In a nutshell, the governments that saved the banks and financial markets from a meltdown by borrowing huge amounts of monies are now being attacked for having too much debt by the institutions they saved.This is just one of several arresting passages in a stimulating Open Democracy article I’ve just received and which argues that the banks have, over the past decade, broken the basic rules of lending - which normally allow only 6 pounds to be created from a single pound deposit and which ensure that 13% of every deposit is kept as a bank deposit. In its place, he argues, has been created a Ponzi scheme. The article continues -
The bankers and financiers do not own banks and financial institutions. They are owned by pension funds, saving policies and endowment policy holders, and even by governments and taxpayers. Effectively, the tax-paying middle class who saves and invests owns the financial industry which is in turn under the management of the bankers and financiers, the nomenklatura of the 21st century. And, like in the Soviet style communism system, these financial apparatchiks are not accountable to anybody but only interested in short term gains and squeezing as much as possible from anyone who has any money and cannot escape: by and large middle class taxpayersThe author, Greg Pytel, has an interesting looking blog which rates second in UK blogs about corporate finance and submitted in early 2009 a damning paper to a House of Commons committee with the great title The Largest Heist in History
In the 10 years leading to the collapse of 2008, the financial system abandoned the fiat currency and fractional reserve banking. This was the system wereby the money, as the store of value, was underwritten by individual countries and multiplied in a controlled way. Instead, the financiers and bankers started practicing a depleting reserve banking technique: a mechanism that replaces the currency, i.e. fiat money and legal tenders in the banks' reserves (in terms of their ratio) by papers generated by the banks themselves.
A Chief Executive of a Bank was one of apparently only a few who took issue with the argument and their exchange can be seen here.
Need to ask someone like Paul Mason what he makes of the argument.
The picture shows a rare painting by Alexander Bozhinov which is being auctioned soon here in Sofia. He was a one of Bulgaria's great caricaturists (whose house I lived next door to recently) but this is actually a painting he did on wood in Berlin in 1927