Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bank of England's Haldane: Occupy was right

FT Alphaville last night chaired a discussion on “Socially Useful Banking“, and the key speaker was the Bank of England’s now world famous executive director for financial stability, Andy Haldane. FT Alphaville has provided a long summary of the event, which we wish we'd been able to attend. His speech is here, and the FTA summary contains a number of newspaper headlines, which speak (loudly) for themselves (We have added a couple of our own).
  • BoE’s Haldane says Occupy was right – FT
  • BOE’s Haldane Tells Occupy Libor Furor Prompted Change – Bloomberg
  • Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane: Occupy played key role – BBC
  • Occupy protesters who camped at St Paul’s Cathedral were morally right to attack financial system, says Bank of England official – Daily Mail
  • Occupy protesters were right, says Bank of England official – The Telegraph
  • Bank of England official: Occupy Movement right about global recession – The Guardian
  • UK banks begin to turn over new leaf – BoE’s Haldane – Reuters
  • Top Bank of England director admits Occupy movement had a point – The Independent
  • Too much banking can be a bad thing - Evening Standard. And much more on this subject, fairly soon. Watch this space.
In response to the critics of Occupy, he said:
Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines.
Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right.

By this I do not just mean right in a moral sense. . . . it is the analytical, every bit as much as the moral, ground that Occupy has taken."
Haldane went on to point out that most financial sector workers in the UK - and there are a lot of them - aren't to blame for what went wrong; the problem, essentially, is systemic. But he said that Occupy helped prompt a “reformation of finance” that is in its early stages, and proposals to change banking may amount to the biggest change since the 1930s.

We hope he is right about that. There is still a very, very long way to go.

Haldane's speech is here. It will be pored over, for years to come.

See also TJN's edition of Tax Justice Focus, edited by the Occupy movement. See also Occupy's January 2012 comment article in the Financial Times, replete with messages from the Tax Justice Network.

We would also highlight this comment:
"The hard-headed facts suggest that, at the heart of the global financial crisis, were and are problems of deep and rising inequality."


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