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Beat the Banksters with Crowd-banking: Stop Feeding the Leech!

GLASS STEAGALL ACT

By Market Curator

Bankster: A portmanteau or blend word derived from combining “banker” and “gangster.” Usually referred to in the plural form “banksters” to refer to a predatory element within the financial services industry – Urban Dictionary

From The Advocate (click to visit)

From The Advocate (click to visit)

The Global Financial Crisis of 2007-2008, the ensuing global recession and subsequent sovereign debt crisis were caused by a combination of excess short-term profiteering and deceptive practices within the banking and related financial services industries. Despite this most of the pain caused by these events has been suffered by ordinary people, and especially by those near the lower end of the income scale; the banks themselves were protected from suffering the effects of their actions because they were considered ‘too big to fail’, and most of banksters behind the crisis have profited from it, rather than lost due to it.

The whole crisis began with banks and other loan providers in the United States of America selling mortgages to people who had no way to pay them – so-called ‘sub-prime’ mortgages. This was enabled by complex financial instruments dreamed up by the British financial services sector, which allowed banks to disguise bad debts as safe investments and sell them on to other financial institutions.

Bill Clinton Repeals The Glass Steagall Act in 1999 allowing Banks to invest depositor's hard earned cash in high risk bubbles.

Bill Clinton Repeals The Glass Steagall Act in 1999 allowing Banks to invest depositor’s hard earned cash in high risk bubbles.

The effects of the financial crisis continue to be felt be ordinary working people around the world, with unemployment and underemployment still running high, and governments cutting public services and raising taxes to pay the banks’ debts.

The reason for much of the pain being felt by the general public is the fact governments have taken responsibility for massive debts piled up by the banking industry, turning a credit crisis within the financial services sector into a sovereign debt crisis, which is still threatening to bankrupt entire countries in southern Europe. In Cyprus, the European Union and IMF recently tried to force the government to raid the bank accounts of every person in the country in order to pay for bad debts within the banking sector. Although massive public pressure from across Europe forced a partial climbdown, all accounts with a balance of more than 100,000 euros was still subject to the ‘bank levy’.

Feeding Lies to the Leech

From Banksters Paradise, The Bilzerian Report (click to visit)

From Banksters Paradise, The Bilzerian Report (click to visit)

Two main methods have been used to try to solve the global financial crisis. The first is austerity, as the public are forced to cut back in order for their money to be given to the banks. The second is ‘quantitative easing’, or printing money.

The principle behind quantitative easing is relatively simple – if a country does not have enough money to pay its debts and invest in new business ventures, then it just prints some more. The problem is that this breaks the connection between money and actual economic activity. Printing money does not make a country richer, it just devalues all of the money previously in the system and creates some more which you can then do something different with. It effectively allows the government to subvert the natural economy to transfer wealth around the system. This money is, in a way, false money, because it doesn’t represent actual wealth but is simply conjured out of thin air in order to manipulate the system.

Most of this money has ended up within either the banking industry or the stock market. The US stock market is currently enjoying record highs, despite the fact that the real economy has yet to recover from the effects of the financial crisis. In short – the disconnect between money and economic activity has become a disconnect between the economy and the stock market, with the false money of quantitative easing devaluing the money within the real economy and subversively transferring wealth into the stock market and banking sector through the use of this fake money. That is of course separate from the massive amounts of real money which have been given to the banks, for them to invest in the stock market.

beware-banksters1

From What Now Toons (click to visit

Conspiracy Theories: I’m Not Saying I Believe This, But…..

Considering the unparalleled way in which the people at the top of the money markets, banking, and financial services sectors have brought so many countries to their knees, then demanded that ordinary people pay for their mistakes whilst just getting richer and richer themselves, it is not surprising that many people find it hard to believe that such as thing could happen without some sinister hidden hand controlling governments to do such outrageous things, and controlling the media to convince people that they have no choice.

Today conspiracy theories abound, claiming that a small group of these banksters, belonging to secret societies such as the illuminati, form the real power behind the thrones of governments around the world, through the control which they (publicly) through ownership of media and control of the world’s largest financial institutions and corporations.

I’m not saying that I believe these conspiracy theories, many of which are truly outlandish. But I’ve yet to hear a convincing alternative explanation as to why the world has decided to funnel all of its money to such a small group of people who have cause such great harm.

bro3

From Conspiracy Cards (click to visit)

People Power – Crowdfunding and Crowdbanking

So what – if anything – can you do about it if you do not like what has been happening? Well one thing that ordinary people can do is to take part in a movement which seeks to bypass the traditional financial services sector, replacing the functions of these economic behemoths with the actions of individual people, who can then also take the profits.

This people power movement began with crowdfunding. Crowdfunding is a way for businesses, especially new start ups, to raise money to fund their new ventures by taking small investments from large numbers of people, rather than seeking a large loan from a wealthy bank. At the beginning this was focussed on the creative industries, allowing people to contribute to projects which excited them in return for freebies.

But now some websites are providing a platform for ordinary people to invest small amounts of cash to help entrepreneurs start new businesses, and to profit from this investment if the business is successful. In the USA legal issues have held up the growth of this industry, but in the UK sites like Seedrs are already becoming successful through a business model which allows people to invest as little as £10. This effectively bypassing the role of the banks, cutting out the middle man to allow ordinary people to fulfil the same function themselves.

In the US, crowdbanking has become an excellent alternative to using banks for loans and savings accounts. These platforms connect ordinary people who can lend money, with ordinary people who want to borrow it. They will carry out the same credit checks and so on that a bank would, but again they cut out the middle man between the saver and the borrower to allow people to fulfil the functions which we have previously needed the banks to fulfil.

I believe that crowdfunding and crowdbanking are excellent ways for the people to take the power back from the financial institutions which have wreaked such havoc on our economies and our livelihood.

commentary_2011-04-21_GlassSteagall

World News Curator

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