How Big Banks Became Our Masters

Nov 24, 2016
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Victoria, BC
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How Big Banks Became Our Masters

Adam Smith, the father of modern capitalism, envisioned financial services (and I stress the word “service”) as an industry that didn’t exist as an end in itself, but rather as a helpmeet to other types of business. Yet lending to Main Street is now a minority of what the largest banks in the country do. In the 1970s, most of their financial flows, which of course come directly from our savings, would have been funneled into new business investment. Today, only about 15 percent of the money coming out of the largest financial institutions goes to that purpose. The rest exists in a closed loop of trading; institutions facilitate and engage in the buying and selling of stocks, bonds, real estate and other assets that mainly enriches the 20 percent of the population that owns 80 percent of that asset base. This doesn’t help growth, but it does fuel the wealth gap.
There will never be peace until the last billionaire oligarch is hung with the intestines of the last Wall Street Banker.
[With apologies to Voltaire]
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