Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

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
14 March 2018

The banks' greatest fear is the CEC's Glass-Steagall policy to break them up

The 13 March Australian Financial Review editorial (The AFR View) drew the battle lines in the fight over banking in Australia. On one side are the big banks, their apologists in Parliament and the media, like AFR, and their accomplices in APRA and the other regulators. They claim the banking system is "successful" and "unquestionably strong", and opposed a Royal Commission, despite the plethora of evidence of bank crimes and abuses of customers. On the other side, according to the AFR, is the Citizens Electoral Council. The AFR didn't single out the CEC by name, but by its number one policy—the Glass-Steagall separation of the banks.

Speaking as it does for the banks, the AFR revealed that, more than having the banks' crimes and abuses aired in the Royal Commission and being forced to compensate their victims, the banking establishment's greatest fear is they will be forced to break up. This is clear from the stern warning the AFR editors issued to Commissioner Kenneth Hayne. "The Hayne commission is not designed to be an inquiry into how our entire successful banking industry has been structured", AFR said, "and nor must it become one." (Emphasis added.) The editorial expressed the fear that the magnitude of the inquiry "sets up the expectation that some radical overhaul of the banking system should follow" such as "a forced breakup of their activities", specifically the "vertical integration of banking, insurance and wealth management".

Of course, the CEC is not alone against the banks. On our side is most of the rest of Australia, all victims of the current banking system. Beside the thousands of small business owners, family farmers, and small investors whom the banks have financially ruined, everyone in Australia is a victim of the economic hardships the banks have caused: unaffordable housing and a property bubble that will bankrupt the country when it bursts; productive industries starved of credit; a record debt burden that has driven up the cost of living; poor and congested infrastructure, due to bank scams such as Public-Private Partnerships that exploit infrastructure for profit; and so on. The unbridled speculation of the banks has left every Australian at the mercy of a major financial crash. On 11 March the Bank for International Settlements warned that three of four key indicators in the Australian financial system—debt-service ratio, household debt service ratio and cross-border claims (overseas obligations, which includes derivatives)—are coded amber, indicating a looming crash.

Where the CEC is unique in opposing the banks, is in our single-minded focus on the structure of the banking system and the need for Glass-Steagall. Instead of getting mired in the myriad cases of banking misconduct and criminality, the CEC zeroed in on the structure that allowed those crimes to occur, and the solution to change it. Glass-Steagall is more than a regulation, it's a principle: the principle that the productive real economy which sustains the population must be protected from the predators and gamblers who would loot and destroy it for short-term, paper profit, leaving bodies in their wake. The leading banker mouthpiece in Australia has now confirmed that a Glass-Steagall separation is the greatest threat to their system. This is a lesson for the banking victims who are fighting to see justice through the Royal Commission—to not just settle for compensation or an apology from the banks, but to fight with the CEC to overhaul the banking system so that banks can't prey on customers, and they are forced to serve the credit needs of the real economy.

The next stage of this fight is pressuring the government to expand the terms of reference of the Royal Commission, so it can investigate APRA and banking structure, and getting a Glass-Steagall bill introduced into Parliament, i.e. bring the banks' worst nightmare to life.

Articles include the following:

  • Banks are structured to exploit customers
  • A milestone on Australia's real-estate road to ruin
  • Hybrid menace grows as regulators and legislators fiddle
  • What's an American System approach to saving US industry?
  • USA must return to American System!
  • Conference on Lake Chad is historic breakthrough
  • Lesson from Putin speech
  • Here we go again: Russia did it!
  • Path to Korean peace could kindle major-power cooperation
  • Another FBI director caught in 9/11 cover-up
  • The Royal Commission must include APRA
  • Correct response to Trump's tariffs: Ditch the free trade dogma
  • ALMANAC: Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the American System

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