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|Basic forms of government|
Bankocracy (from the English word bank and Ancient Greek κράτος - kratos, "power, rule") or trapezocracy (from Greek τράπεζα - trapeza, "bank") is a polemic term referring to the excessive power or influence of banks on public policy-making. It can also refer to a form of government where financial institutions rule society.
One of the first uses of the term was by British Member of Parliament William Fullarton (1754–1808), who in a parliamentary debate on April 10 1797 characterized the monopoly of the Bank of England as being a more important issue to solve than the peace attempts to end the war against France:
|“||It is Bankocracy that threatens the destruction of social order ... that turns and overturns all questions respecting war, negotiations, and peace.||”|
United States Senator Robert J. Walker (1801–1869), a staunch opponent of the Bank of the United States, delivered a speech in the Senate on January 21 1840, where he warned that the acceptance of paper money as legal tender would "overthrow the Constitution, subvert the liberties of the country, and the rights of the people, and establish the reign of a bankocracy, more sordid, ruinous, and despotic, than that of any monarch, however absolute."
The term was also used by Karl Marx in his work Das Kapital, Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (1867). He theorizes the birth of national debt as the catalyst for the primitive accumulation of capital:
|“||The public debt becomes one of the most powerful levers of primitive accumulation. ... [T]he national debt has given rise to joint-stock companies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and the modern bankocracy.||”|
- Yanis Varoufakis (2 March 2011). "The Road to Bankruptocracy: How events since 2009 have led to a new mode of reproduction". Retrieved 19 September 2012.
- Chakrabortty, Aditya (12 December 2011). "Britain is ruled by the banks, for the banks". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- FULLARTON, William (1754-1808), of Fullarton, Ayr. | History of Parliament Online
- Walker, Robert J. (1840). Speech of Mr. Walker, of Mississippi, on the bill to provide for the collection, safe-keeping and disbursement of the public moneys : Senate U.S. January 21, 1840.. p. 13. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- Marx, Karl (1867). Capital, Vol. I. Chapter Thirty-One: Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist
- Waibl, Elmar; Herdina, Philip (1997). Dictionary of Philosophical Terms vol. II - English-German / Englisch-Deutsch. Walter de Gruyter. p. 345. ISBN 3110979497. Retrieved September 18, 2012.
- Lanchester, John (2009). "Bankocracy". London Review of Books 31 (21): 35–36. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
- University of Leicester - 'Against Bankocracy: Bank ownership, regulation and growth' event
- David McWilliams (12 January 2011). "Citizens must fight rise of European bankocracy". Retrieved 19 September 2012.