The two biggest forums on CAG are Banks and Debt, with over a million posts each. Clearly money is a big issue in the UK. What is the root cause? The answer is that money is created by private companies (banks) simply by typing figures into a computer. It’s a great business model, isn’t it? You apply for a mortgage, the bank types numbers into your account and then charges you interest on them, many thousands of pounds over many years. This was not some pensioner's savings: it was new money created out of nothing by the bank. But don't take my word for it: here it is explained by the Bank of England:
"Where does money come from? In the modern economy, most money takes the form of bank deposits. But how those bank deposits are created is often misunderstood. The principal way in which they are created is through commercial banks making loans: whenever a bank makes a loan, it creates a deposit in the borrower’s bank account, thereby creating new money."
The effects are huge and widespread:
· * If you are wondering why you are in debt, the answer is that these companies are incentivised to create as much debt as possible so they can charge interest on it. Moreover, we can never get out of debt, because then 97% of the money in the economy would disappear.
· * Why are houses so expensive? New money could be put into productive use - for example a business that employs people and makes widgets: but that's risky, so the biggest destination of new money is housing, and that's why houses are so expensive.
· * Pensioners on the breadline. £1 saved in the 1950s has been deflated down to 4p today by the creation of masses of new money.
· * The most profitable activity on the planet is now playing with numbers in computers. The brightest minds go not into industries that benefit society but into finance.
This is not the first time such a situation existed. In the 1800s the promissory notes issued by private banks had become money, the banks figured out they could just print more, and a property bubble was caused. So Parliament stepped in with the Bank Charter Act of 1844 and said that only the Bank of England could print money.
Unfortunately there was a get-out clause, which was Demand Deposits, i.e. your bank balance. With the advent of computers it became possible to multiply BoE currency massively, 48x at the time of the crash.
Money is not a natural phenomenon, it is manmade and we make the rules. Yet a few years after they needed to be saved, banks are in the position to pay £billions in bonuses. I think that the rules should have money serve society, not private, unaccountable, profit seeking enterprises. If you agree, please post your support so I can organise the campaign. I have also set up an e-petition here:
If you don’t agree, please say why, cite your evidence, and we can have a sensible debate about it. Thank you.