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.