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In this section of Global Fix we present the draft made by the members of FixGov, discussing money and financial institutions.

The values we endorse are: power sharing, accountability, control by the people, social justice, responsibility.










original proposal: Richard Stimson >>>
























































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The draft of FixGov.

This chapter asserts that control of the world's finances by major banks and corporations, in league with the International Monetary Fund, must be broken. The IMF acts to protect banks and speculators from losses due to bad judgment, while pressuring borrowing governments to take actions that favor penetration by multinational corporations and curtailment of government protections for its citizens. Also considered are concentration of financial power, mismeasurement of GDP, and the merits of local currencies.

1. Control of the world's finances by major banks and corporations, in league with the International Monetary Fund, must be broken. The IMF acts to protect banks and speculators from losses due to bad judgment, while pressuring borrowing governments to take actions that favor penetration by multinational corporations and curtailment of government protections for its citizens.

2. Any international organizations such as IMF, the World Bank, and various regional development agencies that make grants or loans to assist nations in financial crises should not be under the exclusive control of bankers; they should be responsible and accountable to elected representatives of the world's people. The agents of major banks and corporations tend to do what is in their own interest rather than that of the affected populations.

3. No such organizations should be allowed to operate in secret, and they should be required to consult with non-governmental organizations; otherwise, conditions imposed on recipients may have onerous consequences that are unknown to the public until too late.

4. These international organizations must not require any nation, as a condition of aid, to curtail any services or protections it affords its people, or to sell off any government operations to private companies. There have been past instances when well-run government operations were forcibly privatized with resulting price increases, loss of employment and/or damage to the environment.

5. Nor should these agencies require recipients to charge fees for children to attend school and for people to access basic health services. User fees for education discourage school attendance and user fees for health services lead to preventable death and disease.

6. These international organizations must also not require actions that favor penetration by multinational corporations in preference to local economic activity. Such actions have often deprived inhabitants of their traditional use of land and forced them to seek a living in the cities after they were driven off their land by armed forces or by poisoning of their streams with industrial waste, such as cyanide used in gold mining.

7. The "neo-liberal" economic approach that permeates these agencies must be overcome; the attitude of their bankers and multinational corporate allies places greater importance on rights of banks and corporations than on the liberties and economic welfare of the population.

8. Competition must be restored to the financial world by breaking the grip of monopolistic chains of banks, stock brokers, and insurance companies that have crowded out independent entities and formed dangerous financial corporations across national and functional boundaries. In recent years these chains have grown, not mainly by providing better service to customers, but through mergers and acquisitions contrary to the intent of antitrust laws in various nations. The US Congress, after receiving many favors and contributions from financial firms, repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 and allowed banks again to sell financial securities and insurance.

9. Local mediums of exchange should be encouraged to reduce dependence on national currencies, international bankers, and manipulated exchange rates. Scrip not issued by governments or banks has been successfully introduced in some localities, including LETS (Local Employment Trading Scheme).

10. Likewise, mutual credit and barter in situations where appropriate should weaken the grip of the dominant financial institutions. New information technologies are making these arrangements more feasible.

11. Production should be measured without the errors of present Gross Domestic Product (GDP) calculations, which, among other things, ignore value produced outside the money economy, such as work in the home, and count the destruction of natural resources as production.

12. Governments and non-governmental organizations should encourage employee ownership of businesses, thus guarding against shortsighted policies of absentee ownership. Banks must not be allowed to dictate the selection of management, as is often the case at present.


13. Nations that owe crushing debt because of past international banking policies need relief from that debt. International efforts should be made to recover funds diverted from those countries by leaders who embezzled them, and new grants or loans should be offered only when conditions are met to safeguard them from misuse. A bank that lends, without precautions, to a military dictator who then absconds with the money leaving his citizenry holding the debt is a predatory lender. International predatory lending laws could absolve poor citizens from repayment of such debt.

14. Private banks and bankers, necessarily having a vested interest in monetary decisions, must not be in control of central banks; and they must not be allowed to cause widespread unemployment by raising interest rates on the pretext of inflation risk.

15. Currency should not be controlled by banks for their private profit.

16. National currencies must not be propped up by foreign exchange operations of governments or their central banks at the expense of the public. Experience has shown that such efforts have only temporary effects at great cost.

17. Instead of financing government services by taxes that are mostly imposed on productive activity, funds should be obtained by taxes and/or fees on externalized costs (pollution, health hazards, environmental damage, etc.) and financial transactions (via the Tobin tax). To prevent corporations from escaping taxation these charges should be imposed at the global level, partly financing worldwide needs and partly apportioned to member states. The benefits would be relief of existing taxes on useful work, discouragement of operations harmful to humans and the environment, and limitation of speculation in currencies and financial instruments that amounts to gambling and disrupts normal commerce.

18. The development of currencies--local, national, or worldwide--based on actual commodities rather than existing fiat money should be encouraged, along with mutual credit systems.

19. Banks should never be run for private profit, and no country should permit foreign nationals to own their banks. Banks are the public economic infrastructure like roads, rivers and airspace. Bankers should be trustees with a fiduciary duty to be devoid of self-interest and to operate banks for the benefit of the communities and nations in which they operate. Speculative uses of money should be prohibited.

20. Support and encourage the restoration of a “mixed system” in which private businesses, producer cooperatives, consumer cooperatives, and government agencies all played their part prior to the ascendancy of the “Chicago School” disciples of Milton Friedman.


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