Speaker: Patrick Bond
Date: Wednesday, 6 November 2013
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College
The crash of microfinance in most parts of the world has a corollary in South Africa: unsecured-credit max-out and an investor backlash against African Bank and Capitec. Of course, the most intense backlash was felt by Lonmin when in August 2012, thousands of mineworkers struck for higher wages, and even after the premeditated Marikana massacre, they stayed on the hill three weeks longer so as to win a reported 22% wage increase. Worker desperation of this sort reflects the need to mitigate against predatory garnishee orders that have swamped working-class payslips, as the credit deregulation that began in the early 1990s finally reached its limits. Indeed, across the world, various forms of ‘debt strike’ are in process. These also reflect overborrowing by sovereign states leading to persistent financial meltdowns, as well as the Odious Debt that so many authoritarian leaders contracted against the interests of future generations. With more 2008-style debt crunches likely in the coming years, and with practically no re-regulation accomplished these last five years, what are the proposals to address excessive financial sector power and vulnerability? And what traction are national and global activists getting through a belated appeal to the consumer-scale financial melt?
Patrick Bond directs the UKZN Centre for Civil Society, and previously worked at the US Federal Reserve and House of Representatives Banking Committee, as well as with SA townships bond boycott advocates, the Jubilee debt cancellation movement and numerous other civil society campaigns for financial democracy.
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