Earlier this year, US and European banks — the ones that were too big to fail — settled US$18 billion worth of fines with regulators. These fines were for money laundering activities, breaching sanctions violations, and manipulating the Libor (London interbank offered rate). The Libor is used to set interest rates on about US$800 trillion of borrowings and derivative contracts.
government bail-out of banks
US gangster Al Capone once said: “Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling class.” 19th century US president Thomas Jefferson said: “Banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” These quotes capture the bastard nature of the dangerous racket that is the Australian banking cartel. See also: Socialist candidate says fight private bank ripoffs
Nurses in Victoria are being threatened with an Alan Joyce-style lockout because they have campaigned for a modest 3.5% pay rise (just to keep up with the rising cost of living), superannuation and overtime improvements, and keeping patient-to-nurse ratios. Australia’s four big banks, meanwhile, have announced a combined annual profit of $24.4 billion, up 12% from $21.7 billion a year ago. This speaks volumes about the grossly distorted priorities in our society.
Westpac was the last of the big four banks in Australia to announce its annual profit. It made the biggest — a whopping $6.3 billion, 84% higher than 2008-09. The Commonwealth Bank made the second biggest profit this year, $6.1 billion (up 42%). It was also the first bank to announce it would raise its interest rates for home mortgages more than the latest Reserve Bank interest rate rise. ANZ made $5 billion (up 53%) and NAB $4.6 billion (up 63%). The big four made a total profit of $23 billion.
On October 20, thousands of students and workers marched on Downing Street in London to protest against the savage cuts in social spending announced by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government, Counterfire.org reported that day. The protest was organised by the Coalition of Resistance, Camden Trades Council and the People’s Charter. The cuts in public spending announced by British chancellor George Osborne that day amount to 81 billion pounds.