Payments need to go ‘bankless’

I’ve seen it suggested that if bank payments are called ‘cashless’, then cash payments should be called ‘bankless’.

We need more of this – there is no reason why we have to give banks more power than they have already.

The banks, of course do all they can to influence government and with Chancellor Sunak as an ex banker, they don’t find it difficult.

And the current crop of Tories especially, seem to love money -any money – but have moved on from brown envelope cash to money in far more interesting and usually Russian oligarch quantities.

The Tories are in fact empty of any other ideas – self interest is what Thatcherism taught them was important. They are inordinately surprised that a pandemic seems to suggest otherwise.

Their pandemic response is to outsource solutions and avoid enhancing government activity, either national or – especially, local. Government skills are ignored in favour of buying in from the more ‘efficient’ (and we now see skill-less) private sector. The paucity of Conservative intellectual thought and ideas is plain for all to see. Ideology rules. As one commentator was kind enough to point out to me last month, (thank you, George S Gordon) Sunak let slip Conservatives’ thinking:

I’ve been prepared to put aside ideology and dogma at the beginning of this crisis and do what I believed was right to protect people’s jobs, their incomes and businesses through what is an unprecedented and difficult time.

So just this once the ideology has been put aside – but not for long. Which is why furlough ends next month.

Democratic need is advantaged for six months or so against benefit for financial sector. But that is just ideology in temporary reverse.

In fact, ideology was not entirely reversed as bank loans were somehow overwhelmingly favoured as against grants for a means of helping companies and traders.

Which is highly unlikely, in these most uncertain times, to be beneficial to their futures.

Whilst realising that the Bank of England is also a bank, it is state owned and the one that creates government money so can always afford to write off that money at no cost. This is unique to government. So is not like any other bank.

That is why government really should have gone bankless.

And to realise why our government did not do it, to go bankless actually sems to me to be much the same as ditching Conservative Neoliberalism.


  1. Bill Hughes -

    Banks are powerful as long as their “balance sheets” are sound. As soon as they run into difficulties their power disappears unless of course they threathen a collapse of the whole financial system in which case they get bailed out by government (still holding on to their massive salaries of the top executives).

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