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Where banks and socials can agree

I said I would respond to Venessa’s rant in a bit more detail, as she deserves a response and not just a pat on the head to say: “there, there”, which is what she implies most banking folks have done so far.

Before I get into that, it’s interesting to see the reaction to yesterday’s blog entry. Most of it is that polarisation does not help which, in this context, is where you get the ‘them and us’ mentality I referred to yesterday.

That is very unhelpful and causes wars.

What these discussions should remember is that the discussion is more about two parallel systems that run separately, complement and have overlap where appropriate.

Anyways, here’s a direct response to what Venessa wants from her bank.

First, she wants transparency.

“All I know about the way my bank works is that I deposit my money there, and then they take that money and go make money off of it. Where is that money going? Where is it being invested? Can I have control over how you use my money? Can I set a standard of where I allow you to invest my money, so I can be proud to say my money is being invested in green technology, or local initiatives, or ANYTHING that I care about?”

There are banks that do this, but they are nearly all mutuals, community banks, building societies, credit unions and such like.

Banks such as Triodos Bank in the Netherlands, the Co-operative in the UK and community banks in America and Canada, such as First Calgary Bank and Wainwright Bank.

The example best known to me is the Co-operative who make clear they would never support or provide services to any organisations that contravene their ethical investment policies: “The lender has turned down loans to firms worth £1 billion since taking an ethical stance in 1992 and after polling 80,000 customers, has now expanded its policies … Firms connected with biofuels with a high global warming impact, companies that manufacture indiscriminate weapons such as cluster bombs, and companies that exploit great apes will be excluded.”

They allow customers to select the charitable causes the bank should give to, and crowdsource votes of which projects and causes are most worthy.

They’ve done this for almost two decades … but remain a small bank.

If it was that worthy, why isn’t there a major global community bank? A massive mutual spanning the planet?

Because people don’t care.

This struck me when I saw this new research report by Consumer Focus which states that: “Just 7 per cent of consumers with current accounts have switched over the last two years, far behind other markets … three quarters of consumers (75 per cent) have never even considered switching their current account provider.”

Consumers aren’t bothered about banking, they just want the hygiene and efficiency of secure transactions.

This is further explored in the USA by the BAI who commissioned research into bank and consumer attitudes and found that 70% of consumers don’t want a relationship with their bank:

BAI Customer View 

Even though that’s the #1 thing bankers think they want.

BAI bankers view 

This gives me the impression that banks could potentially incorporate ethical, community and societal perspectives into their marketing mix to deepen their relationship with the customer … but that it does not make that much difference today and, if it did, all banks would be doing this.

Second, Venessa asks for intelligent investing opportunities.

“My bank knows who I am and what I care about. I’d be happy to link my Twitter account to my bank account so they can know the kind of people and organizations I talk to … my Meetup account so they know the kind of events that interest me … my foursquare account so they know the stores and restaurants I patronize … Give me a service that empowers me to invest intelligently and in a way that represents the ethics I believe in, and I’ll tell everybody about it. This information will become part of ‘Social Credit Score’.”

OK, this gets interesting.

First, I cannot think of one bank that would be comfortable to allow customers to link their financial data to twitter, meetup, foursquare or any other social media. This is because the privacy and security issue arises, and they want you to keep your data secure.

We had this great conversation with First Direct on twitter recently by way of example. They are a pioneering social media user but said they would not mix bank and social data, as the former must be kept secure.

However, there are a lot of apps and widgets, extensions and plugins appearing relating to finance, such as blippy and billshrink.

For those who want the social finance badge on their foursquare or meetup pages, these plugins will enable it.

Interestingly, these are also services that banks might offer as options to the customer who wants to wear their social credit score as a badge. However, most banks probably will not provide or condone it for the reasons given: mixing bank data with social data makes them nervous.  

It's a privacy and security versus transparency and sharing debate, and most banks (and people) don't want everyone to know their balance and account numbers!

Funnily enough, on a related point, my group ended up proposing that SWIFT carried and maintained a social credit score service as part of last year’s innotribe.

The proposition was that SWIFT should help banks by using the semantic web to crawl social media, and create a ‘social score’ based upon your social activities. This would be added to your credit score and other metrics to provide a holistic view of how trustworthy you are. A ‘trust score’.

