SNP: The party of “Independence”. Altogether now: hahahahahahahaha
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: FW: Sovereignty, Independence and the Salmond deception.
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:46:32 +0000
Subject: Sovereignty, Independence and the Salmond deception.
Date: Tue, 21 Jun 2011 16:13:22 +0000
2nd November 1998 –
Lord SudeleyMy Lords, to what extent does the Minister recognise the problem of fractional reserve banking in this situation whereby banks lend out more than they have in the proportion of 10:1 of the reality? That situation would not exist if, as happened under the old thinking, banks were forbidden to lend money without taking a share of the risk.
§Lord McIntosh of HaringeyMy Lords, the noble Lord is surprisingly modest. Many hedge funds, such as long-term capital management, lend out far more than a multiple of 10 of their reserves. It is a very real problem, which is referred to in detail in the Statement. We have to balance the risks, as do the investors concerned, of lending, investing or gambling, if you like, beyond the available reserves, against the undoubted benefits to the global economy of wider credit which have arisen over recent decades. It is a difficult balance to sustain.
§Lord GrenfellMy Lords, first, does my noble friend agree that although one welcomes the idea of precautionary credit lines, that idea is still far from being properly thought through? What happens if a country is accorded a credit line on the strength of good policy and those policies deteriorate after the credit line has been started? That would put the IMF in an extraordinarily difficult situation. I would not like to be in its place and to have to decide whether or not to withdraw the line of credit.
Secondly, I am not sure whether I heard an answer to the question from the noble Lord, Lord Higgins, about the role of the World Bank and the new facility. I thought that we were trying to get away from the idea of having the World Bank issue liquidity and were trying to get it to maintain its position as a development financing agency. There seems to have been a change of heart.
§Lord McIntosh of HaringeyMy Lords, perhaps I may answer my noble friend’s second question first. If I gave any suggestion in an answer that we were proposing a change in the role of the World Bank, I did so mistakenly. I do not think that I did so. There have been questions on that point, but I was not conscious of indicating that we expected the World Bank to develop its role in that direction. I think that I gave the same answer when we debated the European Central Bank.
With regard to lines of credit, I do not underestimate the difficulty of dealing with a country which changes its policies once a line of credit is available. The very fact that lines of credit will be followed up by further financing and that that further financing is contingent on continuing with policies which will have to be satisfactory to the IMF is some satisfaction against the kind of dangers that my noble friend fears.
26th January 1999 –
My Lords, the proper way to tackle the question of this debate would be the eradication of usury in its old sense of lending money without taking a share of the risk. However, instead of that, we really need to go back to the Moslem system of banks entering into business partnerships. The case against usury has been well represented by the Christian Council of Monetary Justice, meetings of which in the other place are chaired by the honourable Member for Great Grimsby and also by the Federation of Small Businesses. I am very conscious about how many parliamentarians shy away from opposition to usury because it is so embedded in our system. So this evening I shall ask for less.
The parties which are exceptionally informative on the subject of this debate would, I believe, be the Independent Banking Advisory Service, the Bankruptcy Association, the Federation of Small Businesses and two academics, Prem Sikka and Professor Christer of the University of Salford. In considering the problem posed by the debate we need to be mindful of the view of the Independent Banking Advisory Service that 30 per cent. of business failures would not have occurred during the last recession if banks had not been in a hurry to get their money back. The Bank of England’s quarterly report on small business statistics dated December 1998 reflects the fact that business failures rose by more than 6.2 per cent. last year. We also need to have regard to the lack of sufficient bank regulation. The ombudsman is concerned only with small cases and the Financial Services Authority will not comment on individual cases.
The report in the Daily Mail on 20th January headed, “Beware On Demand Bank Loans” was largely concerned with the case of Lloyd’s Bank versus Heritage Plc—distributing household wares to major superstores—in which the courts upheld that “on demand” means immediate repayment. Here lies the problem. The British Bankers Association is not collecting information about on demand loans in the belief that they are rare. On the contrary, the Independent Banking Advisory Service finds that the number of such loans is growing.
942In repaying a loan it is crucial that a debtor should have sufficient time so that his assets can be sold at a comfortable pace to fetch their proper value. Otherwise, the assets go for a decimated value. The proper role of the investigatory accountant, therefore, is to ensure that that should not happen. He should be acting as a debtor’s physician and not as his mortician.
Why is that not happening? It is because of the conflict of interest with which this debate is concerned where the investigatory accountant is appointed a receiver and so has a vested interest from the initial investigation, thereby knowing the lucrative fee income available. There is also the problem and foul practice of collusion with outside parties waiting in the wings to acquire the debtor’s assets at under-value. Hard though it may be to prove collusion, the opportunity is there. I hope, therefore, that Parliament will be sufficiently sagacious to judge that it is.
