For the final installation of his Thesis, Design in Krisis – Ben created a newspaper comparing the conflicting interests of governments, financial institutions and citizens. The articles in the newspaper look 20 years into the future, to see how the structures we have before us today could change.
‘We are living in Financial Times’, read advertisements from 2007 by the newspaper of the same name, while it used imagery of conflicting cultural, economic and political icons, from Branson to Che Guevara to The EU flag and the World Trade Centre. This indicates that not only are these times governed by finance, but where business, politics, law and governance, media and globalisation, and international conflicts all effect the economy which effect us as citizens and consumers.
The financial crisis and the ongoing banking scandals, from LIBOR to the HSBC Iran and Mexico violations have shown how irresponsible, unethical and unprofessional bankers can be. Customers trust is increasingly lost through a lack of transparency and uncertainty over the security of their life savings. Loss of trust in banks and institutions is mirrored by an increase in the use and value of local commons and online reputation, where peer to peer sharing and exchange triumph over distance and relative disconnection.
In my research I see a departure from traditional banking models, to new decentralised systems of exchange, based on new systems of qualifying trust. I foresee new banking regulations in ethical investment and laws to guide banking.
All citizens are debtors or creditors, everyone has either more or less than 0€. Those in credit can and do enter into debt, and ultimately, citizens of indebted countries are born into debt. Our banking freedom is our power to direct our indebtedness or credit-lending in institutions which we feel comfortable with – there is always an offset between risk and reward.
This paper outlines Financial Time, the wealth of futures which await us – they are reflections on the current status of banking – events to be entered into a portfolio of predictions.