It didn’t go anywhere, even though I believe there is a strong correlation for mixing social and financial services in this way. This is where I see the overlap: if you appear to be trustworthy based upon money, can I trust that you won’t screw me?

A question I’m sure Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss would like to have had answered before they invested in Mark Zuckerberg.

Three, she would like better visualisation tools to show the flows of her finances and gives the example of Mint as the only firm that comes near today. This is probably because the tools are early days still, but again they will get better with banks like BBVA and Banco Sabadell showing this is definitely on the radar.

In fact, as apps on Android, iPad and iPhone become more pervasive, I fully expect financial visualisation tools to become a hot development area.

Fourth, social network analysis.

Venessa says that she needs “a bank that understands that I’m connected to the web and my network pretty much all the time, and … want to be able to find more people who share my visions and interests so that we can take action together.”

This is a tough call for a bank, apart from the trust score discussion on point two above.

Why is it a tough call?

Well, banks as enablers of action groups gets into fine lines over money laundering, terrorism and crime. Potentially this could be good, as banks could probably have far more insight into dodgy dealings of politically exposed persons by analysing their social network activity, but Venessa’s point was more to do with banks connecting like-minded people.

I think they could and should do this for financially focused communities, for example connect me with people who invest like me, but for the rest?

It’s probably back to the community bank.

For example, Caja Navarro has a great late night opening policy where each week they give customers lessons in Indian head massages and flower arranging and other hobbies. So enabling the Sunday Night Knitting Club to meet via the bank’s hosted channels through analysis of who shops at ‘Get Knitted’ regularly, could be a good thing for such banks.

But not really for a global machine like Citi or HSBC … unless customers left in droves because they didn’t offer this.

Finally, complimentary currencies for local economy.

“Why is it not simple for individuals and communities to implement local currencies in order to exchange goods and services, and build trust, relationships, and resilience? Could a bank help with this?”

Again, I discussed this at length yesterday and previously on the blog and the answer is again, banks would do this if customers needed it.

A good example is the Lewes pound, which Barclays bank support. Interestingly, on their website, they give a great 10-step guide to creating community currencies which is worth reading as a conclusion to this discussion (below).

This article links to four others this week, in a series challenging the future of banking.  The series of articles are as follows:

  1. Why banks and socials agree to disagree
  2. Where banks and socials can agree
  3. If banks are like oil, build better vehicles
  4. So is there a chance of getting rid of banks?
  5. Can banks be trusted?

 

10-step guide to creating community currencies

In March 2007 Transition Town Totnes launched the UK's first Transition Currency – a complimentary currency, backed by Sterling, that strengthens the local economy. Since then three other Transition Towns have followed. The value of these projects is that they raise the profile of local businesses and start community-wide conversations around issues like the fragility of the international banking system, climate change and peak oil. Lambeth council estimates that the positive media coverage generated by the Brixton Pound is worth around £100,000. And since systemic risk is still alive and well in the international financial system, having an alternative currency could play a useful role in plugging the gap when the dominant system fails.

So if you want to do this in your own locality, how would you go about it? Just follow our ten-step guide…

1. Start a Transition Initiative

Starting up a local currency is an ambitious undertaking that is best built on a strong foundation. If your neighbourhood has launched a Transition Initiative you will have a ready-made pool of people who will understand a lot of the issues involved and are ready to get going on a project. If you don't have an established sustainability network, consider getting one going first. Also consider whether skill-shares, time banking or a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) might be more suitable models for your area.

2. Organise an open meeting on a topic related to money

This will bring in interested people and start seeding the idea in your community. The evening could include a speaker (from a group that has already launched an alternative currency or from a thinktank such as the New Economics Foundation), a film showing (see end of this blog entry) and then have a group discussion. Start thinking about the kind of people you want to get involved and make sure they are amongst the targets of your publicity. Take people's email addresses so that they can be kept informed as the project develops.

3. Identify and engage your stakeholders

Your main stakeholders are likely to be local residents and local traders – the two groups of people who make the currency work in practice. Lewes had the idea of signing up 100 members in advance in a scheme they called the '100-Club'. The scheme was so successful that 300 people took the pledge to buy a certain amount of Lewes Pounds and to give periodic feedback on how the scheme was working. Then Brixton went one better with their '1000-Club'. Get traders involved early so that there is plenty of choice about where to spend your money when the scheme goes live. Brixton had 70 traders signed up at the time of their launch. Securing the support of the local authority can be useful in giving credibility to the initiative and helping with profile-raising. In Lewes the town council publicly endorsed the project and the town hall became one of the issuing points for the currency. In Brixton, the local council has given £6,000 in start-up funding.

