AUSTRALIAN... PEOPLE'S BANK
In early July (2009) a group of Australian economists published a proposal for the establishment of an Australian "peoples bank". This proposal deserves both consideration and publicity but unfortunately received little of either. Canberra barely recognised it.
The proposal however did serve to remind the people that there was a time in Australia's history when we did have our own people's bank and this was as a direct result of the actions of our founding fathers.
In 1912, the Fisher Labour Government founded the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, including its own Savings Bank. The Bank was brilliantly successful by funding Australia through the First World War and financing the Trans National Railway line to Perth, to mention just two (2) of the major projects of that time. Not only was this Commonwealth Bank a people's bank, it was also a "bankers bank" acting as the Reserve Bank, which was also in control of the supply of Australia's currency.
Clearly this success was detrimental to the profits of the already established "foreign" banks and, following a loss of control of the Senate, the power of the Commonwealth Bank was promptly negated by moving from management by a "Governor" to a Board, which was clearly "manipulable". Consequently the "foreign" banks quickly regained control of Australia's finances, and by the late 1920's it was all over.
There was a later attempt by then Prime Minister Chifley to regain control of the banking system in Australia when his Government passed "The Commonwealth Banking Act 1945" and the accompanying " Currency Act 1945", however Chifley lost power and both Acts were repealed in 1949.
Given the 'depression' of 1929, and the present (2009) "recession" the question remains, can we afford to continue with our present 'unregulated' western-styled banking system?
Time has well and truly come when the concept of a People's Bank should again be seriously considered. Not brushed aside as an inconvenient diversion.
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