Anna Bligh, in her new role in political retirement as spruiker in chief for the interests of the Australian private banks, gave a speech yesterday at the Australian Press club in Canberra. Watch it here.
However, amidst all the puffery and attempts to gild the Australian banker’s lily, Anna Bligh does get one thing right
“…In this context, there is an ever diminishing appetite for thoughtful and sensible public policy making. Any appetite there may once have been to explain the complexity and importance of banking to the Australian economy has been all but extinguished…”
Not that she tries to fix that herself as she does not a utter a single word in that speech that attempts to explain in clear and direct language
1. What a bank in our monetary system is and how they differ from non-banks.
2. What is the nature of their extraordinary ‘privilege’.
3. How that privilege is given by the public and is entirely contingent on it unmistakably being exercised in the public interest.
But that no doubt is why her history lesson only went back 70 years to the Bank nationalisation ‘mistake’by Chifley in 1947 and not 80 years to the Banking and Monetary Royal Commission in 1937 where the above issues were discussed explicitly.
If you would like to read the 1937 Royal Commission report including Chifley dissent see the link below.
For many other articles that try to explain the “complexity and importance of banking to the Australian economy” here are a few for your clicking pleasure!
As much as some people seem to think we can “fix up” our banking system including regulators like APRA, RBA, ASIC without looking at the fundamental issues avoided by Anna’s speech, by now it should be clear that there is NO option.
She ignores the issue of what makes a bank a bank for a very good reason.
The last thing the private bankers want is an Australian public educated about the nature of the ‘privilege’ enjoyed by banks in our monetary system.
No one should begrudge a former a politician trying to find a way to make some brass in their retirement but does Anna really have to choose one that is so repugnant to the history of the long struggle for a fair go for the general public.