Australian Citizens Party Citizens Taking Responsibility



The banks have many enemies—set them loose!

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Lead Editorial

3 July 2024
Vol. 26 No. 27


Our campaign to save Australia from the ravages of the big banks, and the government policies that back them in, is drawing immense support.

We have turned up an incredible undercurrent of support for a postal bank, which has been building for years. It is a diverse coalition: As we are discovering, even big business has had it with the banks; big-time political figures responsible for ushering neoliberal economics into Australia are in support!

The banks exist in a privileged world, printing money and clipping every ticket, but the real world is beginning to impinge.

As a result of not dealing with the 2008 global financial crisis, the host on which this banking parasite has feasted is dying. This threatens the very model of the banks’ existence.

Only the revival of the real economy could have prevented this. Take the case of Birmingham in the UK: the city that was at the centre of the Industrial Revolution is bankrupt.

The UK’s second largest city is dimming streetlights and cutting back rubbish collections to once a fortnight, in a bid to stay afloat. A quarter of the city’s libraries will close, children’s services and arts budgets will be slashed.

But this approach will not work, given that it was just such austerity—after the GFC—that caused the crisis. A 17 June ABC article reported local leaders acknowledging as much:

“Birmingham council leader John Cotton claims the city’s debts were compounded by austerity measures brought in by the Cameron government in 2010.”

“Nick Davies, programme director of British think tank Institute for Government, says the austerity measures brought in under former prime minister David Cameron have degraded public services across the country.”

“‘Services never completely crumble but we are seeing the closest equivalent to that’, Mr Davies said.”

Given this economic environment, the banks are hunkering down, protecting their profits, cutting off what they see as dead wood—as in the case of bank branches across regional and rural Australia, further trampling any economic regrowth.

At the same time they are reinforcing their political and regulatory control. A bill currently in parliament, the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Market Infrastructure and Other Measures) Bill 2024, aims to protect the existing financial infrastructure in the event of a new crisis.

The bill even admits a major element of the problem unaddressed since 2008, namely the addiction of Australian banks to financial derivatives. This speculative scourge, according to the legislation, is worth an estimated $185 trillion per year! The bill proposes not to rein in this cancerous activity, but to protect it.

Along with “bail-in” legislation, this commits us to propping up the very financial system that is cannibalising our nation, and will soon throw all our cities, like Birmingham, into third-world status.

The financial architecture must be re-drawn, not reinforced!

On numerous fronts we see the immense potential to force the government to radically shift its position.

  • The head of Australia Post, Paul Graham—who has dedicated himself to closing post offices, cost-cutting, and abolishing the postal service obligation—has called out the banks for shifting their costs onto local post offices.
  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers, asked 24 June by independent MP Andrew Gee if the government would support his bill to mandate that businesses accept cash as payments, answered: “We are prepared to consider the proposal that he’s put forward in this bill. … As always we see what we can do to accommodate views that are put to us … and I look forward to working with him on it.”
  • The popular revolt that led to Julian Assange’s release is now being echoed in the disgust at the government’s treatment of Senator Fatima Payman—for standing up against acknowledged genocide.

As the next election looms, these factors and more are boxing in Albanese and his colleagues. Keep the pressure on!

In this issue:

  • How Assange was freed
  • Australia’s ‘impossibly unaffordable’ housing a symptom of political cowardice
  • Senate bank closures inquiry report on a public bank
  • How neoliberalism sabotaged Australian home ownership, Part III
  • Really think about what it means that the US President has dementia
  • Securing access to cash, banking, and postal services!
  • Housing: Another reason for a postal bank

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Banking / Finance
Page last updated on 03 July 2024