Category Archives: Australian Bankers Association
The federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter on June 25 introduced a private member’s bill into the Australian Parliament to protect the economy and bank customers from dangerous financial speculation and predatory banking.
The Banking System Reform (Separation of Banks) Bill 2018 is based on the USA’s successful Glass-Steagall Act. It will separate Australia’s commercial banks, which hold deposits, from risky investment banking, as well as other financial services that Australia’s banks have acquired in recent decades, including insurance, superannuation, wealth management, and stock broking.
The ongoing Financial Services Royal Commission, which Bob Katter led the political fight to establish, has laid bare the predatory banking practices that the bill will end. The revelations from the royal commission have been so dramatic that it has attracted global attention, and kindled fear in the City of London that Australia’s inquiry could lead to a renewed push to break up Britain’s too-big-to-fail banks.
Katter excoriated Australian banking in a passionate speech introducing his bill. “The situation in Australia is ugly and it is evil”, he said, “and this legislation is needed to overcome those problems and what effectively it says is—‘Mr Banks you are no longer out there in the market, in the arena buying and selling. Your job is to loan to people that buy and sell, develop and invest. You don’t do that, you judge them.’”
Aside from the conflicts of interests in banking, Katter’s chief concern in moving Glass-Steagall is for the looming financial crisis arising from the banks’ speculation in real estate and derivatives. He identified the reckless speculation threatening the financial system today was also the cause of the 1929 crash, which led to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1933.
“What we’re talking about here is derivatives: when you don’t buy a loaf of bread; you buy a contract to buy a loaf of bread”, he said. “That is what we call a derivative.
“Glass-Steagall came in and it overcame the vast bulk of those problems so that the American economy ran fairly effectively, making it three, four, five times the size of any other economy on earth, until Mr Bill Clinton, ‘Mr Free Markets’ himself. … In 1999, he abolished the Glass-Steagall Act. Within two years, the dot-com collapse occurred, taking down trillions of dollars of savings, superannuation and retirement moneys of Americans and the rest of the world, and in 2008, as we’re all familiar with, came the GFC.
“Clearly, that timeline indicates the necessity for Glass-Steagall legislation in this place.”
The most immediate danger for Australia, Katter emphasised, is from the bubble in the real estate market.
“The housing boom in Australia today—does anyone seriously think that we are not sitting on the brink of disaster?” he warned. “A quarter of Australia’s population, maybe a third, live in Newcastle, Sydney and Wollongong. The average price of a house is over $800,000. That means that 50 per cent of the houses are over that value. Yet the average income for an Australian after tax is about 50 grand a year [$50,000]. So how are they going to make the repayments on a house? And yet they’re buying houses. The banks are financing them. The banks make money when you go broke and they sell the house out from under you. They don’t lose money; they make money out of what has occurred. They should be held responsible.
“I would love to be in a business that is guaranteed by the government”, he continued. “If I buy a corner store and I know that, if I go broke, the government’s going to give me the money, everyone will be buying corner stores in Australia. They are given this, but there is no responsibility placed upon their shoulders to act in a prudential manner.”
Katter singled out the team of people responsible for organising the bill, including Robert Barwick, Dr Wilson Sy, and Bob Butler. Sy is the former principal researcher at bank regulator APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority). Barwick and Butler are representatives of the Citizens Electoral Council, which has led a nine-year campaign to get Glass-Steagall legislation enacted in Australia.
It is significant that on the same day as Bob Katter introduced his bill, Australia’s biggest bank CBA announced it was demerging from its wealth management businesses, as if to send the message that Glass-Steagall legislation is unnecessary because the banks are doing it voluntarily. On closer examination, however, CBA is not completely demerging from other services, and along with the other big banks it is continuing to speculate in dangerous derivatives and other forms of financial gambling. Only a strict Glass-Steagall law will end these practices, which is the intention of the Katter bill.
As a private member’s bill, Katter’s Separation of Banks Bill 2018 will only be debated if a majority of members of parliament agree to do so, which will require the support of one or the other major party. Ordinarily, the governing Liberal Party would be expected to protect the banks, but many Liberal politicians are shocked by the revelations of the royal commission and are concerned about a financial crash. And what about the Labor Party—will it block or delay Glass-Steagall the way it blocked the banking royal commission for six years, or return to its roots as champions of working people against the Money Power? It will be up to the Australian people to demand the major parties stop protecting the banks, and allow a debate and vote on Glass-Steagall.
Source: A Current Affair
Central Queensland cattle farmer Debbie Viney claims her bank manager told her he would take his own life if he were in her shoes, in the middle of one of the worst droughts in Australian history.
Ms Viney said she met Rabobank executive Peter Stevens at a farm show six years ago, where he told her he could give her a cheaper mortgage than the one she had.
She took him at his word and switched to Rabobank, a multinational bank that specialises in loans to farmers across the world.
Federal Queensland MP Bob Katter said Australia had “the most unprofessional, unrestricted free banking”.
He said mental health issues were a vital issue in rural Australia.
“There’s a farmer committing suicide every four days in this country,” he said.
by Gil Hanrahan
The State Government had secret plans to create a city of 60,000 people at Port Stewart, along the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, east of the township of Coen, according to a deep-state ALP source.
It also planned to mine much of Cape York, in deference to demands by the Greens and conservation bodies to nominate the Peninsula for World Heritage.
In 2003 the World Bank chartered a specially equipped aircraft from the US to survey a vast area north from Townsville to the Torres Strait for all valuable natural resources which included minerals and timber.
