P2P Banking

Well as you may have gathered by now, I’m gunning for the banks. In 2006 I took all 4 of my banks to court and extracted about £7.5k in fees that they had unlawfully taken from me over the years. But that’s not enough – I want to see them completely destroyed. Out of business.

Which isn’t to say that banking isn’t absolutely vital to the running of things – it is. In a way that’s part of the problem: you can’t survive in a Western society without one… and they act as a cartel, and suck blood out of our societies. They’ve been operating a type of derivative colonialism against developing nations for decades.

Anyway… sometime soon, the thing that happened to the entertainment industries is probably in some form going to happen to banks… and this is really interesting:

It ticks a lot of boxes… especially the bit at the end where he says “this brings us to a situation comparable to a small village…//… because when you’re are in a small village and you screw up, everybody knows – and this is very important… why? because you think about it, before you screw up”.

I think this concept is crucial, in all sorts of areas. It’s the way out of market-orientated management of everything from schools to hospitals to… well, everything that’s run by the government, but which is not natively well-suited to being a business.

Kiva took a bit of a broadside recently for being somewhat less than transparent about who exactly people were lending to. And someone pointed out that what this creates is not cynicism for Kiva so much as the next Kiva.

I think the interesting thing about Kiva is not that the fundamental drivers were being misrepresented, but how strong the fundamental drivers were… ie: people will help people… and the closer you get to the ‘story’ that the other person tells, the more you’re likely to help. This wasn’t about feeding random people dying in some country you couldn’t point to on a map… this was… well… a proxy for a one to one connection. What Kiva supplied in terms of “story” is incredibly thin and one-dimensional compared to what we’re capable of.

And I think this will be really big… and the social-village is a crucial part of it. That is how we self-police… we internalise the shame – the loss of reputational capital… of being caught cheating.

And I think this is how we bring down the banks. A mixture of this, and localised currencies. “Too big to fail” they said, as they stole our taxes… and then failed to break them up, so they were no longer too big to fail. Well… the solution to the banking problem is the same as the energy problem: We go off-grid.

2 Comments » for P2P Banking
  1. You handle the banks, I’ll wish away the unions. Meet you in the village square.

  2. admin says:

    The Unions? I was under the impression that organised labour was a good thing… or… at least a bottom-up confrontation of a top-down problem.

    If the union itself becomes a top-down problem, then that’s another matter I suppose… but so long as we have decisions being imposed on us from on-high, then we need to organise against them.

    My mother laments the fact that it took the unions of her and her parent’s generation decades to fight for and win a 40 hour working week… and now in the space of about 10 years it’s all gone. Trouble is, back in the day, a husband could support a whole family. Now it takes two, and they have to work stupidly long hours (NZ is worse than the US on this I think). I think we need more organisation of labour, not less. “The Market” is literally running people into the ground.

    That said, my brother is in the Movie Biz… and is not convinced that the unionisation of the US industry is terribly beneficial – gives people a “can’t do” attitude he reckons… and is partly to do with his appraisal of the whole industry basically being a shredder on top of a toilet, which is on permanent flush… and money is fed in the top.