In the last few weeks all the expert public banking submissions we need for other parties to study, understand, debate and choose between, have disappeared!
It is as if just when we have cross party support for the urgent implementation of public banking, the fifteen brilliant submissions made to government in 2015 - describing how to do it - are TAKEN DOWN from the government’s website.
I am not saying for definite that these crucial documents are being hidden, on instruction from Fine Gael and the private banks themselves, but they are the party who were in government. They also commissioned the Indecon report on Irish banking needs, which notably did not mention the insolvency of private banks and the related peril to all existing Irish savings, let alone a future productive economy and/or just society. But it shouldn’t matter, right, when we have a coalition –“a group formed when three political parties, in this instance, agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal?”
Sadly, the Minister for Finance has held his position all this time, 2015 and on into the coalition and therefore still has some say. For example, when businesses were claiming insurance for loss of earnings, due to lockdowns, the minister met with the bank to discuss if insurance companies should have to pay their claims. Insurance companies are just subsidiary services of banks. Handily and profitably, the public have to ‘take out a new 'loan' (we all thought they were policies) every year for a number of things, from car to house insurance. Therefore, unsurprisingly, the banks said No. Even in the UK, which is not known for its business ethics, Government mandated that insurance companies must pay business loss claims to contribute to economic recovery.
Department of Finance Change of Heart
We have to accept that our Minister for Finance is not a public servant in the old-fashioned understanding of holding a public office. I have written to the department often and to give them their due, they were the only department to give me an in depth and reasoned response to the public banking proposal I submitted this time last year. So, I remain hopeful in two ways: Maybe they have children and will suddenly realize the legacy we are leaving for future generations.
Secondly, this yea,r there is a public and political movement. It is like an unexpected effect of raising environmental awareness. Everyone knows now that we have something special in Ireland; water, land and skilled, inspired people who kind of love each other. We love the old, we love the young, we love the animals and we love the fun. Instead of noughts on a screen added by an artificial intelligence and lining the pockets of technology, banks and pharmaceutical companies, people want real reserves in our banks. It makes sense to us that these valuable resources we've identified stay untouched but we can recognize our worth and work and build on it. Not a hand out with strings attached from the banks, keeping it small and disempowered like the credit unions but big, prosperous and belonging to and benefiting the places and people.
Public Banks invest differently than Private Banks
So let us recap on why Ireland and indeed Europe need public banks in every county.
It is not, as is sometimes thought, so that old Betty who has difficulty with on line banking has a local branch and a friendly face to talk to about her money. It is not so the organic bakery feels safe and not ripped off, interest-wise, to take a loan of 10,000 euro to expand and take on staff. No, it is what the private banks invest in that is the matter, of extreme embarrassment, for the human race. Take weapons technology (which is of course all technology now: Individual GDPR soars, while ownership of our complete identities, data, savings, debts and homes, lies with the banks).
We were taught money was a means to an end
Why is this embarrassing? Because we know that money and technology are only means to social ends but we have let the power slip out of our hands: It doesn’t matter how much we write to the banks and implore them to divest from funding destructive industries and arms manufacturing and for financial services to pay tax on transactions to help with the recovery. They are just going to say No.
We Have The Power - Let's Do it!
But even that is not what is embarrassing. We do have the power. The exact same power as the private banks. States and banks with a public mandate can create credit but we have continued to choose not to. We have chosen to borrow from private banks instead, with huge interest rates and appalling profiteering on the basis that we can’t seem to get our heads around the ‘fractional reserve mechanism’. It is not rocket science.
Fractional Reserve For Dummies
It is the idea that if a bank has one million in gold, they can ‘lend’ 8 times that to the public for people to do what they need to do and create new money. Unfortunately private banks saw the opportunity to do this mainly through mortgages and lend people vast mortgages on over-priced houses so that that they could create more new money to the tune of 8 times (or more) than the over-priced asset. Hence all credit now is produced as debt. It doesn't have to be this way! This is also why they are insolvent. The banks got greedy and there lending bears no relation to their reserves. This should have been flagged by the auditors years ago but they are all complicit.
It is illegal for the bank to lend that 800,000 mortgage loan if they do not have the reserves in the bank. If public banks or government or both in tandem got on the case and clear on this, we could demand that banks forgive all household debt. Would that or would that not aid a good recovery and a just transition?!
The private banks are milking their credit creation capacity, lending this against that like it is going out of fashion.And charging for every financial transaction but refusing to pay tax on financial services. The European Budget Commissions is fighting that corner for them. Very much like Ireland's government fighting the corner of Apple and the Queallys and Kerry Group meat and dairy industry to make sure they aren't asked to contribute anything or even abide by basic laws of the land.
So as we have the power to create the money we need to inject into productive businesses (I’m talking about growing nutrient-rich foods, growing the flowers and shrubs to support our pollinators, making the ‘sunny South East’ rich through solar power. Giving the creation of beautiful low impact homes to the local people and materials, ... we should probably get on with it.
Who wants broadband without food security? Who wants a home to be a 30 year noose of debt? We can sort this out ourselves and not expect private bank enthusiasm or need their say so.
If you were thinking, oh the banks are not that bad, we need them to help us out, just consider how invested they are in this pandemic. They are a mortifying disgrace:
A Profiteering Case Study
The Chinese biological laboratory in Wuhan is owned by Glaxosmithkline (Paid 3 billion in just one settlement, plus 750 million for poor manufacturing practices)
Which owns Pfizer (had to pay 2.3 billion in just one settlement) who makes the vaccine against the virus Which was started at the Wuhan Biological Lab
Which was funded by Dr. Fauci, who promotes the vaccine.
GlaxoSmithKline is managed by the finance division of Black Rock
Which manages the finances of the Open Foundation Company (Soros Foundation), Which manages the French AXA.
Soros owns the German company Winterthur
Which built a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan and was bought by the German Allianz
Which has Vanguard as a shareholder
Who is a shareholder of Black Rock
WHICH CONTROLS CENTRAL BANKS
And manages about a third of global investment capital.
Black Rock is also a major shareholder of MICROSOFT, owned by Bill Gates
Who is a shareholder of Pfizer, which sells a vaccine.
Who is also now the first sponsor of the World Health Organization (WHO)
So when someone asks how a dead bat sold in a wet market in China has infected the whole planet, we have to include in our answer that it was very good for businesses: Financial services, as we must all use card transactions now and borrow to manage and possibly still face repossessions; Technology. Billions of public funds have been designated for a digital economy and digital agriculture. This may be smart but it is devoid of humanity and ill-equipped to serve us. And remember technology is largely unregulated, with no safety testing or accountability for the effects of new technologies on biodiversity or human/animal/plant health. And, of course, carte blanche for big pharmaceutical companies. With track records of legal settlements for medical fraud, false claims and other public health catastrophes, they are now enjoying an open public cheque book, to fill with research, to create vaccines that they are allowed to patent and not disclose ingredients and method, the effects of which they are not legally responsible for anyway and be heralded as a saving grace.
So, no, we have let banks and profit lead the way for long enough. We don’t need to take them on, we just need to be putting a little away for a rainy day, somewhere where they can’t get it. It’s silly really, because as I keep saying, if we could make some real money through our own ingenuity and assets and multiply it by the fractional reserve, it is a win win. The banks will get paid back their debts in double quick time.