FT Alphaville last night chaired a discussion on “Socially Useful Banking“, and the key speaker was the Bank of England’s now world famous executive director for financial stability, Andy Haldane. FT Alphaville has provided a long summary of the event, which I wish I’d been able to attend. His speech is here, and the FTA summary contains a number of newspaper headlines, which speak (loudly) for themselves (I have added a couple of my own).
- BoE’s Haldane says Occupy was right – FT
- BOE’s Haldane Tells Occupy Libor Furor Prompted Change – Bloomberg
- Bank of England’s Andrew Haldane: Occupy played key role – BBC
- Occupy protesters who camped at St Paul’s Cathedral were morally right to attack financial system, says Bank of England official – Daily Mail
- Occupy protesters were right, says Bank of England official – The Telegraph
- Bank of England official: Occupy Movement right about global recession – The Guardian
- UK banks begin to turn over new leaf – BoE’s Haldane – Reuters
- Top Bank of England director admits Occupy movement had a point – The Independent
- Too much banking can be a bad thing – Evening Standard. And much more on this subject, fairly soon. Watch this space.
In response to the critics of Occupy, he said:
Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines.
Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right.
By this I do not just mean right in a moral sense. . . . it is the analytical, every bit as much as the moral, ground that Occupy has taken.”
Haldane went on to point out that most financial sector workers in the UK – and there are a lot of them – aren’t to blame for what went wrong; the problem, essentially, is systemic. But he said that Occupy helped prompt a “reformation of finance” that is in its early stages, and proposals to change banking may amount to the biggest change since the 1930s.
I hope he is right about that. There is still a very, very long way to go.
Haldane’s speech is here. It will be pored over, for years to come.
And I enjoyed my own work with Occupy, too.