Policy Research in Macroeconomics

Banks inquiry – our e-petition now 10,000 strong

13.00 hrs Sunday 1st July Screenshot from the government’s e-petititions website:


Just after noon today the 10,000th person signed our e-petition [click here to sign] for an independent judicial inquiry into the banks’ misdeeds and ethics, and into the role of the British Bankers Association (BBA).  Our hearfelt thanks to all who have supported this initiative, which has undoubtedly had an impact on the political scene.

The government still seems unwilling to have such an inquiry – we wonder why, surely no hidden links nor cosy horseplay there!

We are pleased that Ed Miliband has come out in favour of a “full, open and independent inquiry” – but we insist that it must like Leveson be a judicial inquiry with the power to compel witnesses and get all forms of evidence.

But his main answer seems to be – a new Code of Conduct for Bankers.  And Ed, sorry, but that is far, far short of what is needed for and by the British people. We need far more, far deeper change.

There are however several strong points in his speech to the Fabian Society, available here on the BBC news website, and we especially agree that:

“We won’t tolerate the establishment closing ranks and saying we don’t need an inquiry.”

Prime is looking to bring to justice those in the financial industry (we exclude the word ‘services’ as an oxymoron) who have long felt they are above the criminal or even civil law, and to bring about cultural change in the UK’s banks.  But important as these goals are, we need to go further, and use the spotlight thrown by a truly independent inquiry into the finance sector’s “dark corners” as a major contribution to a more fundamental rethink of our whole political economy.

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