You will have noticed that the Chancellor has been making noises about bank reform?
When the next general election come around, should bank reform be part of the electoral manifesto of the party you vote for. 
Do you consider that reforming bank regulation is important?
Before you respond, please read through these quotes and the comments concerning the newly published book 'Modernising Money'

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Take a trip to Greece and see that society disintegrating due to austerity imposed at the behest of the bankers to enable Greece to pay back the interest on bonds to the banking establishment. Bonds that need have never been issued if that country's Govt had issued their own currency to productive industry.

I am talking about doctors and nurses who have not been paid for months, of sick people unable to access medicine because the pharmacies are empty, unable to pay for these medicines. People are dying because of austerity.

Now take a trip to the sink estates of East London and see the social deprivation, crime, drug dealing and all the other evils of un-employment.

These are just snap-shots of the results of the evil of the private banking establishment

Turn around and visit a wine bar in the City of London and see the traders and bankers, the foot-soldiers of the Financial Empire, quaffing on their bottles of Dom Perignon, having put in a hard day in the office, gouging more money from the real economy.

A Sovereign Govt has the power to issue its own currency, interest free, and generate full employment, if that money is wisely directed to productive wealth creating industry.

Creating digital funny money, as the private banking system does, without any real control, does not create wealth or contribute to the advancement of a nation's economy.

The populace is deliberately kept unaware of the massive fraud that has been perpetrated on them for centuries. This requires massive control of the media, politicians, economic education and the regulatory authorities.

This type of control is not exercised by Sunday School teachers, but by a cartel of shadow figures behind the Financial System. This is true evil.

Which  brings us back, in a round-about way, to what this discussion is all about:
(1) When the next general election come around, should bank reform be part of the electoral manifesto of the party you vote for?
(2) Do you consider that reforming bank regulation is important?
From a purely personal perspective, I think that the mostly unregulated banking system now in place contributes greatly to the social problems ordinary human beings have to deal with.  I'm taking right across the spectrum here - wars, poverty, inequality, crime, environmental destruction, pollution, climate change, national security, food production, democratic deficit, jobs, homes...
In plane English, society as we know it today, would become very problematic without money.
Just about all (97%) of the money supply is created by commercial banks and dispensed on THEIR terms.
Commercial Banks are corporate entities, required by law to maximise profits for their shareholders. They, legally, cannot consider the well-being of society-at-large. The well-being of society-at-large is the responsibility of the politicians we elect to represent OUR interests.
As Daniel somewhat emotionally pointed out:
"The populace is deliberately kept unaware of the massive fraud that has been perpetrated on them for centuries. This requires massive control of the media, politicians, economic education and the regulatory authorities."
Ignorance isn't bliss - far from it. Ignorance is often catastrophic and, to a large degree, self-inflicted. 
Ignorance about how our money supply is created by the commercial banks, on their terms, how this situation came about, the consequences of this situation and suggested reforms that would rectify this situation can easily be overcome.
Please read Modernising Money. I've pasted the introduction earlier in this discussion.
I honestly believe that reforming bank regulation is very, very important. I think it is the critical first step that has to be taken for us to have any hope of solving all our social problems on a permanent basis. Everything we do now is a mopping-up exercise, after the event. 
Banking reform requires the necessary legislation being enacted and that cannot occur without the political will of the government in power.
For me, bank reform has to be part of the electoral manifesto of whichever party we vote for in 2015 and we don't have much time to try to ensure that it is.
Thoughts please.

Who cares what the 'government' says? they were not democratically elected.... look at the maths.  It seems that a few people in the world have control of all the money they have created and are now telling us that we owe more to them than we can possibly earn by working for them.  They have screwed up.  They have run out of ideas what to do next,   but are trying to keep control. We do not need to create our own money, we simply do not have to honour contracts made under duress to thieves.  Some people signed bits of paper to attain goods and a lifestyle that they did nothing to make possible.  Now they are being told that this has stopped. Austerity?.... no austerity was explained to me in Iran many decades ago by Majid Hamidi who was concerned when he read in the paper that the UK was in depression.. he asked if my family was Ok and I said yes.  He said he was concerned as his sister died of starvation when they had a depression in Iran.  THATS AUSTERITY..... NOT STOPPING USING A GAS GUZZLER TO TAKE YOU OBESE CHILDREN TO SCHOOL.

What can we do? We have no money to pay the demands of the money lenders so we can do nothing. The 'authorities' are using force to make peoples lives a misery by chucking them out of houses in Greece and other countries which tells us that they have enough money to pay their bully boys to control the crowds but what happens when they cannot pay the bully boys?

