I’m watching The Colbert Report on ABC2 and listening to Eugene Jarecki get very passionate about how we should shun the larger banks in favour of community banks. In fairness to him, his argument is specifically about the USian banking system and the problems with their financial sector are complex and diverse.
In Australia, we have a different question facing us: is our current banking system doing what we want it to do? Over on The Drum, Patrick McConnell has argued that the Four Pillar system we have here won’t meet our future expectations and so we should dismantle the current system with a national bank. The idea is that we don’t need the physical infrastructure necessary to banking establishments of the past. Instead, the national bank could be mostly web-based, supplemented with light support from the Australia Post offices already scattered across the country.
It’s not a bad idea.
The government took up the opportunity of the Silly Season to announce that they were going to create one stop shops for client service offices (like Medicare and Centrelink). Provided they adjust the infrastructure to cope with the increased traffick for those offices, this is a brilliant idea. It also provides an excellent framework into which you could add a nationalised banking system. Instead of taxing the already stretched post system, McConnell’s idea would find a much better home in these one stop shops.