| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Files spread between Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more? Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes them for you. Try it for free today.

View
 

Sue's Review of Daylight Robbery

Page history last edited by Jonathan Chambers 7 years, 9 months ago

 

Daylight Robbery – Ian Wishart – 2011

 

This is the maverick book, which I heard about from Positive Money. Written by award-winning investigative New Zealand journalist, and only available in the UK on kindle. Subtitled: ‘A story of bankers, shysters, & others who want to steal your money’, Wishart says: “If you want to know who benefits, it’s the old story – follow the money” Originally released in 2001, this version reprises the history, and asks if we’ve learned anything in the last decade. (p6) – “Since 2008, people around the world have been waking up to the surreal knowledge that the world economy of the past half century has been built on sand. Collectively, we’re watching the foundations of everything we’ve ever known and worked for being washed away in a tsunami of financial upheaval.”

 

While we were experiencing our financial crash, NZ was experiencing its very own individual difficulties, including the Bank of New Zealand being brought to its knees in 1990. The book mainly tells of shady goings-on, involving privatisations, dodgy businessmen, politicians with cosy relationships, and taxpayer bailouts. Interesting mainly to learn that nowhere has been immune from financial scandals. Unfortunately, Wishart assumes his readers are Kiwis, all too familiar with the personalities involved. Readers from the other side of the world are unlikely to follow all the references.

 

However, the beginning and ending chapters very neatly top and tail the issues. Following a brief summary of the history of banking in NZ from 1861, is an excellent chapter headed “The Truth about Banks”, prefaced by the following quote from Thomas Jefferson in 1787: “If the American people allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.” This chapter succinctly explains ‘what is money?’ – and underpins what the Positive Money movement is all about. It’s the first reason I like this book.

 

The other reason is the final chapter. Though directed at the ordinary Kiwi, it is relevant to all. New Zealanders are being encouraged to save for retirement in ‘Kiwisaver’ – (like our ‘Nest’), which will see workers automatically enrolled in pensions unless they choose to opt out. “The money you are saving is officially known as ‘fiat money’ – money that has value only as long as everyone keeps believing in it – a little like Tinkerbell.” Wishart says that, in NZ, plans are afoot to put systems in place to avoid the need for future taxpayer bailouts should a major bank start to go down. Depositors (like shareholders) will be expected to absorb their share of the banks’ losses. For individuals to protect themselves, therefore, it is essential for them to have no more money on deposit in any individual bank over and above the protected amount. He goes further: “Unless you have money to burn, (pay) off your mortgage or credit cards as a priority, rather than signing up for Kiwisaver or other investments …… You’ve read this book – do you trust those involved?” As far as I’m concerned, that’s a powerful message for all of us!

 

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.