In the UK they are trying to create a situation of fnancial advisers calming people down and saying we only have to pay within our means, but I know of many who have no means.  We have reached a point where the belief in money is beginning to wobble but it is all we have, so we can use it amongst ourselves, in cash, and pay lip service to those who are losing their grip.

This is not activism ... it is happenning ... you might call it social evolution if you have to label it.  Lets call it SE so that people do not understand and we can appear superior.

Oh dear... as Positive Money's research and analysis has already convinced me of the urgent need for bank reform I'm not too sure where to enter this discussion.

I am with you, Joe. The consequences of the present system are plain enough and the motives of the protagonists are clearly dubious. But if we discuss bank reform only in terms of examples of ugly social consequences and ethical principles it will be a long time before we arrive at a plan to drive radical reform.

I don't know if this will carry the discussion forward but what follows are a few short cuts to help people into doing something about it all.

For those who want to question the seemingly incredible facts

− Banks, not the State, create 97% of the money we use.
− Only 3% of our money is Bank of England notes and coins.
− The State guarantees all our money, not the banks
− When banks lend they credit borrowers' accounts by typing in numbers.
− Banks do not have the money on deposit when they credit borrowers' accounts.
− When banks lend by crediting borrowers' accounts they create money out of nothing.
− Banks make profits from the interest on the money they create out of nothing
− When we pay back the money banks create for us it is cancelled, that is it no longer exists for anyone to spend.

-- Go here to find out who else thinks it's true
-- Go here if you want a more detailed account of how banking works

-- And as Joe said when he started the discussion, the fullest account, and the remedy, is given in Modernising Money which you can buy here

For the fullest account of why it matters

The present monetary system is the root cause of grave social harms too numerous to list here. For a detailed but straightforward account go here

For those who believe it's all a new-hatched conspiracy

The opportunities that today's bankers take advantage of arose a long time ago. There's a short description here of the historical roots of our banking and monetary system.

What's happening now is that the coincidence of the de-regulation of the City and the rise of digital accounts and digital networks has allowed today's bankers to do it all on a grander, more inventive and more dangerous scale.

What needs to be changed?

The current banking laws and monetary system is a people-made construct, and despite its ancient roots and current complexities it can be people-changed.

All it needs is one piece of legislation and some changes to the way money is accounted for at the Bank of England and at the commercial banks and we're there. These changes will separate the control of the amount of money circulating in the economy from the banks' business of lending.

Go here for a short account of how we can reform the banks (there's a much more comprehensive and well argued account in Modernising Money as you can see from Joe's post above).

What can we do to bring these changes about?

The grand strategy must be to persuade our legislators to pass the necessary law. I personally think, Joe, it has to be by all-party agreement. I can't see any one party risking radical reform as a party pledge at an election.

This is a huge change and it needs a huge groundswell of popular opinion to persuade all our parliamentarians that it's in their own best interests as well as the best interests of the majority of their constituents, to support it.

So before imagining any legislation in front of parliament, we need to start a national conversation about radical reform of the banks and the monetary system. The media, politicians and most economists avoid the subject (you can debate the reasons why if you like) but if you know where to look there's a growing groundswell of opinion that radical reform is needed.

Each of us can help this national conversation if we:

− Educate ourselves
− Educate our friends who don't follow NatCAN
− Combine into local groups to educate others
− Educate our MPs

Positive Money is building its network of local groups and speakers who can address meetings. There are resources on its site to support anybody's initiative to get this topic into public debate. Go here

Yes - this is an unashamed plug for Positive Money. All I ask is that you check the project out and inform yourself about how banking could be reformed. Their efforts so far on a shoe-string budget are nothing less than heroic. Your efforts to spread the word could be decisive.

I'm sorry, Daniel, if I riled you, it was an honest but sarky attempt to get your idea of what we could do about the mess we're in.  I'm as guilty as anyone of gloomy nay-saying, and I've no idea about what might be done, and not much of a track record on doing anything constructive by way of community action, although I ran a Buddhist hospice charity for several years - tinkering round the edges of suffering you might call it.

I'm aware that collective action is easier to talk about than to realise.  Sometimes harder than herding cats, as the saying goes.  So Richard Boulton's manifesto is a great starting point for herding stray thoughts and vague aspirations.  Goodbye conspiracy theories!  Well, let's agree to park them in the Long Stay parking lot - I don't trust these meet-and-greet valeting outfits for my cherished opinions, do you? :)

As a first step I'm going to publicise the Positive Money videos.  I've watched two and they are good viewing and eye-openers.  Mind-openers.  I don't have many platforms to speak from but those I have I'll set out to use.  And I'll continue to use these forums and groups.  I spoke to Joe Taylor - whose blogs got me started  with NatCan - very recently, he had parked his bike in the drizzle on an A road in Wigan to take my call.  That's the spirit, Joe!

