Monday, December 5, 2011

Occupy Wall Street embraces ultra transparency for banks

According to an FT Alphaville post, Occupy Wall Street embraces ultra transparency for banks.
Presented below is a note prepared for the December 4th meeting of the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly by its alternative banking working group. We present it – without comment – as a document for understanding the aims of OWS... 
This note has been prepared by the alternative banking working group of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The note is for discussion with the OWS movement and more broadly. 
The purpose of this note is to describe the characteristics of an ideal bank that embodies the values of the OWS movement. 
The current banking system lies at the heart of our current economic crisis of increasing volatility and inequality. To change that system, we need to replace it with a better bank. What would be the characteristics of this bank? 
None of these features is new, and many are already evident in credit unions, community banks and “mutuals”. But our purpose is to imagine something that might have a broader reach and impact – that might transform the banking system, and thus, by its example and through its operations, potentially create an economy that is fairer, more inclusive, democratically managed and stable....
6. Transparent – the opacity and unintelligibility (even to those working in finance) of the financial system have contributed to the “credit crunch” collapse. The operations of this bank would by contrast be wholly transparent, thus again helping minimize any risk caused by its operations.... 
In establishing the bank, the principles embodied in the characteristics outlined above should be followed as much as possible (“the means are the ends”). ... If there is general consensus within OWS and perhaps more broadly on the desirability of such a bank, the Alternative Banking group will set itself to the design and perhaps construction of the bank, drawing on the examples and experience – and perhaps the assistance – of similar such banks around the world. But there is no monopoly here: anyone is free to take inspiration from these ideas and embark upon the same challenge.

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