I first met David Fishwick on 15 March this year. He was interviewing a series of MPs for his Channel 4 documentary Bank of Dave:
David Fishwick is so fed up with the way that the banks are treating people he’s decided to open his own tiny bank to serve his local community in Burnley and help the people the banks have turned down. Dave’s plan is to open an old fashioned bank and be a hands-on bank manager giving good rates to borrowers and savers alike. Instead of bankers’ bonuses, Dave plans for any profits to go to local charities, but he soon discovers that this simple plan is not as straightforward as he thought it would be.
I think Dave was quite surprised to find several MPs were supportive. The clincher for me was that he guarantees people’s savings out of his own personal wealth, as he sets out in the introduction to his related book. Regular readers will know that I believe those who run banks should have their own wealth at risk.
The first episode was much heavier on swearing than I thought necessary but Dave’s charming, common sense entrepreneurship shone through as he mocked both banks and regulators in the search for permission to serve his community. I hadn’t laughed so much since I was elected. I look forward to episode 2 on Thursday at 9pm on Channel 4…
Another banking documentary was released in the last couple of weeks: Fraud. why the great recession. This crowd-funded documentary comes from a team close to my Cobden Centre colleague Jesús Huerta de Soto and so it emphasises systematic state intervention in the monetary system as the cause of the crisis. Of course I agree with that, much as I am aware that there is considerable passionate debate over whether or not fractional reserve deposit taking is a fraud. Cobden Centre Chairman Toby Baxendale and I both appear in the film, as does Douglas Carswell, introducing his Financial Services (Regulation of Deposits and Lending) Bill.
The reserve ratio question is one to be resolved primarily by scholars but, as a complement to Bank of Dave, the film is well watching if you care about the causes of the crisis: