One of the stated reasons for bailing out the banks in 2008 and 2009 was that we could not allow the banks to go under as it would cause too much damage to the world economy and lead to the bankruptcy of millions of businesses. Well, they were right, many businesses survive due to bank loans, they have a lot of business at Christmas or during the summer and scrape by the rest of the year, but did they really care that much about those seasonal businesses?
No, they were panicked. They were terrified that their world was about to end, that the banks would cease to be and that their funny money would become useful only as toilet paper or fuel. The banks are an essential part of the world as is it today, they print money, much more than any central bank, they endebt our people with false promises and control our leaders by buying them off. They pour money into political campaigns and then give retired politicians nice sinecures after retirement, Tony Blair being a prime example. This is in effect a bribe, although it is a bribe after the fact.
The power that banks wield is too much for any man or any group of men, it is the proverbial ‘ring of power’, just as in Tolkien’s work, no matter how good one is, no matter how good one’s intentions, the power of the ring moulds the ring-bearer to its own will. In the case of banks that can print infinite amounts of money, every bank will go there, because every other bank does it and makes enormous balance sheet profits. The power of the banks is dangerous, no man, bank or government should possess this power.
Now, what do normal people need banks for? They need somewhere to keep their money, they sometimes need a loan and that is about it. Considering that the banks are ripping us off at the moment, do we really need them? They are giving us almost no interest on our money, even though they are lending at upwards of 14% on some loans, and on credit cards they are charging considerably more.
Why not set up our own institutions? Why not have credit unions or co-operatives that will remain small and where each depositor is in effect a shareholder? With these institutions we could influence the investments made, make more in interest on our money and when necessary take out small, reasonable loans to invest in our businesses. We could even have credit cards, with very low limits, say £500 or so. With each town or neighborhood having its own credit union or co-operative, the big banks would soon become nothing more than the government sponsored Ponzi schemes that they are, when they collapse, we will still have our money.
The problem is that many people believe it is normal to be in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, they think nothing of taking out a few grand to go on holiday, or to buy some new fancy car, or to put many thousands on their high interest credit cards, the economic chaos that surrounds us is as much our fault as the banks, although the banks share a larger part of the blame in my opinion. However we need a change in attitude, we need people to stop thinking of loans and credit cards as free money and we need people to regain their common sense. It wont happen this side of a default or a run on a currency or the collapse of the banking sector, but it will happen. Then perhaps the idea of small, local and prudent institutions may become more popular.
We don’t need banks, we should not want them, as they are a cancer in our societies, we can’t put up with them for much longer and, inevitably they will, for the most part fail anyway, and when they do we should welcome it and start anew.