An excellent, short, plausible & lucid solution-based remedy on the fiscal villainy & mega malfeasance thats spiralling towards ever greater disaster in the banking & financial sectors. Written by a veteran of the field – David Shireff, who has been reporting on the finical world since the early 80’s, co-founded Risk magazine & also authored numerous books on the subject. David prefaces the book with – “this is not a radical book. At least, it shouldn’t be: Break Up The Banks! Is concerned with pragmatic ideas-not punitive or utopian ones. Still, for many, the measures that I am proposing might appear somehow beyond the pale. What I would argue, in response, is that fear of being radical has led to the situation we are in today.”
initiating with catalyst & causes for the 2008 banking collapse (“there have of course been many accounts on the origins of the 2008 financial crisis, but I’d argue that it’s a story that can’t be told too many times”), David immediately zeroes in on two grievous hulks of deregulation – Britain’s 1986 “Big Bang” that permitted banks to now deal directly in securities through the London Stock Exchange & 1999’s notorious Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act/Financial Services Modernization Act passed by Bill Clinton in the USA that largely neutralized the Glass Steagall Act of 1933 which had barred investment banking from commercial banking activities. And then he’s off! Over ten chapters that are crammed into just 84 pages before you hit the glossary. Concise, cogent & extremely well informed. It’s the kind of vital compendium that should convince current politicians/legislators/regulators to act upon this squalid menace, but their commitment to “the dark-side” or standardized bank-based depravity, nation-cannibalism & short-term self-enrichment at the expense of the world & it’s majority populace means that it will be completely ignored unless the people personally insist upon such basic prudence & sanity. The very fact that such astute warnings/information exists & are in circulation from authorities by the likes of David Shireff make the government/financial industries actions all the more damning & indeed all the more criminal. Damaging Ignorance in a position of responsibility & power is an inexcusable flaw for one thing, but wilful disregard, which is EXACTLY what we are seeing, is sensationally more malefic showing the true scale of the turbo corruption that is playing out with profound government complicity, specifically from the Treasury which has been almost totally subverted through “the revolving door” (why lobby when you can have take-over?).
David slams many other features the banks have engineered for the advantage of their malpractice over the decades, such as the lack of prosecution & jail time for financial crimes when perpetrators are identified, the deliberate hyper-opacity & over-complexity of systems & lingo, the obscene bonus culture (described by the author as “the curse of modern banking”) & the size & compartmentalization of the banks themselves which he breaks down as thus- “The big banks that dominate world finance today are still too big and too complex. Proposals to break them into smaller, more manageable pieces have been resisted tooth and nail by politicians and bankers alike – and even regulators, either because of ‘capture’ or because they, too, are scared of radical change. The culture of entitlement by bankers to a disproportionate share of the financial spoils persists at regulated banks, even at those owned by thousands of small shareholders, or even by the state.”
for all the softened-swill on banking in the mainstream media, there is so much mauling refutation & dismissal in book format. Break Up The Banks! Is yet another excellent addition to the growing library of condemnation & corrective criticism to this insanely deleterious & ultra corrupt industry.
As asserted in the last sentence of the book – “the system we currently have in place is unsustainable – and must be transformed”. We need to ensure that the inevitable “transformation” is not dictated by the current crooks making a sick farce out of Parliament as it will be a grotesque joke in favour of the offenders currently running amok.
Writings & references from personnel such as David Shirreff are very important to help shape demands for the urgent & appropriately-radical reforms/annulments/re-regulations & yes, – criminal convictions for this diabolical mess of a system thats blighted for far too long.
Author: David Shireff
Publisher: Melville House Publishing (2016)