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Perils of unstable European banks

Dear Sir
Europe’s unity is in danger because of its failing economies and banks. And if Europe is in danger, the world is in danger and we in Namibia are in danger too. Too much depends on a healthy, booming Europe. What happens in Europe affects the Americas and Asia and even great China is now in danger; its economy slowing. Do we Namibians know that?
What happened since 2008 is, in the context of our worldwide economic system, the worst that could ever happen, the failing of banks. In some of the states, and most certainly in Germany, not the state is in danger of going bankrupt, but instead, the banks.
However, it seems as if the banks themselves did not learn a single lesson from the events of 2008; ‘Lehman’ is ‘hoeka’ forgotten. In many cases, they acted dishonestly, got greedy and . . . failed. But because they learnt from the reaction of the governments after 2008, and because they know how ignorant the voters are, they again act ruthlessly and globalization added to this problem.
In the olden days, before globalization, it was different. The manager of the bankrupt bank took full responsibility and often he took his own life because of the feeling of deep shame and guilt. That was in the times when personal honesty was more than a mere word and responsibility was written in capital letters!
Incompetent managers found their way into the top management of banks and other moneymaking institutions and the people in the street, have to pay for their ‘mistakes’. Would it not be better to try to prevent future ‘bailouts’ by changing the system than to tolerate the repetition of the same mistakes of the system? Would it not be better for the people – via their governments – to buy themselves into the banks than to bail them out? Substantial shareholding (People’s Shareholding) in the banks would enable taxpayers to control them and by doing so, to reduce risks, so that bailouts certainly could be prevented! The people should do it also for reducing their banking costs, for cutting out usurious practices.
The people’s ‘mistake’ is their trust; they fail themselves by trusting wolves disguised in sheepskin. Although we know that humans are predatory by nature, people trust the predators. In Europe, they now suffer because of this trust, in America they suffer too. Spain – and the U.S.A. – is a ‘fine’ example of what never should have happened and would not have happened under strict control.
Edita Akkerman

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