Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Poll Analyses
Share on Facebook 12 Share on Twitter 1 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/17/13

The "Bankization" of America

By       (Page 3 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page. (View How Many People Read This)   2 comments
Author 77715
Message Richard Eskow
Become a Fan
  (15 fans)

You might think that financial institutions feel indebted to the public for rescuing them. But the opposite is true: We're indebted to them. According to the latest report from the New York Federal Reserve, auto loan balances increased by $20 billion over the previous quarter while credit card balances and student loan debt increased by $8 billion each.

The falling rates of mortgage debt, driven by range of factors which included falling housing values and foreclosures, resulted in an overall decline in total indebtedness. But these figures show that our household debt in many key areas continues to rise.

As wages and salaries decline, people are struggling to keep up with the way of life they once know. So they fall deeper in debt -- a debt which allows them, and the banks, to delay the day of reckoning once again.

Fixing a Hole

These figures paint the picture of an economy that has become seriously unbalanced in favor of the banks -- "financialized," as observers increasingly describe it. How can the economy be rebalanced?

Many solutions are well-known to bank reformers and well-informed voters: Reinstate Glass-Steagall, or something very much like it. Insist on strong regulatory oversight of the banking sector, and give regulators the authority to do their jobs. End "too big to fail" banks, instead of encouraging their consolidation (as the government has done in recent years). Prosecute criminal bankers.

Other solutions are equally important. The interbank database and shell company called MERS must be ended, so that financial institutions can't collude against consumers and the states. The Federal Reserve must demand that banks perform their central economic function -- responsible lending to consumers and job-creating businesses -- rather than reward them for speculation and other forms of non-productive profiteering.

(That's why the choice of Federal Reserve head is so important.)

Genuine shareholder reform is also needed, so bankers don't overpay themselves at shareholder expense or use the bank's coffers as a "get out of jail" card for massive settlements caused by their own misdeeds.

Lastly, no comprehensive solution can be found until banks and other corporations are once again taxed at reasonable levels and the revenues are used to create well-paying jobs for the American middle class.

A healthy economy needs banks that lend, and consumers with the money to buy. Until that happens we'll be living in a highly-financialized "Bankistan" that excludes most of its citizens from sharing in the American dream.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

 

Well Said 1  
Rate It | View Ratings

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now

To View Comments or Join the Conversation: