The world's banking system ought to be a public Utility – something we can count on to ensure commercial transactions, protect private savings, foster productive investment, and dampen dangerous speculation.
As the on-going, global financial meltdown makes plain, however, the banking system is the private playground of the world's financial elite who produce one phony pyramid scheme after another, each time coming to the world's taxpayers to bail out their failures. Sucked into the scheme for lack of responsible, accountable alternatives, the world's savers are expropriated, time after time, so that financial sector can keep its private system intact.
We demand accountability from the industry.
Commercial Transaction Fee (CTF)
First, we demand that the global banking industry collect a small fee on EVERY electronic commercial transaction that runs through the system. That includes everything from credit card swipes to interbank transfers to speculative currency trades to routine corporate transactions. Yes, the banks and corporations will pay more than regular people, but that's how it should be. Yet, the CTF will not distort market mechanisms because all individuals and business enterprises pay exactly to the extent that they participate in the global economy. The fee will certainly dampen high volume speculative transactions, and, by making all transactions and collections part of the public record, it will, for the first time in human history, bring commercial activity out of the shadows and into the light of public review and criticism.
Global Problem-Solving Authority (GPSA)
Second, we demand that the revenues of the CTF – which at 0.25% will amount to more than a trillion dollars annually – be channeled to a new Global Problem-Solving Authority. The GPSA will use them to catalyze civil society-community partnerships to address the two sides of our world's mushrooming crisis: social polarization and ecological destruction. With this problem-solving mission, the GPSA will work along the local-global nexus to develop infrastructure (sanitation, electrification, communications and transportation) and human capital (food security, health services, literacy, family planning and peaceful conflict resolution). Independent of, yet collaborative with nation-states and the UN, the GPSA will generate its action agenda through consultation with and consent from the three constituencies of the local-global economy: civil society, service-oriented business, and the world's people.