French bankers have a nervous morning ahead. They are waiting to see whether a campaign calling on depositors to withdraw all their money will really catch on.
It has been organized by a former French football star against what he calls the “corrupt and criminal” financial system.
The crime: a massive financial crisis with entire countries going belly-up and governments being forced to impose austerity measures. The culprit: public sentiment points to banks and the people that run them.
”These are predatory monstrosities made up of weapons of mass financial destruction whose sole purpose is to kill themselves and others,” says Max Keiser – economist and the host of RT's Keiser Report. “They’re suicide bankers, they’re predatory bankers, they’re financial terrorists and therefore they need to be eliminated.”
For those who agree, the question is how?
”Nowadays, what does it mean to be on the street? What does it mean to demonstrate?” Eric Cantona, a former football player questions. “This isn’t the way anymore. The three million people with their placards on the street, they should go to the bank, withdraw their money from the banks and these ones collapse. A real revolution.”
No stranger to heeding a call to arms, especially coming from a football superstar, the French wasted no time. Online groups were formed urging people to participate in a coordinated worldwide bank run on December 7, the number of Cantona’s lucky shirt.
Alex Janet is one of tens of thousands who pledged to join the campaign: “We’re, sort of, fed up with them controlling all the wealth, and we could say 'stop using us.' We need to show that we can have a certain impact. That we’re not just cattle they can mess around with and can do anything with.”
”Trends are born, they grow, they mature, they reach old age and they die. This one is just being born,” the founder of The Trends Research Institute, Gerald Celente, explains. “We believe it’s going to have a lot of strength considering the outrage people worldwide have against the bankers.”
However, could mass withdrawals really cause the collapse of the entire banking system, as some economists argue – a system the public needs?
”The important thing on Tuesday is not whether the system collapses or not. You might be sure that it will not collapse. But the important thing is that people have realized that we have some power over the banks, which can be used to exert pressure,” says Pierre Concialdi, an economist at the Institute for Economic and Social Research.
But so far, government reaction to the pressure has been somewhat mild.
Francois Baroin, the French budget minister said, “It would be funny if it wasn't so tragic. Cantona's call to arms is grotesque and not serious.”
Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister believes, “There are those who play football magnificently, I wouldn't dare to try. I think it's best for everyone to stick to their own specialty.”
“She’s saying that Eric Cantona doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Meanwhile, BNP, the biggest bank in France, taking billions from the Federal Congress in America to make up for their shortcomings as a banking institution,” Max Keiser said.
“How come Christine Lagarde doesn’t take care of her own banks in her own country who are now whoring themselves out to the Congress for handouts? I mean, that’s pathetic,” he added.
It may take much more than a few thousand withdrawals to make a dent as far as banking institutions are concerned. But for those who want change, they will keep on pushing, until their voices get through to those sitting behind the glass windows.