The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Australian Citizens Party.
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3 August 2022
Vol. 24 No. 31
“In 1901”, wrote former NSW Premier Jack Lang in The Great Bust, new Member of Parliament King O’Malley “went into the first Federal Parliament as a one-man pressure group to establish a Commonwealth Bank”. O’Malley achieved his dream for a bank that would fund the building of Australia. Today, after neoliberal economic doctrines eviscerated and sold off the institution that was key to unleashing national development and assuring national sovereignty, we must rebuild it.
Citizens Party Research Director Robbie Barwick was in Parliament this week, to do just that, but he was far from a one-man band. We are joined by MPs who are passionate about a national bank and commencing the job of transforming the country economically, including from the Liberal and Labor sides, independents, One Nation and Greens. We have state MPs weighing into this fight; constituency groups, most prominently including the Licensed Post Office Group whose leader Angela Cramp joined Robbie in Canberra (and was interviewed about the campaign by 3AW Melbourne and 6PR Perth, p. 10); there are prominent business leaders who back the charge; diplomats and influential thinkers; and, most importantly, there is the whole team of ACP activists across the country, seeding the political ground and their local authorities and parliamentary representatives, with the idea of a People’s Post Office Bank as a means to return to national banking.
All these groups believe this is a policy that can be achieved; some even foresee the day that one of the major parties takes it up and claims the credit! Indeed, with the world in the advanced stages of economic breakdown and world war on the horizon, this is a moment where such transformative ideas can be rapidly adopted.
Yesterday the Reserve Bank of Australia raised rates by 0.5 per cent, again. Let’s be frank about what four hefty rate rises in four months will mean for families: a massive transfer of loot from citizens to banks! According to a study cited by financial journalist Michael Roddan in The people vs the banks, the banks will make an extra $12 million or so a day from the increased interest payments from just this Tuesday’s rate rise, while families are sacrificing food and clothing. But will it help inflation? Will it help the economy somehow? Is it a sacrifice we have to make for the good of the nation? No, on all counts. Most of the inflation we are experiencing, whether it be flood-affected lettuce or fuel at the petrol pump, will not be dampened by citizens tightening their belts. The economy will not benefit from citizens putting more towards their mortgages—though, again, the banks will—and spending less on everything else. The economy will be squeezed along with its citizens.
The solution cannot be found in tinkering with monetary controls, but in ditching the “neoliberal experiment of the past 30 years”, to borrow former PM John Howard’s words—which has failed—and returning to policies that worked.
When Commonwealth Bank Governor Denison Miller returned from London after WWI, having told a big bankers’ dinner, according to Lang, “that the wealth of Australia represented six times the amount of money that had been borrowed, and that the bank could meet every demand because it had the entire capital of the country behind it”, he was asked by a delegation of unemployed whether he would be prepared to match the money, £350 million, the bank had created for the war effort, for “productive purposes”. As Lang wrote: “He replied that not only was his bank able to do it, but would be happy to do it.”
In collaboration with Senators determined to hold the Reserve Bank to such a standard, we have proven the RBA retains the legislated capability to do this, if the government directs it to do so. We stand on the shoulders of courageous leaders in this fight; do not doubt we can make them proud!
In this issue:
- Good riddance: Wayne ‘Bail-in’ Byres to retire as APRA chairman
- Australia needs nuclear power, just ask Europe
- South African leaders push China development model
- South Africa fights for control over banking
- Kiev government wildly attacks foreign statesmen, scholars, activists
- Matt Robson, former NZ minister, denounces Ukraine’s blacklist
- Barwick and Cramp talk postal banking in Canberra
- Notice to Australian Citizens Party members
- Indonesia to boast high-speed rail link by G20 summit