NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Besides fighting the elements and police barricades, the Occupy Wall Street movement will run up against more of a 1% problem as it grows in an importance: Who owns it? Like any good stock analysis the best place to start is the balance sheet and review Occupy Wall Street's assets.
On the web site WePay -- an official Occupy Wall Street fundraising vehicle -- donations to the movement are made to a group called the "Alliance for Global Justice - Occupy Wall Street." In a phone interview, Chuck Kaufman a national co-coordinator of the non-profit Alliance for Global Justice, says the Occupy Wall Street movement has raised over $157,000 on WePay along with hundreds of thousands more on PayPal and another credit card channel. Overall, the Occupy Wall Street has raised nearly $500,000. Once money is donated it is sent to Occupy's banker Amalgamated Bank, where its kept until the movement's "General Assembly" votes on how it should be spent. There are only "three or four people" authorized to actually draw on the bank account, Kaufman says, presumably after a vote has been made. Kaufman adds the group has spent approximately $60,000 so far. "I have been very impressed with the finance committee and the need for good accounting," he says, commenting on Occupy's organization and financial diligence. The Alliance, which is a registered 501(c)(3) non profit and is acting an an official financial proxy for the unregistered Occupy movement, would also be responsible for any tax audit by the Internal Revenue Service. Not that Kaufman has any worries about Occupy Wall Street's financial safety and soundness. "I feel pretty comfortable that our liability is being looked after." Besides cash, Occupy Wall Street also owns several "intangible assets." The protest was started as a an online social media phenomenon among a coalition of activists who built its now widely followed occupywallst.org website and #OccupyWallSt Twitter handle, with more than 94,000 followers.