From David McWilliams – After this crisis, nothing will be the same again:
If history is any guide, the end of this debt crisis globally will lead to the rightful humiliation of the interests of the banking system. We need the global banking system to be reined in.
Banks need to be seen as utilities that plod along making small profits in return for providing credit to the economy. For example, in a bankrupt country, why should €500,000 for running a public bank — which is little more than a safe-deposit facility backed by the Government and owned by the people — be seen as too little? Come on, this is nonsense.
In 1918, the victorious powers tried to superimpose the old economic model on the new Europe. The gold standard was reinstated and free markets were to be upheld. Added to this, Germany was punished in the traditional, “business as usual” way. Bankers and central bankers, counting German reparations, were given a primary role in the settlement. We know where this led.
We can’t return to business as usual. We must learn from this crisis, but before we do, we have to entertain the possibility that it is far from over.