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Bank of England Executive: Occupy Movement Was 'Right'

Arguments of anti-banking movement 'loud and persuasive'

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Common Dreams staff

Bank of England executive Andrew Haldane said Monday that Occupy London Stock Exchange protestors helped prompt a "reformation of finance. (Photo courtesy The Independent.)

A senior executive at the Bank of England on Monday said the Occupy London Stock Exchange was "loud and persuasive" and helped prompt a "reformation of finance."

Andrew Haldane, executive director of financial stability for the bank, said the protestors attracted public support because "they are right," The Independent reports.

Occupy London Stock Exchange spokesman Ronan McNern said Haldane's comments were "definitely welcome," but he added, "They could have done something about this a lot faster."

While some argue that the group's efforts have been "long on problems, short on solutions," and others that the financial system remains "essentially unaltered ... and reform has failed," Haldane said, "I wish to argue both are wrong."

He continued:

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. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir ... You have put the arguments. You have helped win the debate. And policymakers, like me, will need your continuing support in delivering that radical change.

Barclays and Lloyds seek to change their "sales-oriented culture" and return to their Quaker roots, the BBC reports Haldane said. "There is the quiet, but unmistakable, sound of a leaf being turned. If I am right and a new leaf is being turned, then Occupy will have played a key role in this fledgling financial reformation. You have put the arguments. You have helped win the debate. And policymakers, like me, will need your continuing support in delivering that radical change."

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