Competition for the banks is not a new idea. Here it is illustrated by excerpts from It’s a Wonderful Life together with the suggestion that we too need an alternative to going crawling to Mr Potter.
The difference between America, well, some places in America like for instances North Dakota, and Britain is that they have community banks that locals can use as an alternative to the too-big-to-fail type of institution that gamble with the money and rely on taxpayer bailouts to keep them out of trouble when they get into it and use taxpayers’ money to give themselves huge bonuses either way. Here in the UK, we simply don’t have anything similar. We may have credit unions and so forth but they can only lend what they have (full reserve banking) they don’t have what the high street banks have which is a license to create money (fractional reserve banking). I’ve said for years that the only thing that will really scare the banking fraternity is genuine compeition, a real alternative, and so far such an idea isn’t even being discussed here in the UK. If the government exercised its authority against the banks then that would terrify the banksters but so long as the banks can offer more reward to politicians than the electorate can then that isn’t going to happen. Whatever the way forward might be, politics isn’t it.
Anyway, I’m glad to see that Mr Bailey and presumably Harvey the rabbit had these ideas before me, before I was even born in fact. Perhaps we should remind ourselves we’ve grown up in an era where we regard going to a private bank to get into debt whenever we need money for something beneficial to our community as normal only because we’ve been conditioned into it. Earlier generations hadn’t been schooled to think the way we do and still regarded it as clearly artificial at best, outrageous at worst. So should we.