Guest Post: Legislation Proposed To Criminalize Calls For A "Run On The Bank"

Submitted by reader Jan

Legislation proposed to criminalise calls for a "run on the bank"

There's something going on in the Netherlands:

Calling for a "bank run" in public will possibly become a criminal offense. Ministers Opstelten of Security and De Jager of Finance are preparing a proposal for a new law.

They want to be able to penalize people who are openly calling for a "bank run" a maximum of 4 years or a fine of 19.000 euro. According to the ministers a bank run can seriously endanger a bank.

The ministers say that the collapse of a bank in case of a "bank run" is a question of hours instead of days, since a call for this can be spread fast, using prestent methods of communication. Banks cannot defend themselves from this, and thus must acquire protection under the criminal law, is their thought.

DSB: Reason for the tightened methods is the demise of the DSB Bank. Account holders took out 600 million euro from their accounts in this bank, after the call of Pieter Lakeman, of the Foundation "Hypotheekleed" (Motgage suffering).

The bank run was the initiation of the bankruptcy of the bank of Dirk Scheringa.

What happened to the DSB Bank then?

The behaviour of the president of De Nederlandse Bank (our State bank, our "FED"), Noud Wellink, was part of the reason for the bankruptcy in 2008 of the DSB bank. Politicians called for his (voluntary) resignation, since it became widely known that he acted wrongly, by putting the DSB bank under suspicion in public, in name of the Nederlandsche Bank, and by allowing a banking license in the first place. (at least, that is the official message, it was very clear that the reputation of the DSB was tarnished by the Central Bank) The president of the DSB, Dirk Scheringa fell for the bait and took out his own money. Later he put it back, but by then, it was too late; by then, the warning was issued, and the run had begun.
This criminalisation of the "run on the bank" existed as plan (Scheltema Commission who investigated this) already after the DSB demise. (concluding in june 2010)

Financial Activism.

As of late, there's been several campaigns to mobilise the "silent majority" into a more active stance against taking on private debt and risk, of private banks.
Notably, the "run on the bank" as proposed by french football player Eric Cantona, as well as the "Buy silver, crash JP Morgan Bank" initiated by agent provocateur Max Keiser, are examples of "financial activism". The purpose of these actions is to break the stranglehold of banks that speculated and lost (and are basically insolvent) over society itself, which is, at least in the Netherlands, very sound. There's political resistance (of aforementioned Minister De Jager) to "pay for debt of other countries". At least those are his words.

Making such acts of "financial activism" illegal is unconstitutional in the Netherlands.
(art. 1.7 freedom of speech, art. 1.9 freedom of protest)

Of course the overleveraged position of banks, and their key role in the present Fiat currency system is the cause of this vulnerabillity. This should have been adressed, not the wish of the savers to take out their own money, and warning others. That is the elephant in the room; that banks here aren't necesserally in a worse shape than anywhere else, but are extending their risk to society at large, because they're engaged in both speculation, and in handling the day-to-day financial affairs of corporations and individuals.

Drs. Jasper Blom of the UvA (University of Amsterdam) stated in a publication that the Basel Accord, to stipulate rules for banks to restrict risk, have been "watered down", and that essentially nothing has changed since 2008. Politicians are, according to him, uninterested, and unconcerned, while it is their responsibillity.

Is this important?

Yes, the positition of the Netherlands in the international banking cartel is very important. Moreover the position of the Netherlands is very important to the american government, as can be seen by the latest Wikileaks cables.

The controller of the dutch stockmarket, the Euronext is owned (since 2006) by the NYSE !

And: "In 2009, the Netherlands was the largest destination for United States direct foreign investment, with 13.4% of the total. This made the United States the largest direct foreign investor in the Netherlands. Vice versa, the Netherlands was the ninth-largest direct foreign investor in the United States in 2009. In 2008, however, the Netherlands was the largest direct foreign investor in the United States."

So, with this move, the dutch government wants to protect it's banking system, at the cost of the liberty of individuals. A dangerous course of action.