Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beyond Window Dressing

I just finished reading Jon Kelly's piece for BBC News Magazine, "The High Street bank re-imagined;" and it is a true tribute to the difficulty of out-of-the-box thinking. Kelly has followed in the tradition established by G20 thinking when it comes to perpetuating the status quo in the face of alternative models that threaten to undermine, if not eliminate, that status quo. The most substantive of those models is, of course, the Grameen model founded by Muhammad Yunus, which cares more about the relationship between banks and the societies they are supposed to serve than about profit-making institutions that are beholden to both shareholders and governments that reap taxes from those profits. Kelly's piece never goes beyond reflecting the opinions of High Street bankers, which means that it never addresses anything more than window dressing. If High Street cannot see the extent to which the very nature of its institutions is the fundamental problem of economic crisis, can we expect any better insight from Wall Street?

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