"CBA: We put profit ahead of people", was the headline emblazoned on the front page of the November 20 Sydney Morning Herald. The paper was reporting on the first day of the final round of hearings of the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, in which the CEOs of the Big Four banks were being grilled about the banking scandals that have outraged the Australian community over the past year.
The interim report of Royal Commissioner Kenneth Hayne on the crimes and greed of the Big Four banks underlines the urgent need to radically overhaul the banking and financial system.
There has been ongoing reporting of individual instances of bank malpractice and occasional reporting of large scale institutionalised malpractice. Reporting of the banking royal commission hearings has quickened the pace. But nobody, including the media, joins the dots: the key financial institutions are structurally given to corrupt practices, writes Evan Jones.
The Finance Sector Union has slammed a plan to "embed" financial regulatory agency officers inside the Big Four banks and the financial management giant AMP. The FSU says that officers from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), which has been criticised for being “too close to the banks”, would be unable to penetrate the unethical internal culture of the banks.
As the United States’ largest corporations continue their unprecedented stock buyback spree in the wake of President Donald Trump’s US$1.5 trillion tax cut, new government data published on May 22 shows that US banks are also smashing records thanks to the Republican tax law. They raked in $56 billion in net profits during the first quarter of 2018 — an all-time high.
The New Year is in full swing, and if there is one thing I am really looking forward to in 2018, it is the long overdue introduction of “rank socialism” in this nation.
This appears to be on the agenda to go by the dark warnings offered up last year by former prime minister, jogger and war-criminal-at-large John Howard on the matter of a royal commission into the banking sector.