Banking, Foreign Aid and Pensions.

OK you grubby little Englanders. It is Saturday night. Let us put the world to rights. Or at least, let us think about how to fix a few things that desperately need attention. So tonight....

Putting the world to rights involves doing three things:

1. Screwing over the disgustingly greedy bankers.
2. Ensuring foreign aid actually goes to decent people not tyrants and despots
3. Making sure that those who invest in a pension actually get one.

Here is a short discourse on the way it is, what needs fixing, and the way it could be.

The way it is:

The obscenity of the banking scandal continues. The banking wide boys reward themselves with outrageous bonuses while waving two fingers to the rest of us. The banks charge loan shark rates to borrowers while rewarding savers with a pittance. Businesses needing working capital can go to hell.

Foreign Aid
The governement grotesquely announces that it wants to be an aid "super-power". It shovels more and more money abroad in a grandiose attempt buy itself friends and importance on the world stage.  Massive amounts of the aid money ends up supporting the tyrants and bigots who brutalise much of the third world. The decent people of the third world who need a hand up (not a hand out) get the table scrapings, if they are lucky.

The self same banks, also peddle dodgy pensions. Though they make their financial advisors and associates millions, they leave the suckers drawn into their schemes on a sure course to a poverty ridden old age.

So how can this be fixed?

Basically, as stated at the start, we need to:

1. Screw over the bankers.
2. Ensure that foreign aid goes to decent people not tyrants.
3. Ensure that people who invest in a pension actually get a decent return.

So here is a suggestion. Naive it may be. Even unworkable - maybe.

But I hope you find it interesting,

The way it could be.

Instead of trusting the untrustwothy bankers, pension savers would commit (say) a portion of their pension to micro-finance initiatives. This could include foreign aid initiatives like those run by Kiva. Through organisations like  Kiva, this money gets lent out directly to the ordinary decent people in the third world. Of course lending like this, although relatively safe, gives a poor or nil financial return.

This is where the foreign aid budget comes in. Instead of just funding ugly despots, the foreign aid budget could provide a return to the pension saver for the loan. This would amount to perhaps 5% of the loaned amount. It would ensure that foreign aid actually supported decent people rather than the ugly despots. It would mean individuals would take responsibility for helping the poor of the world, not some government quango. Meanwhile their government would take responsibility for ensuring that pension funds, honestly saved, get a decent return, At the same time, they could massively reduce the corrupt foreign aid budget.

But there are losers:

1. The ugly despots who find they cannot now affords a new golden 500 series Mercedes every six months. Or some new electric whips for their secret police.

2. The bankers who suddenly find out that their slush funds have vanished and their bonuses are in jeopardy.

Anyone grieving for the losers?

...Thought not.

p.s. If you are wondering "What about investing in UK industry?" ... see one of my next posts

No comments: