Cartels usually don't work for very long
Banking is a cartel, and an incredibly succesful one at that.
This success creates a problem - there are vast profits for anyone who breaks the cartel. Not being stupid, cartel members know this and there are usually severe penalties for anyone who breaks ranks. This makes the cartel even more successful, which boosts the profits of all...and makes breaking the cartel even more lucrative and likely.
This is how all cartels ultimately end. From within, from a lack of trust between their own members and profit seeking for risk takers within the cartel itself. Banking is also an immoral (though not illegal) and more crucially hidden cartel and this throws up it's own dilemmas and challenges.
Bankers revealed will be bankers reviled...
As the famous manufacturer Henry Ford noted, ""It is well that the people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning." This means that publicity is to be shunned by the bankers and this has been useful to an increasing number of people. Bankers don't want public discussion about what they do and this means staying out of courtrooms when central issues are raised.
There is a small but growing band of chancers, moralists, legal investigators, desperate debtors, flim flam artists, libertarians and others who are all leading a quiet and virtually hidden war against the bankers while they try to get their "debts" repaid. Knowledge is power, but so is ignorance. (Clued up "borrowers" are a tiny but potentially lethal threat to the bankers, more about which in future blogs.) They are, as far as I can tell, split between people who want something for nothing and people who want the bankers to stop getting something for nothing from everyone else and the plain desperate who are trying anything to get the debt monkey off their backs.
Put simply, if you understand how banking works and can ask the right questions the bankers will struggle to collect any "debts."
Problems with the other members of the triumvirate
The triumvirate as I noted in the first blog is workmaster, taxman and banker. They don't always get along. The workmaster might have no productive work for people to do, the taxman or workmaster might be limited in what they can demand or the workmaster/taxman can get greedy and not share profits with the banker. Any one of the three can promise things the others can't deliver.
One of the three can be replaced with someone who doesn't like the deal. No good being a banker if a Stalin or a Hitler arrives - they are going to just order people about at gunpoint directly. This never lasts long but the bankers have to watch for it. The workmaster might find work so productive for people to do that they build up surpluses, which means they can't be ordered around as easily. How these people behave is crucial -
The threat of a good example
I haven't explicitly said it so far in the blog as I can recall but it's worth saying it again even if I have - there is no need for the current system of taxes, banking and the workmaster. People have their own abilities, dreams, motivations and ideas. The middle class* is a shining example of people who freely trade, don't rob each other directly or by fraud, work for what they have and most importantly work with each other voluntarily.
That the vast bulk of people perform win/win trading with each other on a daily basis and do not act as the taxman or banker do and would be horrified at the idea is a great hidden truth. Much work is being done to make sure it stays hidden - compulsory schooling, slanted media, limited public "debate" of issues, advertising and all the tools of modern persuasion are employed to hide the simple fact that alternatives are available and are being used every day. That our current way of life is the only way of life is the message and it's broadcast 24/7/365
What we can see is that whenever a geographical region starts to act along these lines without a banker/taxman/workmaster paradigm, it is swiftly invaded one way or another and brought to heel. Whether this is a South American country, a failed ex-soviet state or a field full of hippies they will be there before very long, ready to impose their way of life. This is as much self defence as greed. If control slips for too long anywhere, it might never come back, for example -
Anything can be a medium of exchange. Anything at all. This is a problem because if you want to mandate a medium of exchange, you had better make sure that as many people as possible are using it. The emergence of an alternative is anathema to the bankers. They hate and love gold for this very reason. It's a spectre of a time when they were limited in their power to create money and command the economy.
Ebay has been investigated by the taxmen just in case one good became a medium of exchange on there, E-Gold and others have been raided and put out of business, safe deposit boxes stolen by the taxman etc and this will continue until either the banker empire collapses or people wake up.
Detachment from reality
This is just a general problem with power, status and money but it definitely applies to bankers. Too much power alienates a person from realities that others take for granted, such as paying attention to the needs and wants of others, empathy and sympathy. Take this quote from Lawrence Summers, who worked at the world bank -
.....developed countries ought to export more pollution to developing countries because these countries would incur the lowest cost from the pollution in terms of lost wages of people made ill or killed by the pollution due to the fact that wages are so low in developing countries…the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. **
That the people he is talking about might realise who is hurting them and (for example) fly a plane into his office sometime obviously hasn't occured to him. Empathy and sympathy are useful tools for humans for self preservation, if nothing else. Our current crop of banker overlords think that "perception is reality" which makes sense, given that they are conmen.
The problem with this is that reality is reality and perception always bows to it in the final analysis. A lot of damage can be done while "managing perceptions" before that moment comes. This will almost certainly be the ultimate end of the banking empire - drowned in it's own crapulence.
*Please forgive the generalised terms, I realise that individual people move in and out of this or that band of humanity all the time but it's a useful lie I like to use as illustration so I lump them all together this way.
**Quote found on this article - http://www.financialsense.com/fsu/editorials/schoon/2008/0825.html