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July 02, 2012

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Ian C

Yes indeed.

And I recommend the Co-Operative Bank for current accounts and savings. Also insurance.

I have some savings tied up in NatWest. Have written to management asking for some reasons why I should retain any business with them in view of their role in mis-selling etc. Will let you know what reply I get, if any. Meanwhile am scouring the options on the MOVE YOUR MONEY website.

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"Move your money"

A good idea, but I fear it will have little effect. AFAICT, one of the (many many) problems with the financial industry, is that we expect banks to do two contradictory things. We want our savings to be protected (stability), but we also want capital to be allocated correctly based on market mechanisms (instability).

Now, we have depository insurance to do the former, but at the price that none of us have any financial incentive to move our money, since the government will protect our savings whatever the bankers do with 'em. And I don't think moral disgust will be a big enough incentive for most people instead.

But we are right to want our savings protected, and so the only solution I see is to have government take on the role directly, but let the rich with massive savings sink or swim. Here's a good idea from the US which I think is one part of the answer:

http://www.interfluidity.com/v2/2874.html

Dick Pountain

we expect banks to do two contradictory things. We want our savings to be protected (stability), but we also want capital to be allocated correctly based on market mechanisms (instability).

That is profoundly true. In fact it's true of life (in the biological sense) itself: rocks are too stable to reproduce; flames are too unstable to persist; the bonds that hold DNA together are of *exactly* the right strength, breaking as often as needed to reproduce but not too often to retain information. The more you look, the more you'll find that optimisation problems, keeping some system on the knife-edge between stability and instability, are central to all biological, social and economic systems. Goldilocks is the rĂ´le model.

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