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Download "Proposal for a Glass-Steagall separation of Australia's banking system" (PDF) here

Organise your MP to support and enact Glass-Steagall

26 July 2017—With a new phase of the global financial crisis looming, the first half of this year has seen a major increase in support for Glass-Steagall banking separation, modelled on the US Depression-era law. Hatred of the banks is growing, and the only measure that can adequately rein them in is Glass-Steagall.

The financial class is terrified of the political traction that Glass-Steagall is gaining in Australia, evidenced by an April Galaxy Research survey that fished for arguments against banking separation. They are fighting a losing battle. Numerous inquiries are underway into the banks and their practices. Members of Parliament and even bank regulators are increasingly critical of Australia's "vertically integrated"ómeaning Too-Big-To-Failómegabanks. In June the Greens' bill for a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the banks was defeated by just one vote. Reflecting the public mood, both the Commonwealth and SA governments have hit the banks with levies, and there have been small but important moves to rein in bank excesses, such as limits of interest-only home loans.

There is motion on this issue across all political parties. Labor Party frontbencher Matt Thistlethwaite has said his party would support Glass-Steagall if a banking inquiry recommends it, and Greens Leader Richard di Natale agrees there is an argument for breaking up the banks. Both parties have pushed for a Royal Commission on banking. The Treasurer, Liberal Scott Morrison, proposed a productivity commission inquiry into separating banking functions and a government bank for community housing. It's a sign of the times when the bankers are losing support in their own party, the Liberals. Both North Queensland Liberal MP Warren Entsch and former Liberal Chief Minister for the ACT, Kate Carnell, now the Small Business Ombudsman, excoriated the banks in the 16 July 60 Minutes exposť on how they have wiped out local businesses. Other Liberals and Nationals were already on the warpath, and some on the fence like George Christensen have threatened to cross the floor to vote for an inquiry into the banks.

The political climate is primed for Glass-Steagall, and it is up to you to get the message to your MP that they must act on this issue now. Soon, any MP not supporting it will be isolated. Use the enclosed document, "Proposal for a Glass-Steagall separation of Australia's banking system", which the CEC has prepared to explain to MPs why and how Australia must enact a Glass-Steagall banking separation. Here's what to do:

  • Get it to your MP. Set an appointment to meet the MP if you can, otherwise drop it in to their office. If you can't get there, email it or mail it, from you as their constituent.
  • If you get an appointment, tell your MP about the support for Glass-Steagall here and across the world, particularly in the US and UK. Find out where your MP stands on the Glass-Steagall issue. And ask your MP to relay your views to the Treasurer and advise you of his response.
  • Let the CEC know when you have given the document to your MP. The CEC is mobilising to ensure that every MP and Senator receives and reads this document in the next month or so, so be sure to tell us when your MP is a recipient.

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