4. Set-up a management team

Oliver Dudok van Heel of the Lewes Pound team recommends a mixed team of traders and residents. Although the team will move forward collaboratively, he suggests that individual members take up responsibility for the roles of treasurer, trader liaison, community liaison, press liaison and design. Peter North also recommends a facilitator, directory producer or webmaster, events co-ordinator and a secretary.

5. Decide on the model

Take your time to research the various models and engage your stakeholders as much as possible in a public discussion about this. The most straightforward and user-friendly option is to make your currency exchangeable on a 1:1 ratio with Sterling. You will also need to consider what denominations to issue, how much total value to issue and how long the notes will be valid for.

Think about where to draw the line with traders. The four English Transition Currencies so far seem to welcome all traders as part of the scheme without them being required to fulfil any particular ethical criteria relating to local sourcing or environmental impact, although Josh Ryan-Collins, co-founder of the Brixton Pound and a researcher at the New Economics Foundation does see a case for ruling out corporations that are publicly listed and accountable to shareholders.

6. Launch a design competition

This is another opportunity for engaging the local population and for generating publicity. Brixton held an online 'Vote the Note' poll to choose which local figures should be celebrated on the different denominations.

7. Decide on your legal structure

You can launch a currency as an unincorporated association but if you are serious about this endeavour, at some point you will need to incorporate. Stroud chose the co-operativeroute to allow for democratic control and management of the currency by residents and traders, but this does necessitate administering a membership fee. Lewes chose theCommunity Interest Company (CIC) route because they felt it offered a modest administrative burden, gave the ability to trade the currency and eligibility for Government and foundation funding.

8. Generate start-up funding

You'll need money for publicity materials and for printing the notes. Security measures to avoid forgery can mean the latter gets expensive. In Brixton, the council gave a grant of £6,000 and four or five local businesses put in a couple of hundred pounds each in a sponsorship deal. Lewes also sold collector's packs to raise money and both groups have dabbled in souvenirs such as t-shirts, badges and posters.

9. Organise a memorable launch event

This is the big one. You've done all that work – you might as well celebrate, capitalise on your biggest publicity and marketing opportunity and design a memorable, preferably historic, occasion.

10. Nurture and develop the scheme

'After the honeymoon effect the key thing is what you put in place to keep things going and maintain the enthusiasm,' says Josh. 'Having somebody paid is vital for that. We have a development manager, who works three days a week.' Local councils sometimes have pockets of money that can be tapped into if you approach the right person in the right department.

How big can a local currency grow? Bernard Jarman, co-founder of the Stroud Pound, says that the Steiner-inspired Chiemgauer in Southern Germany has an annual turnover equivalent to €500,000. 'It's a similar sized town [to Stroud] and there are 600 business involved. They're able to employ a full-time administrator to run it. If we could do that we'd have cracked it in some way.'

The Schumacher-inspired BerkShares scheme in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is said to have the equivalent of $2M in circulation and 12 local banks issuing the money.

How else might your scheme develop? Would electronic transactions help? Could the reserve generated by a currency issue be used for ethical lending? Would making currencies more regional make them more effective? What about intra-regional trading? Would an energy-backed currency be more useful in future than one backed by a national currency such as sterling?

For a further round up of social money, check out this series of blog entries:

And if you like movies, here’s a few goodies:

Films made by established local currency projects, such as the Brixton Pound story (two minutes):

Film by Michel Cartier that was referenced in comments on Venessa’s blog (seven minutes):

The Financial Reformation by Sean Park (4 minutes)

Video on the Future of Money by Venessa Miemis and Gabriel Shalom (7 minutes 32 seconds)

Money as Debt (47 minutes long):

 

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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15 comments

