been doing, we will probably go broke in a month," said Haywood Carey, 28 years old, a member of the movement's accounting group.
Faced with the reality of running out of money in a month, the movement's General Assembly voted on Saturday to stop spending even a dollar on new projects and focus their remaining cash on essentials, the basics like food, clothing, housing and transportation.
You might be wondering just where did the $732,632 collected in the early days get spent?
The New York Times says that the single biggest expense of OWS is the group's $100,00 bail fund. Other large cash outlays include:
$20,000 to help Occupy Oakland
$3,000 to start up the 56-acre Occupy Farms in upstate New York
According to The Atlantic Wire, a member of the accounting work group for Occupy, Haywood Carey, has estimated weekly operating costs are estimated to be between $20,000 and $40,000.
Is there a concern that the movement will dry up once the money stops flowing in? Perhaps. However, many inside OWS believe that the money is out there and will once again start pouring in when the media starts reporting on its activities.
And then there are the politicians who seem intent on keeping the Occupy movement alive. The New York Times says that at least one NYC Councilman has asked for permission to donate his $5,000 "Leadership Stipend" to OWS. Technically, that $5,000 is taxpayer money. The councilman, Ydanis Rodriguez, told the Times:
“I believe that the Occupy movement is the best thing to have happened in our city for the last couple of decades.”
The NYC Council "leadership stipends" are the subject of much discussion and of late, some council members have rejected them or even donated the money to charity. Councilman Rodriguez, one of the people arrested on Nov 15th as Zuccotti Park was being cleared, sees the OWS movement as a place worthy of his stipend.
Also reported on The Blaze, Occupy DC's port-a-potties are reportedly being paid for by the DC citizens of the District.
Will Occupy Wall Street fade out as the money runs out? It is difficult to say. But based on last week's anemic response to the re-opening of Zuccotti Park, the fade may have already started.