UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Money for the Banks - Pain for the People - Time to Switch it Around

Never be fooled by the claim of politicians that the government has have run out of money…why? Because the central banks under their control can create money at will. Witness European banks who have borrowed at almost zero interest rates €529bn from the European Central Bank in the second tranche of its three-year long-term refinancing operation.  Simply put the European Central Bank has created this money and offered it to the banks.

Never pass over a quote from the Bank of England governor Mervyn King who said: "The ECB LTRO (money creation) has removed the risk of bank run in the euro area, like the UK's quantitative easing programme has achieved." Indeed Mervyn has created over £300bn of new money for the banks since the crash. So there you have it, how can you run out of something that is created by human beings typing figures into a computer screen? http://www.investmentweek.co.uk/investment-week/news/2156010/banks-borrow-eur529bn-ecb 

In the meantime the people of Europe continue to suffer as unemployment soars in the UK, Greece, Spain, Italy and others. Public sector jobs pay and pensions are slashed, demand falls and the private sector lays off more workers. A generation of young people thrown on to scrap heap because government’s have run out of money or so we are told.

As we can see governments have not run out of money they just decide who they give it to and it’s not us it’s the banks. Why can banks, the organisations that create crisis because they issue our money as debt, be given cheap state created money and not governments? The banks are not asked to cut back on pay and bonuses, they are not told to slash their operations.

But in Greece its different, The country is in its fifth year of recession, with its economic output down 17 per cent on its pre-crisis peak and set to keep falling by more than four per cent this year. “The current bailout programme is unlikely to work – the Troika puts too much emphasis on austerity and not enough on pro-growth reforms and will keep Greece in a depression for too long,” said Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank. “Either the Troika changes its programme to focus on growth, or the crisis will recur again and again.” http://www.cityam.com/latest-news/greece-clinches-vital-debt-deal

We need to pull out of this tailspin. Greek workers and their families are being driven down a path toward poverty and subservience, they are meant to be a lesson for us all. Our standards of living must fall, our services privatised, our pensions reduced, this is the cry of the bankers.

The trade union movement needs to find its voice on money - Money is created literally out of nothing, which surprises many people very much. The numbers on current accounts are created by the banks freely, in any moment when they provide a loan. Nobody has the money supply under control today. It results from the loans provided by the individual banks. In good economic times banks create often far too much money, in bad times less or not at all. The trade unions should demand money needs to be created for the people through their government that way we can remove our dependency on banks making profits on this simple process. If we do not raise our voices about money creation then we will only doom ourselves and future generations to poverty.

Removing the power to create money from the banks would end the instability and boom-and-bust cycles that are caused when banks create far too much money in a short period of time. It would also ensure that banks could be allowed to fail without bailouts from taxpayers. It would ensure that newly-created money is spent into the economy, so that it can reduce the overall debt-burden of the public, rather than being lent into existence as happens currently. This is the way to end austerity and create a new period of prosperity for all. http://www.positivemoney.org.uk/our-proposals/

Next time you hear someone say the government has run out of money tell them – only for us but not the banks – it’s time for the Bank of England to issue money to us.