  1. Chris- thanks for bringing some edge to this discussion. I think that the reality is that consumers are very much like large banks– they have multiple personality disorder. There’s the desire to be many things to meet many desires that are unmet elsewhere, regardless of profitability.
    I could go in many directions, but two key points really jump out to me:
    1) I agree that banks cannot integrate to customer social lives. The co-mingling of data and profiling would simply hit too many trip-wires (eg fair lending regulations– what if banks “scored” people who follow Perez Hilton?). As an alternative, there was a great article yesterday about Klout and the potential to use their score for social engagement influence– this could find its way into niche offerings imo http://bit.ly/9Dzf1e
    2) Non-banks are better positioned to leverage social behaviors. Yodlee, Mint and Bundle are better positioned because they’re unencumbered by regulatory oversight. Customers choose to give them access to one or many accounts across banks, and can develop unique visualizations, insights, and (still work in progress) highly contextual offers. Bundle is my favorite in the US based upon their unique ability to compare “your money” and spending habits to “everyone’s money” in by various demographic options. They also have fantastic content and were engineered bottom-up to be social. Yodlee, and Mint/Intuit are adding these types of elements and banks are beginning to customize these solutions w/in their own websites/mobile offerings. Best chance for social behavior to make it to banks will be there imo.
    I’m also left thinking about how non-US solutions are evolving by non-banking aggregators to fill the niches like Yodlee. There is a window of opportunity to globally scale offerings, but it will take a set of banks in each locale to get it up and running.
    I’m still wrapping my head around the transition initiatives and applicability. I can’t get SecondLife out of my head.
    cheers,
    rich

  2. Awesome discussion – quite edgy and I agree that it stems from the problem of both bank’s personality and customers personality. Don’t know which to choose.
    For a major institution – it would be hard to imagine it to embed deeply into social media – because so much of its status and audience comes from traditional segments – who are not that avid Tweeples or bloggers.
    But tactical integration seems like a good fit – offering Lewes pound to promote local county consumption, special YouTube channels for those who would want to watch.
    + 1 to both Chris and Vanessa )

  3. This is a good level headed assessment of where we are and what’s happening as far as specific examples of services are concerned but I think Venessa’s blog (to me at least) was also a frustrated appeal to look beyond the current Zeitgeist and understand that there are forces of major social change at work in terms of values and customer / bank relationships. The first comment in her blog was actually about distress with a closing statement which said that the current values held as a broad consensus across the industry would outlast the suggestion of more socially engaged value systems or at least that’s how it came across.
    Yet the debate about values rather than specific services has got a bit obscured perhaps?
    I would suggest that maybe there is a wish expressed by Venessa and the Future of Money folks to see better and more responsible engagement with ethical behaviour. The development of a genuinely engaged CSR policy instead of a lip service one maybe?
    On the approach of “banks don’t provide it because customers don’t want it. Look at this survey” I am reminded of a certain Henry Ford who said: “If I had just focused on what people said they wanted I would only have sold them faster horses”.
    Venessa please correct me if I am wrong here but I rather got the feeling that The Future of Money and the “rant” (as it now seems to be affectionately known)were saying that it would be good to see the FS Industry addressing major currents of social change and experimenting with offerings that weren’t just “faster horses”.
    Mike

  4. Hi Chris
    Another great discussion brewing, thank you.
    I don’t understand why anyone expects – or needs – their bank to be interested in financial transparency or generating a relationship with them personally or commercially.
    To be fair, there are specific regulatory reasons why mutuals, credit unions remain small, rather than simply “because people don’t care” about transparency in financial services. In essence, those institutions have a different financial purpose than the giant money machines that have been relying so heavily on taxpayer subsidies of late. But, regulation aside, the likes of credit unions aren’t and can’t be responsible for really empowering people. So they aren’t terribly interesting, even if we were inclined to express our social proclivities through a financial institution.
    Which, of course, most people are not.
    Finance occupies a small step in the processes that comprise our various day-to-day consumer and business activities. And those activities are primarily facilitated by businesses with whom we do have more transparent ‘relationships’ than we have, or could ever expect to have, with a bank.
    Realistically, we can only expect banks to be the ‘back office’ for these facilitators.

