8 Jul. 2009

The Absence of Banking Sector Reform

The intervention of economists to demand a change to the banking establishment in Australia strikes me as rather noteworthy. As is pointed out in the linked article, we are in a period of consolidation between the 'big four', the cartel that already control banking in Australia. The intervention of economists is an acknowledgement of the central role of banking in contemporary capitalism, such that it really can't be left to such arrangements. The government response is even more telling: government is beholden to finance-capital, and will not act against it. The reaction by Christopher Joye, that the government is being 'complacent', is I think too kind. The British government has not been complacent in the crisis: it has acted to rescue the banking sector in a way that has yet to disturb established monopolies, but has rather helped them. Repeated and continuing calls to use the Post Office in the UK as the basis for a national bank, combined with the assets of nationalised banks, have fallen on deaf ears at the centre.