Bankers should be spelled with a capital W.
If you haven't worked out how our financial system works, let me assist. You put your money into a bank or another financial institution such as a pension provider or investment company. These brilliant, exceptional, essential, amazingly well paid people we call bankers look after it for us. They 'invest' our money, or, to put it another way, gamble it on some financial horse race.
If they win, they win. They get loads of money.
If they lose, we lose, they still win, they get loads of money.
If they do something really stupid and bring the whole financial world to a collapse, we lose our jobs, we're subject to austerity measures and they get bailed out by the government using our tax money.
If they do something illegal like this:
They get fined and we pay the fine, either as customers or through our pension funds or because our taxes have bailed them out.
Why? How come this ridiculous situation is allowed to prevail?
It's our own fault. We're greedy, just like the bankers. Even though deep down we realise that for every pound we gain someone has to lose one, we cling to the hope that we will be the ones who win.
Also, the system is made to appear so complex that even governments are taken in by it all and are afraid to upset the financial institutions in case something bad happens again and they get the blame, again.
What can we do?
These are some of the things that the government and the bankers would find most inconvenient:
1. We could make more use of a barter system. You know, I paint your living room, you give me a hand maintaining my car in return. (By the way, this isn't an offer, merely an illustration.) Maybe even set up a system of local credit for payments in kind.
2. We could start to use a new system of money all together, one that bankers and governments can't control. Things like these:
3. We can look to bank more locally, use mutuals or credit unions.
4. We should stop believing that growth is the answer and realise that careful use of resources will serve us all better than grabbing everything we can get. Having more doesn't mean being more happy. We all know that already but we need to remind ourselves constantly because the media are always telling us different.
5. Most of all we can be kind and helpful to each other, lend a hand, lend money, trust people rather than bankers.
In Due Diligence, Jenny Parker finds herself part of the less savoury aspects of the financial system. There are times she has to rely on the greed of others in order to survive. Fortunately for her, there's plenty of greed about.
Lots of people have said some very kind things about Due Diligence, here's one review picked (more or less) at random.
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