Category Archives: Politics & Government

Struggling Banks – Time To Nationalise Them?

Some retail banks have been complaining that they struggle to make a profit, even going so far as to keep the bail-out money during the worst of the 2008 economic crisis instead of lending it out as they were supposed to. The same thing happened during other crises where banks didn’t lend the money out so it didn’t help improve the economy much.

With the banks justifying this behaviour is it time to Nationalise (or part-Nationalise) all struggling retail banks and integrate them into the State’s Treasury? Having banks under State control would ensure no bank collapses, there would be no bank runs and liquidity won’t be an issue. This would also be a way to help everyone get a bank account so no one is left out.

A full Nationalisation of the banks would be expensive and the only major benefit would be convenience and ensuring long term stability. That may be enough for many of us but others would like to see something more. So that would be where a part-Nationalisation would be mentioned.

Part-Nationalisation would instead give the State, say, 75% of the shares of a bank (each one if kept as separate entities, otherwise of the whole banking network) but the other 25% would be owned by the public (as private holdings). This would be achieved by either giving shares to every adult (taxpayer or general public adult) in the Country free of charge with dividends attached and paid twice a year, or even yearly, or they could be sold on a stock exchange, but with a limit on the amount able to be purchased by each person (Natural person only, 1000 shares maximum) to avoid abuse of the system by financial institutions and corporate investors. This is to keep shares owned by people who can sell them to other people or they can hold them for the dividends as a long term investment. Whichever way it’s done, this would benefit anyone holding the shares as it’s unlikely they will decrease in value, given the fact they would be from a Government entity that is backed by the Treasury.

Uber – Technology Firm or Cab Firm?

We’ve all seen the news reports that various Governments are doing what they can to thwart Uber. They either refuse licences or they launch a competing service, but now the European Union is going to decide, once and for all, whether Uber is a platform provider (a tech company as they call themselves) or a transport company (a cab firm basically).

This is actually very simple, and I don’t need to have a lot of lawyers and politicians to explain this. Uber is a cab firm. When Uber started it may have been simply a platform provider, a marketplace, but the moment they took it upon themselves to acquire their own licences they became a cab firm.

The way to stay a tech company, a platform provider, would have been to only provide the space and bring together drivers and the public. Drivers would have to have an operator’s licence (O Licence) to work as an independent driver, or to work for an Uber supplier/partner company (a cab firm) that has it’s own O Licence. Uber would just earn commission on bookings completed and maybe have a membership fee payable by their partners for use of this marketplace. That would have kept Uber as a tech company and there wouldn’t be all of the legal challenges.

And if I can see this, then it should be ultra simple for legislators Worldwide to tell the difference..