Colleagues of Andrew Haldane, a Bank of England executive director for financial stability, probably don’t think of him as the Occupy type. But while speaking at a London event this week that brought together real Occupy protestors with economists, financiers, and others representing the 1%, Haldane praised protestors for making their voices heard, said new models were needed, and policymakers were listening. In short, he said the protestors were “right,” adding:
Occupy have touched a moral nerve in pointing to growing inequities in the allocation of wealth and incomes globally. The 99% certainly agrees. But so, more interestingly, do a high and rising share of the 1%.
Haldane’s surprising endorsement of the group went viral in the UK press. The Financial Times ran a big spread plus editorial comment, the Guardian ran a poll (vote here), and the Independent quoted Haldane at length:
Some have suggested … that Occupy’s voice has been loud but vague, long on problems, short on solutions. Others have argued that the fault-lines in the global financial system, which chasmed during the crisis, are essentially unaltered, that reform has failed.
I wish to argue that both are wrong – that Occupy’s voice has been both loud and persuasive and that policymakers have listened and are acting in ways which will close those fault-lines. In fact, I want to argue that we are in the early stages of a reformation of finance, a reformation which Occupy has helped stir.
Everyone tweeted about it, including the folks at Occupy.