The Australian Alert Service is the weekly publication of the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia.
It will keep you updated of strategic events both in Australia, and worldwide, as well as the organising activities of the CEC.
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In this week's Australian Alert Service
15 August 2018
Get ready for the great Glass-Steagall debate!
The bank separation debate is powering
on, despite the tendency of the Australian
political system and media to distract
the public with the most emotive and politically
charged issues, be it euthanasia or an
Australian republic. The urgent need to break
up the too-big-to-fail banks is at the forefront
of the minds of a growing number of Australians,
including political leaders.
With the Greens' call for a full bank separation
(p. 3) the pressure is now on the Labor
Party, as it was with the drive for a banking
royal commission, when for a number of
years Labor was the only party in opposition
not to support an inquiry, until Bill Shorten
back flipped before the 2016 election. The Financial Services
Royal Commission never fails to dredge up worse and worse
examples of bank criminality, which is fuelling the momentum
for bank separation. The Greens' move also reopens
an old wound, however, which is the 14 February passage
through Parliament of a law, the Financial Sector Legislation
Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures)
Act 2018, which provided extraordinary crisis powers to the
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to recapitalise
banks by robbing ordinary people through "bail-in".
On that occasion, Greens finance spokesman Senator
Peter Whish-Wilson professed his faith in Australia's financial
regulators, and with seven other Senators passed the
APRA emergency powers bill "on the voices", i.e. without
a formal vote. This is a moment that will be long remembered.
But Whish-Wilson has already been forced to eat at
least some of his words, given that his remarks preceded
the shocking findings of the banking royal commission. He
has now acknowledged, as he could no longer deny, that
the regulators are not doing their job, they are just "fiddling
around the edges".
In his 14 February speech on the APRA bill Whish-Wilson
made a pledge which is soon to become a live prospect: to
debate Glass-Steagall legislation. "The next issue" raised by
submissions to the Senate Economics Legislation Committee
which examined the APRA bill, he said, "was the implementation
of the Glass-Steagall legislation in Australia. While
I think that would be an interesting debate, and if someone
wants to put up a private member's bill or the government
wants to bring it on, we can have the debate about a structural
separation in our economy." He went on to say he didn't
think such legislation was necessary, but, "By all accounts,
let's have the debate. It would be a very interesting one if
someone were to introduce such a bill into parliament."
He ended his remarks, saying, "My belief is that nothing,
probably, would have satisfied them [the CEC-led opponents
of the APRA law], except having the Glass-Steagall
Act enacted here in the Senate today." That is true, and will
remain true until that day comes. As long as the CEC exists
in this country and the financial system continues to loot,
gouge, bleed, fleece, and steal from the public and the productive
economy, exposing the nation to financial catastrophe,
we will ensure Australians do not let him or any other
Whish-Wilson is not the be-all-and-end-all, but as a former
investment banker he is indicative of the reluctance of
most politicians to truly challenge the power of the banks.
The crisis here and internationally has forced him and the
Greens to shift, and so will others as they feel the heat of
popular outrage as Whish-Wilson experienced during the
Senate committee inquiry on the APRA bill. Now we must
train our fire on the Labor Party; if we force a shift in a handful
of MPs we can force parliament to debate Glass-Steagall.
There is momentum to start the debate in the Senate, which
on 14 August voted unanimously for a Katter's Australian Party
motion to extend the royal commission, another move indicative
of the ferment on this issue, which will only grow.
Articles include the following:
- Greens, experts echo Katter and CEC on full bank separation
- Mortgage crisis set to explode
- The 'free market' subversion of Australia
- G20 financial engineers aim to commoditise infrastructure
- Currency crisis can trigger chaos, or new system
- Is imperial strategy driving HSBC's move to Paris?
- HSBC: The criminal enterprise facilitating imperialism
- HSBC: The bank of opium
- US-Iran confrontation can trigger a big war
- UK Defence Secretary brings 'Global Britain' agenda to USA
- South China Sea breakthrough smooths path
- Turnbull's China 'reset': all style and no substance
- Complaining won't change anything—campaigning will!
- No national direction without control over banking
- ALMANAC: Lessons for a recovery: The WWII economic mobilisation – Part I
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