Occupy was right says Bank

Sarah Davidson

October 30, 2012

Andrew Haldane, also a member of the Financial Policy Committee, praised the movement for using its “loud and persuasive” voice to bring the problems of the world’s financial markets into the sphere of ordinary people.

In his speech Socially Useful Banking delivered at the Occupy Economics event in central London yesterday Haldane challenged the view that Occupy’s voice had been “loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions”.

He said: “I wish to argue tonight that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines.

“In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.”

He added: “Let me start with the contribution of the Occupy movement itself. Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right.”

The Occupy protesters set up camps in Wall Street, New York and St Pauls, London as well as other sites dotted around the city to protest about the unequal distribution of wealth and the influence of the financial services industry. Protesters refused to move for three months until they were finally evicted by police in February last year.

Haldane praised Occupy for playing a key role in kick starting the early changes he could see in the financial system.

He added: “If I am right and a new leaf is being turned, then Occupy will have played a key role in this fledgling financial reformation. You have put forward the arguments. You have helped win the debate. And policymakers, like me, will need your continuing support in delivering that radical change.”

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