  5. hey chris,
    great post! thanks for taking the time to respond to all my suggestions.
    what is popping out at me is this idea that a bank could be, as michel bauwens put it in the future of money video, an “expression of the community”.
    as you mention several times here, the kind of relationship i could potentially imagine with a bank would be part money lending institution, part social fabric weaver. this would necessarily have to be a local solution, as it implies that the bank is working intimately with the community. and i think that that is fine/great. the kind of change most people care about is the kind that directly impacts them in a noticeable, measurable way, as soon as possible. so that’s where the relationship part comes in, with a bank understanding a person’s needs on a hyperlocal level.
    i also think that this kind of local transparency and attention to sustainable investment opportunities are an early potential for a longer term disruptive change in the industry. once people have the tools to understand this model at a personal level, and see the benefits of it, and begin to change social behaviors, that expectation will seep out to a larger scale and institutional level. slowly. but eventually.
    my question is, what kind of tools could the financial industry design for the intentional purpose of activating people’s consciousness and empowering them to make positive impact decisions? (i didn’t title my blog “emergent by design” for nothing). :) it is a philosophical debate, but i think if we do not have this fundamental conversation, then we are still operating superficially.
    this past two years in a media studies graduate program has been enlightening for me…. in terms of understanding that everything around us is a media, that we live in a mediated environment, and it ‘programs’ us. money is a media, it was designed to operate on certain rules. though the program is called ‘media studies’, it’s actually social theory. foucault, heidegger, baudrillard, benjamin….
    all exploring how we relate to our environment, each other, our own minds. it goes deep, and has informed my thinking on many levels. but i think it’s important in helping to understand how our tools fundamentally shape our behavior and our species.
    for instance, the above trust/reputation/social capital score that we mentioned as an addition to the traditional credit score. what makes this interesting? again, there is an ethic involved. we tend to care about things that we can measure and choose to measure. (i made a comment earlier this week on twitter asking why GDP isn’t more robust to include things like national well-being, happiness, purpose, environmental health, and other expanded examples of wealth. perhaps if we were measuring those things, they would suddenly become more of a national/global priority. but if nations aren’t “competing” on who has the wealthiest nation, and only on whose is the richest… well….. ). so the point is, beginning to implement these trust/reputation/social scores is the beginning of influencing the way people think. it’s not something to be monetized, it’s bringing transparency to an area that is important to us all but is currently rather opaque and tragically undervalued. if we began to create the metrics, it would begin to influence systemic change.
    and that last part of your post on the 10 step program for implementing local currencies. it still sounds pretty tough. could a free platform be designed that makes it ridiculously easy to get this going. (answer: people are already working on it. it’s just going slowly. could be accelerating with a booster from financial industry possibly).
    thank you very much for the dialogue, i do feel invigorated, and i appreciate your respect in giving me such a thorough response.
    – venessa

  6. Hi Chris,
    Great post. On social media being integrated to produce a composite trust score, this is already starting: http://tekfin.com/2010/10/01/social-media-relevancy-is-the-new-credit-score/
    I am not sure that the social framework can be pushed to everything. Activitites that are “naturally” private, such as parts of banking, should remain so.
    Yann

  7. I believe at the heart of this discussion is the basic distrust and lack of personal attention the majority of people feel towards their banks. In the days of local banks, your banker knew you.
    Loans were made based on the trust they had in your ability hold up your end of the relationship. This relationship not only meant repaying the loan, but also continuing the relationship in future making you a revenue generating long term customer. Disputes were resolved on a personal nature. Thing that needed to be fixed, were fixed. Bankers were part of the community just like dentists and grocery store owner. This is no longer the case.
    Banks have become nothing more than utilities. They believe by offering “loss leader” service (free checking that ends to be a bait and switch with overdraft fees) they justify your business. They are the necessary evils of existing in society. In their present form, nobody wants anymore of a relationship with their bank than is required. The last thing I’d do is connect with my bank on Twitter or Facebook. It’s this attitude that is fueling this discussion and others. When there are other options to the current financial systems, I for one will be there to jump ship.
    I don’t want to sound like a Luddite, but all people want is to be heard and respected. And most of the time they will pay more for that, especially when it is in such scarcity such as today in the banking world.
    As the music industry found out … there will be other options.

