- Feb 13, 2009
This commentary piece by our decidedly less than radical economist friend asserts further that this industry simply cannot be left unpurged without presenting a threat to democratic society. In fact, when you read the piece you will find that the industry is described as rotten.The financial services industry is too big, too complex, too fragile and too arrogant
Dan OBrien (Irish Times, 10 August 2012)
Big finance has failed and its rottenness has not yet been purged - The Irish Times - Fri, Aug 10, 2012
I wonder if this perspective can be sensibly captured by the word diseased. In the sense that left un-minded a malady becomes debilitating or septic. And, of course, many diseases also carry a threat of contagion.
Exactly. So, it is fundamentally discouraging to find in the article a reference to the scandal of the Standard Chartered Bank. This institution was accused of being engaged in money laundering on a vast scale, and US investigators claimed to have identified 60,000 breaches of the Iran sanctions scheme. But that scandal has apparently gone into remission. A bargain was deemed the best way forward and the misdeeds have quietly settled into the role of a regulatory footnote.How to make it (global finance) smaller, simpler, stronger and humbler is among the greatest public policy challenges of the 21st Century
This is not how rottenness or disease is purged.
Stability and vigour will not become reality as long as shadow banks in rogue havens arm their wealth managers with nuclear instruments. Any thought of being free to pursue stable prosperity is nonsensical when we allow liberty to be twisted into a neoliberal commandment.
Is it not the case that all transactions, however clever they seem, must at some point be reconciled, or monetised, if one can borrow that term? The space where these connections occur is the best place to activate the purge. That space may be just up the road by the way.
Modes of stability can be made instrumental. These contaminated financial schemes can be detoxed at the point where they become a currency used to purchase the trappings of toxic wealth.