Senior Bank of England exec sides with Occupy over economic crisis

Julian Harris
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A SENIOR Bank of England official raised eyebrows last night by telling the Occupy movement of anti-capitalist protesters that their analysis of the financial crisis has been correct and that they have influenced post-crisis policy.

Andrew Haldane, increasingly known for his outspoken views, was addressing a group called Occupy Economics at Friend’s House in Euston.

“Occupy has been successful in its efforts to popularise the problems of the global financial system for one very simple reason: they are right,” he told the assembled crowd.

“By this I do not just mean right in a moral sense… it is the analytical, every bit as much as the moral, ground that Occupy has taken.”

Haldane hit out at criticisms that the Occupy movement’s complaints have been vague and undefined, with few solid solutions offered.

“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,” Haldane said.

The Bank’s executive director for financial stability, who sits on its new super-regulator – the Financial Policy Committee – cited “deep and rising inequality” as a primary cause of the global financial crisis.

Last week Haldane compared large banks to “King Kong and Godzilla” while suggesting considerably higher capital buffer requirements, or the full separation of investment and commercial banking.