Pete :)

People get the wrong impression from my comments... I agree with the sentiments behind all of these discussions but I am actually doing something about it.  I am giving away my knowledge and understanding about my speciality for free.  Others in my field of expertise charge up to £2000 per day plus expenses and sometimes I am forced into a situation that I have to accept money for services rendered.  When that happens I make sure that the money does not come into my bank account but goes straight to those who need it to carry out the special services in which I train them.  I am honestly living on state pension and declare all of my financial transactions to all of the relevant authorities.

I do not find my condition to be austere but I cannot afford to polute the environment with a Chelsea Tractor and I cannot afford to drug myself up with alcohol, nicotine or any of the so called 'recreational drugs' legal or illegal.

I do not spend my time gridlocked in a steel box for hours to satisfy the 'work ethic' that is a tool of the money lenders, so I suppose I am a bit unusual.

I have understood the global financial situation for decades now and have watched all the matters in these discussion groups developed and I am amazed that the public have been so stupid.

My suggestion is that we utilise all the chattels we have accumulated  and that we enjoy ourselves by helping each other while watching the money lenders destroy the world they inhabit with their 'healthy competition and entrepreneurship'.

Many are being forced into the position where they cannot pay their bills and are faced with the threat that they will be homeless.  OK, so how will that benefit the people who 'own' these empty houses?  I suppose they think they can go on printing money under the illusion that 'property increases in value'.   No it does not.  The rich who own empty office blocks all over the country are struggling to justify their place in the ranks of the rich and are resorting to pulling them down and building more modern empty offices.

We can actually do something to help ourselves by going along with their stupid ideas until it is obvious that they need us a lot more than we need them. 

They key to what I am suggesting is not activism and not protest.. it is simply embarrassing the hell out of them by saying OK, you are in charge ... tell us what to do.

Joe once told me not to fight in your opponents ring... good advice Joe, lets just watch them beat each other up.

In answer to your questions, Joe, I looked at the quotes you gave us from Modernising Money which include this statement:  "We have little hope of living in a stable and prosperous economy while the money supply depends entirely on the lending activities of banks chasing short-term profits."

No one can seriously disagree with that, especially as we are living through the crash of 2008 and its disastrous consequences, in terms of austerity due to worsen in the years to come, on the government's own admission.

Regarding whether bank reform should influence our voting decision? The simple answer to that is yes. But that raises a further question - can the political parties we have in our present society ever have the political will to make the kind of fundamental changes that would be needed? The answer to that has to be a resounding no.

Yes, reforming bank regulation is important.  Since the modern banking system has been in existence (for some 150 years), many reforms and changes have been made. But the fact is, the reforms have utterly failed to prevent the huge crises and implosions the last of which we saw in 2008 and still living with the disastrous consequences of.

So, therefore we need to understand the real relationship between money and the nature of our society. Why is it that money plays such a huge role? 

Money by its nature is a symbol for value. It is a form of exchange in which money stands in for an object - the commodity. But because it is a universal for which anything can be exchanged, it assumes a   mysterious power

Money, as Marx noted is “the visible divinity – the transformation of all human and natural properties into their contraries, the universal confounding and distorting of things: impossibilities are soldered together by it.

At the same time as having these magical properties, "It is the common whore, the common procurer of people and nations."

Money cannot be divorced from the nature of the system in which it plays such a contradictory but all-powerful role. It can't be separated from the commodities it represents.

It is in the nature of our society that money – including the financial sector and its markets – appears to assumes an independent life of its own.

Therefore it is a big mistake to separate money from the society and economic relations which make up our society. In the present system people are alienated from the fruits of their labour. The producers are part of the whole chain of commodity exchange, in which human labour itself is turned into a commodity. We need to change the social and power relations in our society in order to have a form of exchange that is not based on the exploitation of the many by the few.  

In this scenario, money could be a simple form of exchange between equal, co-operating producers and consumers who operate in a not-for-profit society. This would replace the alienated money-crazed, fetishised relations that predominate today.

Hope this helps!

 Yesterday the European Union Authority announced a limit on bankers bonus payments to a maximum of one years salary.

The usual suspects were not slow to bark for their Masters . The revolving promissory door from politics to The City banks requires servicing when the order is issued from on high.