Subsequent research by former Senator Len Harris’ Mareeba office revealed the survey had calculated the value of Far North Queensland mineral reserves to be in the vicinity of half a trillion US dollars.
Another plan according to Traditional Owners is to kick-start the National Party-era space station at former cattle properties Bromley and Shelburne Bay, on the east coast.
Indigenous inhabitants of Cape York however, have no knowledge of former Premier Anna Bligh’s secret city plan, believed to be devised in conjunction with Rothschild Bank as principal mortgagee of Queensland Incorporated.
The ALP source said the Cabinet in 2010 had proposed to turn Cape York Peninsula into “one big coal seam gas field.”
A new city built on the old Port Stewart site presumably would be the base for the intended mining fields to the west.
Such a proposition would revile the eco-terrorists of the Greens, World Wildlife Fund and the more sedate Australian Conservation Foundation. These pseudo-conservation bodies have been propping up the ALP for decades.
The Labor Party does not have much option with Rothschild Bank to which it owes at best estimates $60 billion, having it origins with the Goss government of 25 years ago.
Premiers Beattie and Bligh were quick to jump onto the bank bandwagon, reportedly from which they received millions of dollars in fees. Indeed who would have thought the former, incapable Labor Premier Bligh would have made it to the position of CEO for the nefarious Australian Bankers Association?
Depopulation of the Peninsula continues under the Labor Government as indigenous people are pushed from their traditional home lands with dodgy deals done by the Environment and Natural Resources Departments preventing traditional owner groups from utilising their vast cattle properties.
Only a few cattle properties remain after others have been either purchased or resumed by the State Government ostensibly to hand back to Traditional Owners.
Most white ownership has already gone.
The government cunningly selects an appropriate representative of an indigenous Prescribed Body Corporation to negotiate hand-over conditions, mostly not in favour of indigenous beneficiaries.
After the deal has been done, as in the case of the Olkola PBC, the group discovered the government had pulled a swifty by handing over five former viable, destocked cattle properties totalling 633,630 hectares or 1,565,066 acres of which only a fraction could be utilised for grazing cattle. The five properties once carried a total herd of 14,000 head.
A large portion of the holdings had been gazetted as national park, nature reserve or environmental research.
The Peninsula’s 15 PBC’s have less control over so-called Aboriginal freehold than they did with DOGIT or native title parcels.
Thus the government calls the shots when it comes to land use, in particular mining which can occur with all titles.
Shelburne Bay silica reserves
An indigenous group, the Wuthati clan, reputedly a front for Cape York Partnerships founder Noel Pearson, in the Federal Court two years ago was handed native title over Shelburne Bay Pastoral Holding and its silica sand deposits, the largest and purest deposit in the world with an estimated value of more than $3 billion.
The inaccessible Shelburne Bay lies 150 klm south of the Tip of Cape York nestled in along the eastern coastline and is a favourite haunt for illegal dugong and turtle fishermen.
The silica sand dunes extend 100 klm south from the bay.
Twenty years ago a prominent politician was accused of trafficking valuable parrots and other birdlife from a helipad near the towering dunes.
According to documents filed in the Federal Court in 2016 by another TO group which opposed the claim, the Wuthati totem is a stingray and there are no living persons with an attachment to the land.
Former owners of Shelburne Bay, Dal and Eileen Nixon maintained their research, beginning in the 1960’s when the family took up the lease, found there were no living people with any connection to Shelburne Bay or were there any traceable descendants of the traditional people from the area.
As a Native Title researcher for Agforce the late Mrs Nixon proved there was only one possible legitimate living claimant to her 1 million acre grazing lease, which was resumed by the notorious Labor Government of Peter Beattie in 2003.
At the time she said the only living, legitimate claimant could have been her former long-time employee, Meun Lifu, now the senior TO of Yadaikana Tribal Council of Elders at Cowal Creek.
An examination of the board members for Cape York Partnerships reveals the line-up resembles any bank board in Australia.
A number of CYP board members have bank connections including Westpac, National Bank of Australia, various merchant banks, a Secretary of the Department of Treasury, Macquarie Bank, a former private Secretary to the infamous PM Bob Hawke, P&O Cruiseships, Bank of Melbourne (owned by the Jewish fraternity), ANZ, an advisor to the nearby ALP sanctuary of Wattle Hill holding, mining contractors, a Wik representative, Aboriginal company Bama Services and not forgetting the lawyers.
This avaricious mob will have its corporate fingers well into any future development of the vast silica reserve.
If the Labor Government, pushed by the banks to repay principal and not just interest on its published, actual debt of at least $115 billion, has the political will to mine the scattered, known, substantial coal gas reserves on Cape York then it can do just that.
Some TO’s believe the reason for Cape York Land Council and CYP pursuing the disputed Number 1 Claim over all unclaimed or unallocated land on Cape York is the final part of the jigsaw to allow large-scale mining of the Peninsula.
The widely disputed Number 1 claim also will enable the State Government to nominate parts of the Peninsula for World Heritage in an effort to appease the by now, frothing-at-the-mouth spokesmen for conservation bodies.
Another Cairns ALP source said the recently announced $2.4 billion agricultural project for Cape York community Aurukun would not ever occur under the present State Government.
However it could be utilised in the future to feed the population of the proposed new City at Port Stewart.
Mining giant BHP at present is trawling among the multitude of indigenous groups, committees, PBC’s and NGO’s servicing the Peninsula, offering vast riches for ‘worthwhile’ indigenous community projects.
A line-up of Cape York Partnerships board members: