“ Once again, is the trust in our financial institutions betrayed!” This quote from the Dutch Minister of Finance Dijsselbloem expresses the sentiments of s0 many ordinary people. The largest and most respected bank in The Netherlands, the Rabo Bank, received a mega fine for manipulating the base interest rate that is used to determine how much interest we get from our savings and how much our mortgage costs us. The Rabo Bank is in the dubious company of Barclays, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The top executive, Piet Moerland resigned yesterday, without any leaving deal, because he wanted to give a clear signal that this fraud cannot be reconciled with the standards and values of the cooperative bank. That this fraud was apparently going on between 2006 and 2012, is not a good indication of the control systems in operation. Many employees have been fired, degraded or severely reprimanded.
In recent years, there have been many reports of bank traders losing billions of euros … and of top executives not knowing until too late. In early September 2011, the Swiss bank UBS announced that it had lost over 2 billion dollars, as a result of unauthorized trading performed by Kweku Adoboli, a director of the bank’s Global Synthetic Equities Trading team in London. Jérôme Kerviel, 35, was found guilty in October 2010 of forgery, breach of trust and unauthorised computer use in one of the biggest trading frauds in history, which almost brought down Société Générale, one of France’s oldest banks.
I think that one of the main causes of our current problems in the economy can be described using a quote I heard from a German economics professor. “Our autonomous intelligence is permanently creating systems of such a high degree of complexity, that our learning and controlling capabilities are getting increasingly overstretched.” Then he went on to state, ‘ man is too stupid for his own intelligence!’ He then went on to quote Romans 1:28 ”because men refused to recognise God and take him seriously, God gave them over to their corrupt and disqualified minds.’ We have pushed God out of the cockpit and have become captains of a spacecraft we cannot control. We need to get back to basics, which are the ancient Biblial principles such as contentment, righteousness, love, justice and honesty.