Marxism Today


Commonwealth Bank scam of customers is a good reason to nationalise the banks

by Max O.

The recently reported fact that thousands of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) customers lost savings during the global financial crisis, between 2006 and 2010, after advisers misled them into buying risky products, fabricated documents and forged signatures, demonstrates once again the parasitic, decadent and moribund nature of capitalism.

Marx once remarked the reprehensible purpose of money: “Money is therefore not only the object but also the fountainhead of greed."

Banksters of greed
The fallout over the CBA's nefarious financial scams was brought to light by a Senate select committee report that recommended an independent inquiry into a financial planning scandal at the CBA.

It also charged the Australian Securities Investment Commission (ASIC) for being a timid corporate watchdog that failed to act over the CBA's fraudulent, forgery and financially scamming its customers millions of dollars.

The Senate committee report also made the accusation that included allegations of a cover-up and that the bank's ability to address compensation issues was compromised.

The Senate committee stated in a damming 519-page report that: "... confidence in ASIC's ability to monitor the CBA's ... compensation process is severely undermined. The CBA's credibility in the matter is so compromised that responsibility for the compensation process should be taken away from the bank." 

State backs the banksters
Whilst the Coalition government has commenced royal commissions into the former Labor government's home insulation scheme and the 'trade union corruption' allegations, it definitely shies away from an inquiry into this banking scandal.

Finance minister Mathias Cormann gave preference to Senator Bushby’s minority report and made the weasel comment, that he (Bushby) made a "very persuasive argument that yet another inquiry might not be the best way forward."

Likewise Prime Minister Abbott prevaricated stating, "We do have an inquiry into the financial governance going on now and we want to ensure that investors are as safe as they can be in a market economy."

The obvious man to head this inquiry into the banking system is the one with the biggest conflict of interest, and that is none other than David Murray, the former CEO of the CBA. 

Marx long ago argued that as capitalism concentrated wealth into the hands of the rich and impoverished the masses, it would cause economic crisis and intensify class conflict: "Accumulation of wealth at one pole is at the same time accumulation of misery, agony of toil, slavery, ignorance, brutality, mental degradation, at the opposite pole."

Falling rate of profit and economic crisis
To overcome the tendency to the fall in the rate of profit and when capital experiences crises Marx observed: " If the rate of profit falls, there follows, on the one hand, an exertion of capital in order that the individual capitalists, through improved methods, etc., may depress the value of their individual commodity below the social average value and thereby realise an extra profit at the prevailing market-price. On the other hand, there appears swindling and a general promotion of swindling by recourse to frenzied ventures with new methods of production, new investments of capital, new adventures, all for the sake of securing a shred of extra profit which is independent of the general average and rises above it."

More and more capital relies on profiteering from investing in financial instruments, such as derivatives and a plethora of other risky products to fleece money off ordinary people as oppose to accumulating profit from the process of production.

This swindling through financial speculation, often called financialization, postponed the serious economic crisis that arose in the 1980's and has now compounded the depth of our current crisis.

Looting keeps capital afloat
Whilst capitalism has so far deferred the fatal economic crisis, each crisis is getting bigger and bigger.

These flagrant instances of looting and fraud by the banking and financial system are now essential to the survival of capitalism. The old capitalist proverb that, "Money makes the world go round" should be updated to; "Illegal money stops the (capitalist) world from tipping over!"

The immorality that comes out of the financial system reflects the rottenness of the capitalist profit system.

Sooner or later the expropriators will need to be expropriated and the entire banking and financial system nationalised under people's state ownership.


Commonwealth Bank scam of customers is a good reason to nationalise the banks
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