Global banking now

A note from the editor

David Ransom

Day of the zombies - banking laid bare

I’m not sure why I was trying to clear cat fur from under a bed, but as I did so I came across a packet of postcards I sent to my parents as a very young man. Almost all of them referred to money – or, rather, my lack of it. Oh, the humiliations of youth! In this respect, I fear nothing much changed thereafter – the craft of making money, let alone making money out of money, has proved not to be one of my talents. Maybe it’s just as well that some people have such a talent, but experience suggests to me that they are in a very small minority – and I can’t for the life of me see why it qualifies them to rule the world. Given that it does, I’m not entirely surprised to find the cause of the great banking meltdown morphing into its cure, or professional politicians coming to surpass bankers in their unpopularity.

Ask yourself how people fined $300 billion for malpractice can also make $1 trillion in profits, and there you have the current state of banking laid bare. In their utter foolishness, bankers may even have come to relish the blood sport of banker-bashing because it serves merely to underline its own futility, like bleating on about climate change. But, to my mind, the conflict between money and democracy has only just begun in earnest and for real.

Lithuania doesn’t often get coverage in our pages, but this month Daiva Repec˘kaite˙ reports on the growing interest in militarism in a country that is closely monitoring the conflict in Ukraine. And regular cartoonist Polyp offers a witty but sobering one-page Big Bad World which will ring true for all, parents or not.

David Ransom for the New Internationalist co-operative.
www.newint.org

Keynote article.

Under the influence: a protester makes his feelings felt during demonstrations in Hong Kong, October 2014.

Under the influence: a protester makes his feelings felt during demonstrations in Hong Kong, October 2014.

Photo: Getty/Bloomberg/Brent Lewin

The big bank boondoggle*

Big private banks have been resurrected by the crisis they caused, says David Ransom.

Buy this magazine

*Boondoggle: ‘a project that is considered a useless waste of both time and money, yet is often continued due to extraneous policy or political motivations.’ Wikipedia 

Brief though the episode was, between late 1968 and early 1970 I was a trainee banker. A class of callow youths (all white males) gathered in the City of London to be mentored by a retired manager out of Tierra del Fuego. We probed the elusive mysteries of double-entry...




Features.

Banks - the facts

The megabanks and the mega-bonuses... facts and figures you should know.

Buy this magazine

Shadow over China

Jack Rasmus reports on the world's creditor, increasingly engulfed by 'shadow' banks.

Buy this magazine

Rachel's rocket and the risk factory

A cautionary tale, illustrated by Kate Charlesworth.

Buy this magazine

Ian Taplin.

Too big to jail

Whistleblower Ian Taplin wonders what became of the rule of law.

Buy this magazine

Deflating TTIP: Friends of the Earth inflate a Trojan Horse outside European Union headquarters in Brussels.

Tipping the TTIP

The financial lobby plugging the latest free-trade deal, discussed with Kenneth Haar.

Buy this magazine

Robber banking baron: Ricardo Salgado, former chief executive of collapsed Banco Espirito Santo. The poster in Lisbon, Portugal, says: ‘It’s hard to be a banker these days.’

Getting away with murder

Susan George tells a story that's beyond belief.

Buy this magazine

Action on banks - what you can do

How to get involved... and some inspiration from Spain.

Buy this magazine

Stepping up: Lithuanian youngsters are being encouraged to regard defence as a responsibility.

War nerves

Daiva Repečkaitė reports on the rise of all things military in Lithuanian society.

Buy this magazine

Sarvaja’s husband was shot in 1996. She still does not know who killed him.

In the land of widows

For the women left behind in Kashmir's border villages, life has its own challenges, as Sofi Lundin discovers.

Buy this magazine

Opinion.

Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush – keen to get their feet under the Oval Office table.

Can the world endure another Bush - or Clinton?

Mark Engler is not inspired by family dynasties ruling over the nation.

Buy this magazine

Don't write in the profit margins

Children should be allowed to be children, not taught to 'turn over a profit', argues Steve Parry.

Buy this magazine

Agenda.

Not on our land: Nicaraguan farmers protest against the proposed canal.

Canal controversy in Nicaragua

Bryan Kay on a possibly calamitous plan.

Buy this magazine

Leviathan challenged

Leviathan challenged

Opposition to an Israeli gas-export deal is growing, reports Juman Asmail.

Buy this magazine

20 years ago...

Chris Brazier looks back at our May 1995 issue.

Buy this magazine

Violence flares in West Papua

Violence flares in West Papua

Harry Jenkinson reports on an ongoing struggle for independence.

Buy this magazine

Girls get radical in the United States

Girls get radical in the United States

Lydia James talks to a young girls' group with a difference.

Buy this magazine

Arvind Kejriwal.

Introducing... Arvind Kejriwal

Richard Swift on what you need to know about the Delhi State election winner.

Buy this magazine

Mourners remember Avijit Roy, murdered in March. Just weeks later, Washiqur Rahman, a blogger known for his atheist views, was also killed in Dhaka.

Bangladesh: a death allowed

Shahidul Alam laments a culture of impunity.

Buy this magazine

Paranoid empire

Paranoid empire

Nathalie Olah considers Europe's fortress mentality in relation to migrants.

Buy this magazine

Dancing with big oil

Dancing with big oil

Ximena S Warnaars reports on an unprecedented agreement in Peru.

Buy this magazine

Life-saving rats

Life-saving rats

Invaluable mine-clearers - who'd have thought?

Buy this magazine

Reasons to be cheerful

Good news on fracking, FARC and femicide.

Buy this magazine

Regulars.

Letters

Praise, blame and all points in between? Your feedback published in the May 2015 magazine.

Read this article

The sultan and I

The role and influence of traditional leaders is often underestimated by international agencies, writes Ruby Diamonde.

Buy this magazine

Marina, nine months pregnant with her third child, is on her way home from tending her crops near the village of Yapleu in the west of the country.

Country profile: Côte D'Ivoire

Tom Sykes considers a west African country full of contradictions.

Buy this magazine

Big Bad World - Gaia and her children

Gaia laments her children’s shortsightedness in a one-page cartoon special from Polyp.

Read this article

Open Window - Terrorism and Islam

Jehad Hawrtani from Jordan with ‘Terrorism and Islam’.

Buy this magazine

A word with Peter Tatchell

The human rights activist has seen - and suffered - a lot in his decades of campaigning. But, he tells Cristiana Moisescu, he still believes in forgiveness.

Buy this magazine

Film, Book & Music Reviews.

Supple and incisive – Thea Gilmore on Ghosts and Graffiti

Mixed media: music reviews

New releases from Thea Gilmore and Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld, reviewed by Louise Gray.

Buy this magazine

Mixed media: book reviews

Books by Alejandro Zambra, Mel Evans, Hamid Dabashi and Johann Hari.

Buy this magazine

Lust, curiosity and some dark comedy in Carol  Morley's The Falling.

Mixed media: film reviews

Phoenix and The Falling reviewed by Malcolm Lewis.

Buy this magazine

Back