Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release  Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432

Public floods Financial System Inquiry with 6,000+ submissions—not happy, Joe

The Australian public has overwhelmed Joe Hockey’s Financial System Inquiry with more than 6,000 second-round submissions, a massive increase on the 280 submissions made in the first round.

The sheer volume of submissions sends a clear message: Australians are not happy with the state of the financial system, nor the direction in which the FSI is heading, evidenced by its interim report.

Former ANZ Bank director John Dahlsen spoke for many Australians who have monitored the inquiry when he charged in his second-round submission, “The interim report has been prepared by bankers, on behalf of bankers, for bankers.” (Australian Financial Review 18 August 2014.)

NO to bail-in, YES to Glass-Steagall

The issue of bail-in vs. Glass-Steagall dominates the flood of submissions; the CEC has received direct notification of at least 500 submissions on that issue, and undoubtedly there are many more.

There are so many submissions on bail-in vs. Glass-Steagall that the FSI secretariat contacted the CEC for permission to represent them all under just one document on the FSI’s website. The CEC refused, because a) it doesn’t have the right to speak on behalf of every Australian who made such a submission; and b) the strength of feeling that so many submissions represents should not be buried in such a bureaucratic manner. However, the FSI’s request to the CEC does demonstrate that the CEC is the force that has marshalled the Australian public into action on stopping bail-in and achieving Glass-Steagall.

These submissions are a shot across the FSI’s bow, which Chairman David Murray has made clear in the August public hearings is preparing to go with bail-in, and possibly British-style “ring-fencing", instead of full Glass-Steagall. The 21 August Sydney Morning Herald article, “‘Bail in’ rules may be inevitable, says David Murray”, reported Murray repeating to the FSI’s Sydney public hearing exactly what he had said in Melbourne a week earlier: “Australia may have little choice but to adopt ‘bail-in’ rules that expose bank creditors to losses, due to our dependence on foreign capital, financial system inquiry chair David Murray says.”

CEC’s submission

The CEC’s second-round submission to the FSI spelt out, in detail:

  • The looming new phase of global financial crisis, which will be far worse than 2008 because the scale of global debt and toxic derivatives betting today is greater than when the crisis first erupted. The submission quotes numerous experts who are now warning that the U.S and European banking systems that Australia is locked into are set to implode.
  • The stark contrast in response between the banking authorities of the trans-Atlantic economies, and the BRICS—Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa—group of nations and their collaborators such as Egypt and Argentina. The trans-Atlantic economies of the U.S. and Europe are imposing brutal austerity and a bail-in regime on their populations, subjugating the welfare of people to preserve the City of London and Wall Street banks and their derivatives gambling—the system that moved Pope Francis to charge in his Evangelii Gaudium, “Such an economy kills.” The BRICS nations, on the other hand, firmly support Argentina in its fight for sovereignty over the vulture funds, and have jointly established working alternatives to the World Bank and IMF in order to pour credit into major infrastructure projects that are uplifting the living standards of their people.
  • The necessity for Australia to reject the trans-Atlantic demands for bail-in and austerity, and go with the BRICS perspective instead, by establishing a new financial system based on: a full Glass-Steagall separation of retail banking from speculative investment banking to protect the real economy from financial gambling; and a national bank like the original Commonwealth Bank to direct sovereign credit into major water, power, transportation and communications infrastructure in Australia.

CEC leader Craig Isherwood today demanded the FSI give serious consideration to all 6,000 plus submissions. “The FSI must respond to this extraordinary public input, and not sweep it under the carpet,” he said. “Given the volume of submissions, I question whether the FSI can give due consideration to the submissions and still keep to its November 2014 deadline for a final report. That deadline conveniently coincides with the November Brisbane G20 Leaders’ Summit, which the Financial Stability Board set as the deadline for G20 member nations to commit to bail-in. I’m sure nobody was expecting this many submissions when the deadline was set—if the FSI doesn’t take more time for consideration, it raises the question: is the outcome pre-determined?”

He concluded, “The CEC will continue to lead the fight against bail-in and for a full Glass-Steagall separation to protect all Australians from future financial catastrophes. We’re winning, so join the fight!

Click here for a copy of the CEC’s second-round submission to the Financial System Inquiry (PDF).

Click here to have a free copy of the CEC’s FSI submission mailed to you.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: The ALP, Liberals and Greens are ganging up to make it harder for other parties to contest elections, by tripling the membership requirement. If you support the CEC’s ideas, it is time to act by joining as an Associate Member for 1 year, so the CEC can remain registered. Click here to join the CEC as a member.

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All electoral content is authorised by National Secretary, Craig Isherwood, 595 Sydney Rd, Coburg VIC 3058.