In a new report (pdf) focused on Scotland but with global implications, a coalition of social justice groups in the U.K. outlines the risks inherent to an economic system built to serve mega banks, and advocates for the radical reform of replacing these multinational conglomerates with small, local, and not-for-profit "people's banks" that would serve citizens instead of shareholders.
Banks these days don’t seem very people friendly much less helpful. We just have gotten used to seeing them as gigantic power structures dominating our economy and unduly influencing our government.
A bank for the common good?
Kind of sounds like that would be against the rules doesn’t it? Lol.
Maybe it is just that a person feels like prey when walking in the banker’s lair… I mean when walking into a bank.
God I hope Bernie wins. The f’n world seems ready for someone like Bernie to lead the USA and many more people just like him would follow in other countries too once he opens the door for them.
People’s power … It is hard to believe that can finally happen at least to some extent… A great extent! It is either we get oligarchy or political revolution… Go Bernie… The world wishes it could vote for you I think.
I have been posting about VanCity, in Vancouver BC, Canada on this web site for years.
VanCity is one of the most progressive Credit Unions in Canada, which is famous for its progressive Credit Union sector.
“People’s banks” would be preferable to the current corporatismo
But why aren’t we thinking about an economy with no need for banking at all, because its currency would consist of cooperative care for and commitment from us all, rather than a medium of exchange for products and services?
We could build something better, Webster.
Did you ever get the email I sent to you?
I fully expect everyone in Scotland and the wider U.K. involved in this report to soon die under mysterious circumstances.
The for-profit multinational megabanks don’t f*ck around, and they don’t take prisoners (except for debtors prisoners).
Its probably the same in the UK as it is in the US where Illinois Senator Dick Durban said “the Wall Street Banks own Washington DC”.
There are also new forms of corporations beyond 501c3 non profits.
In order to incorporate as a benefit corporation, the corporation must have the dual purpose to create general public benefit by creating value for its’ stakeholders – such as the community, local and global environment, employees, suppliers and customers- and create a profit for shareholders.
B Corps are certified by the B Lab as having met a high standard of overall social and environmental performance.
Predatory corporations’ days are numbered
People Demand ‘Banks for the Common Good’ to Overthrow Multinational Behemoths
This could be a big issue for progressives, and I believe it should be. It offers positive solutions to a number of problems.
First, the “too big to fail” banks have got to go - and Bernie has clearly said so. The other side of that coin, though, is those who are “too small to bank.”
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz has weighed-in on them in Congress, co-sponsoring a Republican bill to protect predatory lenders. (Think she has Hillary’s permission to shaft the poor that way? Or more to the point, do you think she doesn’t?)
Progressives have long argued that corporate banking is an enormous threat to the global economy, as the 2008 economic crisis clearly demonstrated.
And it’s not just the economy: the linked report, Banking for the Common Good, points out major harms to the environment, both by deed and by omission.
Scottish banks are significant investors in companies which are accused of damaging the global environment and undermining Scottish Government policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Having previously boasted of its specialist credentials in financing fossil fuels RBS remains a major global investor in dirty industry, financing coal extraction and power generation to the tune of US$1.8 billion in 2014 alone. (p. 18)
Omission (AKA hindering progress):
The UN Environmental Programme states that “despite the increasing competitiveness of many clean technologies, and concern over the valuation and market volatility risks of carbon-intensive assets, there remains a structural under-investment in sustainable assets and an over-investment in resource-intensive assets.” (p. 17)
More “dots get connected” when the report reveals how the monster banks profit from hunger in the global south:
Evidence has shown that there is a weak relationship between quantitative easing and the delivery of finance to individuals and companies in the real economy.
Instead a huge volume of finance is delivered to speculative activities: Along with several of the UK’s other largest banks, RBS and Lloyds Group were listed in a report detailing companies which were fuelling hunger by channelling investment into speculation on food prices and land-grabbing in the southern hemisphere. (p. 18)
There’s just got to be a better way. Local. Smaller. Connected. Responsible.
Naomi Klein recently posted here about a proposal for postal banking in Canada. That’s compatible with the “Banks for the Common Good” theme, isn’t it? Seems to me like it is…
Get rid of the Federal Reserve and put the power of creating money back into the hands of the Treasury Department and make Ellen Brown the head of the US Treasury!
Do they have family cells in supermax? They should have at least two such cells. One for the Bushes and the other for the Clinton’’’!s They should be building more of these family sized supermax cells for Jamie Dimon and Loyd Blankfein and their families too!
Looks like Trump’s ideas are rubbing off on “progressives” too.
What about The Bank of North Dakota, A State run bank which has been very successful- Ellen Brown has an article or two about it on her "Web of Debt’ site-
Now, all we need is for the rest of the States of these United States to follow suit…