According to both the Mayan and Hindu calendars, 2012 (or something very close) marks the transition from an age of darkness, violence and greed to one of enlightenment, justice, and peace. It's hard to see that change just yet in the events relayed in the major media, but a shift does seem to be happening behind the scenes; and this is particularly true in the once-boring world of banking.
In the dark age of Kali Yuga, money rules; and it is through banks that the moneyed interests have gotten their power. Banking in an age of greed is fraught with usury, fraud, and gaming the system for private ends. But there is another way to do banking, the neighborly approach of George Bailey in the classic movie It's a Wonderful Life. Rather than feeding off the community, banking can feed the community and local economy.
Today the massive too-big-to-fail banks are hardly doing George Bailey-style loans at all. They are not interested in community lending. They are doing their own proprietary trading - trading for their own accounts - which generally means speculating against local interests. They engage in high-frequency program trading that creams profits off the top of stock market trades; speculation in commodities that drives up commodity prices; leveraged buyouts with borrowed money that can result in mass layoffs and factory closures; and investment in foreign companies that compete against our local companies.
We can't do much to stop them. They've got the power, especially at the federal level. But we can quietly set up an alternative model, and that's what is happening on various local fronts. ..............(more)