Recently, a leading international banker gave the inaugural BBC Today Business Lecture; Ben Dyson doesn’t think much of it, and rightly so.
The text of the lecture delivered by Bob Diamond can be found here, and for the moment the audio can be found here.
Positive Money is a single issue organisation; it is difficult to define its exact role: pressure group, lobby, think tank; for the moment it is concentrating on educating the public – the British public through its meetings, and the rest of the world through its website, including a number of videos which explain what is wrong with the financial system in simple language that even a banker could understand. Could, but apparently don’t, at least in the case of Bob Diamond.
We caught up with Positive Money’s Ben Dyson in cyberspace; the following answers are his verbatim, unedited response.
Alexander Baron: Can I have a couple of quotes from you on this guy?
Ben Dyson: Bob Diamond repeats the fairy-tale of banking: that banks actually invest in productive businesses using the money that we, the public, give to them. In reality, only 8% of bank lending goes into growing businesses and creating jobs. The rest goes into blowing up property bubbles and speculating in financial markets. And the money they lend isn’t money that was taken from your bank account - it’s money that was created, effectively out of nothing, by the bank’s ability to create money when they make loans.
AB: Do you think Diamond is a fool, a liar or both?
BD: See above. He’s peddling a fairy-tale to distract from the fact that banks have gone from adding value to the economy to simply extract it.
AB: How much longer can they get away with this cover up?
BD: More and more people are realising that the banking sector isn’t the golden goose that it claims to be. In fact they receive more in hidden subsidies than they pay in taxes. So it’s a matter of time now until people figure out what really needs to be done to fix the banking sector.
AB: Have you considered attacking the Maastricht Treaty, which legalises this scam?
BD: Not a priority at this point.
AB: What about an e-petition?
BD: The priority at this moment is just getting people to understand where money comes from, so an e-petition will be something for later down the line.
AB: When is your next big meeting?
BD: 1st December in London - details will be on the website.
[The above op-ed was first published November 8, 2011.]
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