Due credit to our cousins across the pond who have taken to the streets in a bid to remind the power houses of world finance that it's our money. Find out more at: http://occupywallst.org/.
You know, one of the first things we said about ourselves when we formed our coop was: you can throw us on the scrap heap and we'll all go bust, or buy our information to keep us spending sustainably... (in case you're new to Zero-credit, we track people's behaviour with money). Some people just don't get it though...
Treated as consumers when we're in the market for credit, you'd expect us to have similar rights when it all goes wrong - not least when there are an awful lot of people who got it wrong. My, my, if there were as many forecasters and experts preaching caution back in 2007 as there are now, we might not be in such a mess.
An "awful lot of people" is the key to this crisis and we need to stand firm in the certainty that it's our money - nothing more than a token that pays our day to day living expenses.
When you throw people on the scrap heap of homelessness, hypothermia and hunger, well, I predict a riot. In The Welfare Costs of Personal Debt we demonstrated the impact of our economic lending for spending policy on the public purse - housing, health, education - and that's on top of the bailout funds.
Already we're seeing pension pots drop by a third, lifelong savings crumbling against inflation. Yet anyone lured into a patriotic spending spree is rewarded with unauthorised overdraft, account and ATM charges on the money they have. Oh, it is thoughtful banking indeed when you're a quid short for less than 24 hours and pay £20 plus interest for the priviledge...
For the money we don't have, the show must go on. Payday APRs have increased from some 1500% in 2008 to 4000% or so in 2011... Has it not occured to anyone that in the midst of recession, a market that Consumer Focus said grew by 400% in the four years to 2010, and that the CAB says has created four times the number of debt problems in the last two years might be eating away at our spending power?
Cameron was a fool to edit that speech, and for complaining that he is simply too rich to say such things, his critics are fools also. Fees for financial services are sucking us dry and it is high time we reminded ourselves that it's OUR money.
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