ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Banques et « bande organisée »
Translated Sunday 26 July 2015, by
Report by Cynthia Fleury. Banks form “gangs” to distort competition and manipulate interest rates.
A small study again draws the conclusion increasingly shared by economists and human and social scientists, the general rule is: the public debt crisis is in no way due to “mismanagement of public finances” but due to the deregulation of global finance. Besides, “between 2007 and 2011”, writes François Morin (l’Hydre mondiale. L’oligopole bancaire, Lux, 2015), “world public debt grew to 54 percent – an annual rate twice that prior to the financial crisis. Globally, it was necessary to inject phenomenal sums of public funds to recapitalise the banks.”
According to the G20 (Cannes 2011), 28 banks were held to be of central to this system as a whole. Eleven of these were considered to be a hard core which deliberately formed “gangs” to distort competition and manipulate exchange and interest rates to serve the interests of their shareholders – abusing their position of dominance and creating toxic derivatives. There were 16 European banks, 8 American, 3 Japanese and 1 Chinese: JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Groupe Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas, Barclays PLC, Mitsubishi UFJ FG, Bank of China, Royal Bank of Scotland, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Mizuho FG, Santander, Société Générale, ING Bank, BPCE, Wells Fargo, Sumitomo Mitsui FG, UBS, UniCredit Group, Credit suisse, Nordea, BBVA, Standard Chartered, Bank of New York Mellon, State Street.
Faced with this, states continue to believe that the politics of austerity are the sole solution – the Volker Rule (United States) and the Vickers Rule (Great Britain) being totally insufficient in matters of financial regulation – when the primary question is one of regaining control of monetary sovereignty with a view to reforming the international monetary system. Since the financial liberalisation of the 70s and 80s, systematic crises have repeatedly occurred, explains Morin, each occurrence caused by derivatives products. Well these products were practically non-existent before the 1970s. Moreover, states have abandoned all sovereignty over money during the last 40 years.
“Compared with the Glorious Thirty Years , when states and their central banks fixed monetary conditions of economic activity by managing exchange and interest rates, the position today is, in fact, completely reversed: an oligopoly of private systemic banks fix monetary conditions for global economic activity, not only by reason of their dominant position in financial markets but also (...) by abusing this position.” Morin is exacting and urgently calls for: the dismantling of the world banking oligarchy; reform of the international monetary and financial system; create a common, rather than single, currency ; in sum, return monetary sovereignty to the State. Nothing else will do.