Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Letter in The Independent

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-politicians-pasts-1009596.html

Your front-page headline (7 November) speaks of the banks being "ordered" to pass on the interest-rate cut to borrowers. But what does this really mean? Can a government that is avowedly running the banks that it now owns or part-owns on our behalf on a commercial and "arm's-length" basis "order" them to do anything?

The Government's policy on the banks is incoherent. It is desperately trying to avoid calling what has happened by its true name: nationalisation. The Green Party believes that the banks that are owned or part-owned by the public ought to be controlled accordingly – "No taxation without representation". Our tax money has bailed out these institutions; the least that we should ask in return is for our needs and values directly to guide their lending policies.

It is time that the Government started to take a serious role in controlling the banks it owns. It is absurd, and a grave danger to the prospects of stabilising our economy and avoiding a depression, to have banks hoarding money and refusing to lend. The banks ought not to be lending money lightly to bad credit risks – that, after all, is what got us into this trouble. But when they do lend, they ought to lend at low interest, to facilitate economic activity.

It is way past time now for the Government to insist that the banks that it funds should do this.

Cllr Rupert Read

Green Party, Norwich

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29.
http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/letters-politicians-pasts-1009596.html

Your front-page headline (7 November) speaks of the banks being "ordered" to pass on the interest-rate cut to borrowers. But what does this really mean? Can a government that is avowedly running the banks that it now owns or part-owns on our behalf on a commercial and "arm's-length" basis "order" them to do anything?

The Government's policy on the banks is incoherent. It is desperately trying to avoid calling what has happened by its true name: nationalisation. The Green Party believes that the banks that are owned or part-owned by the public ought to be controlled accordingly – "No taxation without representation". Our tax money has bailed out these institutions; the least that we should ask in return is for our needs and values directly to guide their lending policies.

It is time that the Government started to take a serious role in controlling the banks it owns. It is absurd, and a grave danger to the prospects of stabilising our economy and avoiding a depression, to have banks hoarding money and refusing to lend. The banks ought not to be lending money lightly to bad credit risks – that, after all, is what got us into this trouble. But when they do lend, they ought to lend at low interest, to facilitate economic activity.

It is way past time now for the Government to insist that the banks that it funds should do this.

Cllr Rupert Read

Green Party, Norwich
30. 31. 32.