There is something deeply wrong with the banking system when a $75 million Royal inquest is in the national interest.
Public faith in the banks has been slipping for decades. And for good reason. ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB and Westpac are all guilty of systemic, and often criminal, misconduct. Fraudulent acts that have no doubt affected you or someone you know.
Of course, the banks campaigned that a Royal Commission was ‘unwarranted’ and an ‘unnecessary distraction’ from more pressing matters. An argument that is akin to their dismissal of cryptocurrencies as a bubble. Or as RBA governor Philip Lowe puts it, as a ‘speculative mania’ that only attracts criminals looking to make illegal transactions.
However, a Royal Commission doesn’t seem so unnecessary when you examine the scandals the big banks have been involved in over the last decade. Wrongdoings that far surpass any debacles that cryptos have been involved in.
In 2014, for example, the Commonwealth Bank was investigated for putting client money into risky investments without consent. A corrupt scheme that involved forged documents and cover-ups, leaving customers millions of dollars out of pocket.
In late 2016, another scandal came to light. Banks had been charging fees for financial advice they’d never provided, overcharging customers $178 million in total.
That same month, bank workers came out in droves to reveal the huge bonuses they’d received for meeting sales targets. This included selling financial products like credit cards and home loans to customers that didn’t need them.
In fact, since the financial crisis in 2008, Australian banks have paid over $1 billion in fines for deceiving customers. Something that doesn’t seem to bother them, as it barely makes a dint in their profits.
It’s this aggressive sales-driven culture and inability to hold management accountable that has defined banks for decades. An overdue royal commission won’t be able to change that.
Bankers are routinely rewarded for misconduct. And these acts have slowly been chipping away at the integrity of the financial sector.
As such, accountability and transparency is a pressing issue. Especially when it comes to consumer rights and the protection of your hard-earned money.
So far the banking sector has been shockingly ineffective. The Royal Commission is proof enough. It’s time a new solution was put forward to minimise the risk of fraud and deceit.
And what could be better than blockchain technology — the infrastructure of which is based around trust?
It’s a public ledger which removes the need for financial middlemen. No more hidden investments or dodgy schemes to steal your money. Everything is laid out on the blockchain for all to see.
Even Commonwealth Bank CEO Ian Narev admitted that blockchain may transform banking.
Ryan Dinse, editor of Exponential Stock Investor, agrees with Narev. He believes that blockchain will transform much more than the financial sector in 2018. And that Australians are set to be one of the major benefactors of this revolutionary shift. Both from an investment standpoint, and for the security of our money.
You can learn more about how blockchain could benefit you right here.
This week in Markets & Money
On Monday, Vern examined the valuation range of the markets. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, the range can often appear wild and irrational. And as social mood is affected by economic positions, the state of the market can result in either mania or depression for investors. So, as Vern argues, the markets are emotional and borderline bi-polar. Of late, the markets have been in a good mood. That’s all thanks to the US Federal Reserve, with their low interest rates and quantitative easing. But all things that go up must come down. And as the US share market has been on an uptrend since the 1990s, the crash could be imminent.
To read the full story, click here.
On Tuesday, Terence used a fairy-tale analogy to describe the perfect economic conditions. Conditions that are not so hot that they cause inflation, and not so cold that they cause recession. But something just right — a ‘Goldilocks economy’. There are many factors that need to align to form this ideal economy. PIMCO, the world’s largest bond fund, believes we are currently in this environment. But this won’t last forever. And as Terence outlines, there is a particular method you could use to determine which way the market may go next.
For all the details on this story, click here.
On Wednesday, Jason argued that the Aussie dollar’s future looks uncertain. Even though it is one of the top five most traded currencies, its value is precarious. Experts are debating whether it will stay above 70 US cents. Jason is confident that it will — as commodities are looking strong and have been for some time. Unless they experience a sharp dip, the dollar is likely to keep its head above 70 cents going into 2018.
For more on this, click here.
On Thursday, the Dow Jones was on the verge of breaking through 25,000 points. It has been a year of new milestones for the US market. But despite the staggering upwards trend, there has been a lack of volatility. In fact, volatility is at its lowest point in decades. The market has managed to shake off all the geopolitical events that have taken place this year. As such, Shae believes this may be a sign that a market crash is in fact unlikely in the foreseeable future. And, perhaps, that the current bull run is far from over.
For more on this story, click here.
On Friday, Shae considered how mainstream bitcoin has become. With all of the crazy price rises and falls splashed across the news, it’s no surprise. Cryptos have hogged the spotlight for the better part of 2017. As a result of this, other lucrative opportunities have been overlooked by investors. While people have been distracted, the ASX Small Ordinaries has quietly soared this year. And one category of obscure stocks is leading the pack. If you keep an eye out, you may not need to invest in cryptos to potentially make huge gains in 2018.
To read the full story, click here.