When I consider the likelihood that, after crashing the world economy, the banks might actually be boosting their profits from the devastation, it sickens me. They not only make profits from bailouts; they will continue raking it in from increased borrowing during a long recovery. It is EXACTLY like the way the military/industrial complex supplies weapons to other countries, facilitating conflicts, so that the U.S. eventually feels we need to intervene; and then the profiteering arms dealers make profits from all sides.
I woke in the middle of the night last Friday with this in mind, but the seeds of an answer accompanied it. Maybe it was because it was the combination of Good Friday and the first day of passover, but I remembered a bit of the law Moses brought down from mount Sinai that is now recorded in Leviticus 25. It is the law about the year of jubilee. Simply put, in ancient Israel all debts were based on the fact that all property reverted to its original owner on every 50th year. What that means is that, with only a few exceptions, debts did not extend beyond the year of jubilee, so basically everyone debts returned to zero during that year.
I understand that this is not exactly the same, and that we could not now adopt this policy exactly, nor should we. In Israel they started out by evenly dividing the land among families, so reverting to that division every 50 years would be fair, but we would be starting with an extremely unfair distribution caused by centuries of exploitation. But we might consider the basic concept as a possible answer to healing the world economy, preventing the banksters profiting from the disaster, and minimizing the grip the banks have on us all. Just what would happen if most countries simply agreed to cancel all debts to banks and between nations? Individual loans between individuals might likely remain out of fairness, but the bankers would finally have to bear the cost of their greed and foolishness. And then all agreeing nations could write into law limits on interest, and the modified concept of the year of jubilee where everyone's debts would be eliminated every so many years.
And before someone else says it, I know that bankers would devise other methods of exploitation. What we need to always keep in mind though is that our banking laws must always be written with the necessity of governments staying in control of the system and never ceding that control to the banks. I intend this thread to be nothing more than a starting point. I would invite all the aggregate wisdom collected in the members of this board to build on this foundation in order to develop a comprehensive plan.
-- Thomas Jefferson