  8. Wow, “70% of consumers don’t want a relationship with their bank”, that would mean a customer satisfaction index not so far off from the tax office. That also indicates a fair business chance to capitalize on value not currently tapped for institutions, organizations, or professional networks that, um, “get it”.
    On the other hand, I do not get this in the DeLaRue report:
    “only 31% of retail banking consumers say they are highly receptive to the idea of developing a relationship with their financial institution.”
    What the study seems to say is that customers more satisfied with the service respond more affirmative to the question of building a relationship with their bank. Of course that’s the #1 objective if you consider lifetime value of a customer and the cost of acquiring a new one.
    Maybe I just take Henry Ford too seriously, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Yup, just, duh. If I do the Toyota thing and observe customer’s interaction and experience, I see relationships. Not always amiable, not always laughing all the way to …, but trusting well enough for earnings and more. Trusting enough to self-serve at the ATMs (I enjoy this convenience since the early ’80s) and more recently, laughing all the way to the mobile banking phone.
    Further down in the study,
    “With all of the things that both executives and employ- ees say, one critical factor overlooked by both has been pointed out in The Frontline Experience research: neither bank management nor frontline staff have fully under- stood the consumers with whom they are attempting to build relationships.”
    How get better at that? Now we’re talking.

  9. Hi Chris. It’s nice to read all the different perspectives here. I am glad you have taken the time to spark this discussion because it’s clear you have a deep passion for these ideas.
    I have written a new post on emergence.cc from my perspective on what could happen next.
    http://www.emergence.cc/2010/11/the-future-of-the-future-of-money/

  10. Consumer finance is where food was 10 years ago: a caloric intake, a utility. People assume it’s good for them: “if it was bad, surely the Government would do something about it”. People focus on the convenience of the service: “wow, I can order my food through the Internet on my phone”. They are not focusing on the most important thing: the food itself. They see organic fresh food to be cooked at family restaurants as way overpriced. No surprise if no or only a few % of fast food customers want better quality food over taste and size: you can build very limited meaningful relationships on selling fast food to people.
    (continuing my metaphor) food (banking) has to be rediscovered as medicine, as individual and group enjoyment, not as a caloric intake.
    It took 10 years for food to get to where we are today with food in the US (basically, just the beginning). If we can avoid the equivalent of another generalized food poisoning crisis, the evolution in banking will take just as long. But the financial crisis is the banking version of obesity. It raised profound doubts in something that was thought to be secure, efficient, harmless, managed honestly, well supervised.
    Like with food 10 years ago, there are *today* many small-scale examples of what consumer finance will look like in 10 years. Not everything exist today either and many new concepts are yet to be invented. And of course, the incumbents will still be around. But the change has started.

  11. Great post and comments! One thing comes to mind is that the more things change the more they stay the same.
    The basic concept of money has not changed in millennia and will likely not change as a result of social media. The basic purpose will always be to serve as a secure and hopefully protected transaction mechanism of value for goods or services as Chris points out. The conduit and methods that we use to make these transactions will always change and there will always be new products and services created around them. Technology enables us to play creatively and build models to support business and social goals independant of each other or in collaboration.

  12. 2 more cents.
    I listened today to Brett King’s talk at the Gartner Symposium. His key message (about Bank 2.0) is: it’s not about the technology, it’s about the experience. The technology is not important for this discussion, but the experience is.
    In his usual bottom line good sense, Brett asks: what will a delighted customer of a bank look like in the future?
    Several people try to convince Venessa (just picking on you Venessa as you, after all, are at the origin of this debate 😉 ) that banks are the well oiled back-office making the business run smooth, and that she should be happy it is so.
    I tend to side with her original rant.
    Somebody will get it and make people like her delighted. The question is: will it be the banks?

  13. Chris, were you the Executive Producer on The Future of Money?

  14. Chris, I have to admit that I am in the camp who thinks there is (a lot) more to money and banking than the socials realize. For example, banks are more than just private ventures that channel savings to investments. Crucially, they are closely intertwined with a funny thing called governement. Let me give just a few examples of this interwining. Money is issued and backed by national governments and at the same time also a crucial instrument for economic policy, and banks play a crucial role in executing monetary policy. The fact that banks are heavily regulated and that the state stepped in massively to save the banks serves as further evidence of this. Any reinventing of money and banking will have to consider this public sector link. In a way the socials would make a good team with the Tea Party: let’s do away with banks and government in one fell swoop….

  15. Wow .. Chris your posts amaze me. Way longer than even mine!
    But I am with @pragmatist. The expectations of Gen Y, GenX Bayboomers Gen blah are missing the point. Do not expect anything of banks.
    Its ok to expect service, capabilities, and a better money system, but why expect banks to do that? Remember the definition of insanity … doing the same thing and expecting a different result.
    Banks with a few exceptions are becoming utilities the same way that your electricity and tap water is a utility.
    This argument will not be solved at SIBOS.

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