Alt Banking Announcements, 4/27/2012

  1. We invited Vikram Pandit to speak with us again. See this wonderful invitation on
  2. It got picked up by Lisa Pollack at FT Alphaville.
  3. Michael Hudson recently spoke at the INET Conference in Berlin sponsored by George Soros and the speech is on his site,
  4. Occupy Town Square will be held Saturday, April 28th in Union Square from noon-8pm and there will be lots of May Day preparations.
  5. Lots more activities for May Day described in the OWS Newsletter.
  6. The hoodies are in! Cathy will bring them to Sunday’s meeting.
  7. Cathy will also bring Alt Banking coffee mugs to Sunday’s meeting ($10 each).
  8. The first part of the PBS Frontline Series has been posted online, with accompanying interviews posted here. The second part, which features Occupy the SEC as well as Alt Banking, will be aired at 10pm on May Day.

One thought on “Alt Banking Announcements, 4/27/2012

  1. If we define capitalism as “an economic system in which interest is charged for the use of capital”, then capitalism is dependent on continual (though not constant) economic growth for its success. A fundamental change in our economic history is occurring with the peaking of global oil production, the primary engine of economic growth over the last 150 years. In the future we are likely to experience economic contraction, or at best stagnation, at the global level.

    Such a convulsion in our way of life calls for revolutionary change in our banking system. The current interest-based system, which we take as natural – almost God-ordained – but which was considered sinful by the Church (and the Mosque and the Synagogue) throughout most of its history, can only be maintained through growth (or, in the short run, inflation or debtor impoverishment). If, as I assert, growth is a thing of the past, the current financial crisis will persist until a new system not dependent on growth – in fact, promoting zero growth – is instituted. Only repetitive – but ultimately futile – support from governments can give the present system the semblance of functioning.

    So I propose a bank which would be in tune with changed economic conditions, a bank in which the charging of interest would be replaced with a service fee. Unlike current banks, such a bank would not finance growth but stability. Industrial loans would be provided for maintaining production, but not expanding it (unless expansion was to be achieved by reducing inputs). Residential loans would be provided for refurbishing an existing house, but not to build a new one (except as a replacement) or to enlarge an existing house. These are admittedly rudimentary notions of how such a bank would function, but refinements will come with further thought, discussion, and experience. The final goal, in an economic and philosophical sense, would be what I call “ecostasis”: living in balance with the ecosystem.

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