So up jumped EX-Chancellor Norman Lamont, Boris Johnson and Daniel Hannan to bark for their supper at their bidding, and denounce the new regulation. The usual nonsense was spouted, that the City was essential to the British economy , that we would lose all this accumulated talent (sic) to foreign shores.  (pass the sick bag please)

 Stephen Hester, boss at the 80% publicly owned  and bailed out  bank (45billion pound) RBS wasn't having any misguided pay-control nonsense. Yesterday  he announced a humungous  loss of £5.165bn (the fifth in a row) and a bonus pool of £287m.

 Tucked in nicely in the results was a £1.1bn charge for PPI mis-selling (fraud), £700m for mis-selling interest rate swaps (fraud), and £381m for its role in Libor rigging (fraud).

 So for losing five billion quid and fraudulent criminal behaviour on an industrial scale, Hester awarded his staff a quarter of a billion in bonuses. ( OF OUR MONEY)

 If you've ever wondered why the public are dis-illusioned with bankers and the toothless Regulatory authority look no further than RBS.

So, in your opinion Daniel:

1) When the next general election come around, should bank reform be part of the electoral manifesto of the party you vote for?

2) Do you consider that reforming bank regulation is important?
Corinna asks - "can the political parties we have in our present society ever have the political will to make the kind of fundamental changes that would be needed?" - and in her opinion, "The answer to that has to be a resounding no."
I think politicians tend to jump in front of the crowd and then claim to be leading it in the direction it is obviously going.
Suppose, between now and the next election, enough of us activists armed ourselves with sufficient knowledge to sensible argue the case for bank reform then went to you see our local MPs at least once, but preferably at least twice, and told them that bank reform, as Positive Money advocate, should be the their key policy and number one priority?

 I consider banking reform should be the #1 priority on the manifesto of all political parties in the next General Election. But you may have noticed the Main stream media will not touch it with a barge pole. How to get this into the public domain is our biggest problem. Most of our social ills are directly related to the money creation system.

We have to just pound on the door of our  MP representatives and educate them on the issue and bring it to the fore. I have no illusions about how difficult this is going to be. We have a very much entrenched system, with great power ranged against us.

But we will get there little by little. Hopefully the present system may collapse within itself due to its own contradictions.

Daniel - yes radical banking reform of the sort proposed by Positive Money will, I believe, only come about by an act of great political courage (it used to be called statesmanship) and the support of all political parties. This cross-party agreement needs to be spurred into action by a climate of intellectual approval from thought leaders and popular agitation in favour of radical reform from the likes of you and me.

Achieving what I called a national conversation in an earlier post will be no mean feat. The first significant barrier is that the media rely on 'professional' economists for commentary on the intricacies of the financial and monetary system. Though it's hard to believe, the education of economists incorporates flawed theory and outdated descriptions on the monetary system. As in any profession you don't get anywhere in your career by questioning prevailing orthodoxy (see The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn, who fifty years ago described this situation for the natural sciences and coined the term 'paradigm shift' in the process).

Those economists who are advancing new and more relevant theory, and who can provide better explanations for how the monetary system works are routinely referred to as heterodox in the profession and by the few outlets that give them time and space to air their views. For the principles of radical reform to be recognised as discussable by the media is a risk; there will be a backlash from many voices that will condemn them for giving credence to loonies.

This is where an informed electorate comes in. Informed, vocal and persistent electorates concentrate the minds of their leaders very quickly. Building this level of popular knowledge and concern is the biggest challenge of all. I have watched my friends' eyes glaze over as I have tried to explain it all to them. The details are difficult to follow and any summary version (see earlier posts) hard to believe.


At risk of repeating myself, each of us can help this national conversation if we:

− Educate ourselves
− Educate our friends who don't follow NatCAN
− Combine into local groups to educate others
− Educate our MPs

Positive Money first step in it's startegy to achieve bank reform is to build its network of local groups and speakers who can address meetings. There are resources on its site to support anybody's initiative to get this topic into public debate. Go here

Your efforts to spread the word could be decisive.

On the other hand, if no one makes this effort the result will certainly be decisive - more of the same socially damaging, economically unstable boom and bust.

Absolutely it's a must. Just caught a bit of the Bank of Dave programme last night on TV. Although he comes across as a bit of a nice nutter, actually there was a lot of credence to his arguments  Was listening to a programme on the radio a few weeks ago about German Community banking and wondered then why we can't have that here.  The traditional banking does need overhauling but if given a choice of a community bank, I think customers would flock there and so the banks would have to reform or slowly die.

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