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Our contribution from Italy by Andrea Baranes from the Finance Watch member organisation Fondazione Culturale Responsabilità Etica brings a view from a country that should have a strong interest in banking separation, yet politicians are reluctant to pursue the issue. The author describes the political standstill during Italy’s Council Presidency and argues that Italy’s failure to push the proposal during this period was a missed opportunity for Italy, which could only gain form banking structural reform.
German policy-makers have passed preemptive legislation on banking structure with the aim of influencing the direction in which the EU should go. Christian Ahlers from the consumer organisation “Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband” (vzbv, a Finance Watch member) argues that the German reform is not well equipped to protect citizens and consumers. He warns that regulatory arbitrage and nationally fragmented supervisory approaches have in the past allowed the financial industry to bend existing rules, and this played a role in allowing the last crisis to happen.
Compared to its neighbours France and Germany, Belgium passed a far more ambitious banking reform. However, as the contribution by Rosa Stucki from the Finance Watch member organisation Réseau Financité and Frank Vanaerschot from the NGO Fairfin will illustrate, the reform still falls short of guaranteeing systemic safety leaving many exceptions and loopholes, which is why the authors stress the need for ambitious reform at European level.
Finance Watch has invited guest bloggers from various Member States to share their national perspectives on banking structural reforms pursued by their countries and at European level, and share their views as voices of civil society on the issue.
Charlotte Geiger 17 February 2015
Since January 2015, Finance Watch has a new Secretary General: Christophe Nijdam. If you want to get to know him – what he did before joining Finance Watch and his views on reforming finance – we invite you to read this interview. You will learn more about his time as a banker in New York, his views on markets, and how today, he is still convinced that finance, when it is done properly with the right incentives and the right time horizon, can be a very powerful tool for economic progress.
Did you know that cigarettes were once used as currency? In WWII prisoner-of-war camps, they performed all the functions of a metallic currency. Thanks to R.A. Radford, himself a prisoner-of-war between 1942 and 1945, we have detailed insights about this time. His analysis of cigarette currency in “The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp” made the young British economist famous in his day. Enjoy reading the new blog article from our guest blogger Fabien, who discovered this “remarkable piece of writing” for us.
In this article, our guest blogger Fabien tries to summarise the main features of local and virtual currency schemes and separate the artificial from the real innovations.
The way money enters and leaves the economy is crucial to fixing some of society’s biggest problems. So it’s a surprise that general awareness of this mechanism is so low, despite the attention created by unconventional central bank policies.
In his latest piece, our guest blogger Fabien looks at some of the radical and not-so-radical ideas for making sense of our monetary system.
This month, this blog introduces you to the most dynamic, entrepreneurial, and refreshing actors of the world of financial progressive thinking and to their latest success: an important recognition of their ideas by the Bank of England.
3 October 2014
Lord Hill, the UK’s Commissioner-designate for financial services, has been set a “written exam” of 23 questions by the Parliament’s ECON Committee. Here are some points that Finance Watch is hoping to see in his answers.
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