As 2022 draws to a close, I wonder how people will remember the year.
There’s way too much to say in a single post, so let’s focus on the financial, not the festive if you’ll allow me.
Inflation, interest rates, and debt issues have dominated headlines and 2023 looks equally challenging.
In the US, the Federal Reserve says the inflation fight is far from over and rates will remain stubbornly high. A message of woe to homeowners stateside.
In the UK, the outlook is little different.
Whether printing money or borrowing more, asset price inflation has been festering for thirty years.
My only surprise is that it has taken this long to sink the country into the deepest crisis for decades.
To manage the cost-of-living epidemic, government borrowing rose to £22 billion in November, up from 8 billion a year ago.
Why – well rates rises for a start.
Whether government or individual, interest rates rises are taking their toll on us all -and sounding the death knoll on growth.
It’s a blunt, unhelpful instrument in my view and damages the lives of millions, just to prop up a failed mechanism.
I’m going to suggest something very radical so you might want to sit down.
This system of ours – borrowing, booming and busting - is broken and yes rigged to banks, landlords, big tech, and the god-like power of the markets.
Mortgage rates shift overnight, but saving rates take weeks or months to change.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
Past relationships with bank managers held communities together and still could if powers were reverted back to communities - in contrast to the stranglehold of shareholders.
In my culture, loans are short term and debts can be cancelled after just 7 years.
Wouldn’t that be a moment for the UK in 2030!
Why should millions of us be enslaved to a lifetime of debt and leave little to our children?
No wonder they feel disenfranchised and disadvantaged.
We need to start again. Rethink regionally and reset. And banks need to serve communities, not the City.
There are better ways to control inflation than rate hikes that will deliver a Christmas message of misery for millions this month.
In Britain, our national politeness accepts this plague as plight, one without alternatives and that can’t be right.
Imagine a different system where collective needs took precedence over the wants of the few, where funds were channelled into communities to address collective needs for the common good.
In my view - Your needs matter MORE than my wants.
John Lennon said “You may say I’m a dreamer. But I’m not the only one”
I know I’m not the only one that dreams….that thinks we people of Britain who have worked so hard, and sacrificed so much, should deserve more than this.
Let’s agree that change will take a while perhaps years…. but let’s not live through 2023 believing we can’t take control of our own destiny.