what you get here

This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

onward march of banks

This will be the last blog for a week or so - since we are off to Bulgaria without the laptop.
I leave with one question - what exactly is the explanation for the continued surge of bank outlets in Romanian towns when the rest of the economy is going to the dogs? I noticed yesterday in my vain search for CD discs (for back up for the new laptop)in the centre of city quite a few shop closure (including the electronics shop I had expected to find my discs in)- and their replacement in a couple of cases by bank branches. Given the damage banks have done to us all, you would have thought it would be the banks which would be disappearing. But no - they seem exempt from the normal laws (inasmuch as there are any) of economics. I assume part of the explanation is the extensive loans they have made eg for cars and houses - and the profits they make from the misery of ordinary people who can no longer afford (if ever they could) the repayments. I don't know what repossession rates are like here - but surely banks suffer too from the declining house prices?
The establishment of responsible banks should be top priority for government - ie the encouragement of old-fashioned bank behaviour. The requirement to publish simple information on their loan policy, loans and profits is a simple starting point - let alone the encouragement of a new legal structure which would return banks to a mutual/community basis. More journalists should cover banking.

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