This week the Australian media has devoted hours of airtime to a Deputy Prime Minister who struggles to keep his pants on for any length of time. Meanwhile, the Australian Parliament is quietly rubber stamping a piece of legislation that puts the interests of the Big Four Banks ahead of its citizens.
The Financial Sector Legislation Amendment (Crisis Resolution Powers and Other Measures) Bill 2017 [Provisions] just passed the lower house without even a vote.
So, what’s the big deal? Planning for a financial crisis makes sense – no one would like to see the economy implode because the financial system collapsed. And to be fair, the Australian Financial system has systemic weaknesses that will be exposed at some time in the future.
The Bill, as it stands makes no attempt to address those systemic weaknesses but makes provision for when those chickens come home to roost. Hidden away in the arcane legalese that masquerades as law is the intention to give the Government the power to confiscate bank deposits, allow APRA to choose in secret between protecting depositors funds and protecting “financial stability” and to Bail In Banks in financial trouble.