Television reporters stand in front of the shut doors of banks in Athens and speak as if a few days more of bank closure brings the Greeks that much closer to catastrophe. Media coverage dwells obsessively on the theme that for Greece it is five minutes to midnight, but somehow midnight never comes. Shuttered banks are a striking physical symbol of economic disaster, but even they are not proof that the final dénouement is at hand.
Banks are a western European medieval institution and actually not in the least bit necessary for human survival.The biggest problem is that people get stuck in antiquated paradigms, build systems that are unsustainable, and freak out when the inevitable disintegration happens. The shift away from banking will be difficult, but salutary for all of us. Greece is but the tip of the iceberg. Our current system is the Titanic.
Solid reporter, first hand story! Wow, what a treat!
I also seem to remember the Iceland did well telling the banking thugs to stuff it, back around the same period. And guess what!? Iceland’s economy recovered fine and is doing well.
What is with Germany’s playing the role of cop on behalf of all the EU’s & IMF’s crooks? Are Merkel & her favorite sycophants looking to revolve through some very lucrative doors soon for beating up on Greece?
Thank heavens that iceberg is lurking in the shadows!
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I really like this article. It reminds me of the fact that I recently had to buy a new bunch of checks. I decided to order 480 to save on shipping cost. So it cost me $62.72! So that’s like 13 cents per check! Checks were originally just some notes on a piece of paper (like this author says they did in Ireland) and I cannot BELIEVE I have to pay this much to get a bunch of pieces of paper with some markings on them! But now they have gotten all official looking so you have to buy them. Oh and they have these security features. Wow! Which they didn’t seem to need before. So you can prevent someone from stealing from you via a faked check I guess. But how do you protect yourself from the criminals that are robbing us by making us use their new security checks? In order to protect ourselves from some nebulous threat, we are being robbed under our noses, similar to so many other aspects of life.
The idea that banks aren’t necessary is most certainly a notion the big financial corporations don’t want on the public discussion table. Even the notoriously apathetic US population might become enraged activists if they began to clearly see just how much all the institutions commonly called “Wall Street” (among other things) are swindling and ripping everybody off.
The sad shame is that enough people probably won’t “get it” until one of these economic crises begins a downward spiral with no “bailout” available, and all the faith based money in all the computer databases everywhere find itself deleted beyond recovery and all the cash in all the currencies in all the world gets transformed into worthless scraps of paper,
This is the teetering point the world economy has been on for quite a while now. Will it lose its balance soon or just sooner or later?
[quote] The people exchanging checks and IOUs knew each other well, and if
they did not, they could soon find the necessary information to assess
each other’s credit-worthiness. At that time there were 11,000 pubs in
Ireland and 12,000 shops that became substitutes for the banks. Antoin E
Murphy, who carried out a study on the strike’s effects, found the
public’s ability to assess risk “was based on a vast pool of information
available to transactors on the credit-worthiness of other
Indeed, their information was likely to be much better than a bank
manager or his staff. The accuracy of their judgement was demonstrated
when the strike came to an end with most pieces of paper turning out to
be worth what was written on them.[/quote]
This is how we can get by without psychopaths and their feudalisms.
Well, expanding the money supply would be no problem. One would just write a check against the “full faith and credit” of his personal financial record which, as it turns out, is exactly what banks do using the “full faith and credit” of the citizenry (that’s us again) to back up the currency…and the bank charge interest for the service.
This may be more information than you wanted to know, however Piketty (Capital In The 21st Century) made the point when interest rates,say 4%, were more that GDP growth, say 1.5%, we are in perpetual debt because the money supply must be expanded. Can you feel the gentle chains of poverty? Slavery?
We need publicly owned banks.
Credit unions. We should make them the only allowable kind of bank.
Another possibility might be state banks, like the bank of South Dakota.