In conclusion, this debate is concerned with the questionable methods by which banks pursue many small debtors who would otherwise survive. But which party is chiefly in debt? Obviously the banks themselves, with a fraction in reserve, lending fraudulently way beyond their resources. I thought that the proportion was 10:1 but, when repeating the Statement on international finance on 2nd November, I was delighted to hear the noble Lord, Lord McIntosh, inform the House that, with hedge funding, that proportion is much higher.
4th November 1999 –
Lord SudeleyMy Lords, there are three submissions in this report opposed to usury in its old sense of “lending money at no risk”. Drawing on those submissions and on other sources—there is a large literature on the subject—perhaps I may paint with a broad brush what is wrong with usury and the banks creating money out of nothing, and what we should do about it.
There is no doubt that banks should not finance business enterprises with loans where they charge interest. Instead, they should enter into partnership agreements, where, as in Islamic banking, the business risk is shared equally between entrepreneurs and financiers.
The use of bank credit consists—as I shall explain in a moment—not only of loans but of the creation of additional money. Money is cut loose from the real economy where goods and services are exchanged. Treated in that way as a commodity, money loses its value and stability as a medium of exchange. Money should therefore be a record of transactions for real goods and services. The fact that the medium-of exchange function of money is not adequately met is indicated by the growing emergence of local, LETS, private, Air Miles, and barter trade credit currencies.
How has money been cut loose from the real economy where goods and services are exchanged? The ancestors of the present banking industry in Tudor times were the goldsmiths, who realised that not all the gold plate and bullion deposited with them would be withdrawn at the same time. They therefore invented the audacious and fraudulent trick of issuing promissory notes, which are the origin of our present bank notes, to represent an excess of what they really had.
That policy of lending out more than one has was continued by the banks with their system of fractional reserve, sometimes given as a proportion of 10 to one, but hedge funding is really far higher. We see that at two levels: national and private debt. The mechanism of national debt is quite simple. It involved the assumption of debt by the Government to obtain additional revenue to cover annual shortfall in taxation. Therefore, to pay for the war against Louis XIV, the Bank of England was chartered in 1694 and started out in the business of lending out several times over the money that it held in reserves, all at interest.
Such lending at a prudent rate took a quantum leap with World War I. It was extended further to pay for World War II, and in the United States of America it took an even greater quantum leap to pay for the Vietnam War. Therefore, by 1971, it became unbridgeable, and at a rate of growth beyond control. President Nixon had no choice but to cancel the right of the Government to exchange dollars for gold, which removed the gap altogether.
The level of private debt escalated in a similar fashion. During the 10 years from 1980, consumer debt rose from £11 billion to £43 billion, while mortgage borrowing increased more than five-fold.
1069What are the bad effects of all this? There is no doubt that usury intensifies business cycles. Bank lending enabled share prices to rise to unsustainable levels in 1929; the Depression followed. Over-availability of credit caused a massive increase in house prices, followed by a dramatic fall in the late 1980s and early 1990s. In recession, interest acts as a fixed cost outside the company’s control, unlike share dividends. The higher its debt-equity ratio, the worse are the implications.
The basic cause of inflation, then, must be the banks’ use of fractional reserve in lending out more than they have. To reduce inflation, governments put up interest rates, which increases the profits made by the banks and encourages them to lend out more. Meanwhile, the high interest rates lead to a decline of economic activity because they increase production costs.
What is the way to curb the evils of usury which I have just described? The only way in particular to stop inflation is to stop banks from creating credit. The supply of money should be removed from banks and should be assumed by governments, who should issue it on a debt-free basis. Such a view is supported by five disparate quarters: the noble Lord, Lord Beswick, in the debate which he introduced to this House in 1985, Disraeli, the Vatican under Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Quadragesimo Anno in 1931, the Tsars of Russia in the last century, who prevented the setting up of a privately owned central bank, and, above all, Abraham Lincoln, who said that governments should create, issue, and circulate all currency and credits needed to satisfy the spending power of governments and the buying power of consumers.
By adopting those principles, the taxpayer would be saved immense sums of interest. Lincoln’s greenbacks were generally popular, and their existence let the genie out of the bottle with the public becoming accustomed to government-issued, debt-free money. The year after Lincoln’s assassination, Congress set to work at the bidding of the European central banking interests to retire the greenbacks from circulation and to ensure the reinstitution of a privately owned central bank under the usurers’ control.
During the history of the United States, the money power has gone back and forth between Congress and some privately owned central bank. The American people fought off four privately owned central banks before succumbing to a fifth privately owned central bank, at that time essential, owing to the period of weakness during the Civil War.
The founding fathers of the United States knew the evils of a privately owned central bank. They had seen how the Bank of England ran up the British national debt to such an extent that Parliament was forced to place unfair taxes on the American colonies, leading to their loss following, the American Revolution.
I now conclude. Once the fundamental decision is taken to prevent sterling from being debt-based, the Commonwealth could act as the right monetary union to use sterling debt-free as a genuine alternative to the dollar and the euro.