Saturday, 30 June 2012

Banking reform-the Radical Liberal alternative

A timely article in the Independent today makes the point we have been struggling to  advocate-namely that the dominant model of ownership-the plc- is central to the problems of Britain's economy.

At a time when shareholder-driven business is reeling from self inflicted wounds, mutuals – which are owned by and accountable to their customers –have been seen by many as part of the solution........... Vince Cable said last week: "The destruction of the British building society movement ... was one of the great acts of economic vandalism of modern times."

Just as we need to up our advocacy of employee owned business so we must also present an alternative model of ownership for financial institutions. Both require us to democratise the plc structure. The Liberal Party used to argue for such a reform of company law. It is long over due. I'm sure hedge funds and other city folk would resist it and no doubt fund pamphlets to rubbish the idea. Nevertheless even the 'lite' German version of co-determination is more radical than anything advocated in mainstream politics and it is not unconnected with the success

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