Banking on Never-Ending Power and Rights

By Greg Coleridge

“It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”        – Henry Ford

Banking and other financial corporations (hereafter referred to simply as banking corporations) are unlike any other subset of corporate entities. Their uniqueness has to do with their one-of-a-kind “product” — money.

The fact that individuals (poor to rich), businesses (small to big) and governments (local to national) all require money to function means banking corporations occupy prominent places in our national economic and democratic spaces. Given the increasing omnipotence of money in determining who gets elected, what political voices get heard, when laws get passed, where programs get funded and how regulations are enacted and implemented, understanding the role of banking corporations in the creation and circulation of our nation’s money and in their lock-down control of our “monetary system” is essential to (re)gain political and economic self-governance.

The political influence of banking corporations has increased over the last several decades as the economy has shifted from producing real goods and services to creating, packaging, buying and/or selling ever more diverse, complex, risky and outlandish loans, insurances and other financial “products.” Money from banks that formerly were loaned to companies that produced needed consumer products remain heavily invested in options, futures and other financial “instruments” (i.e. money invested in money) that yield greater profits, despite such products and instruments being responsible for the 2008 financial implosion.

This “financialization” of our economy increases profits and wealth of the finance, insurance and real estate (FIRE) sector and makes our nation more economically dependent on that sector to drive economic growth. Increased profits, wealth and economic dependency have also increased their political power and influence — guaranteeing further profits, wealth and dependency. A vicious cycle increasing both the financial and political power of banking corporations rages on with no end in sight.

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