Posts Tagged ‘cooperative banks’

How the Merger of ABN AMRO and Fortis could change History (Part 3)

Tuesday, October 9th, 2007

Banking is really very simple. It became very complicated when the computer was introduced. What need to be done is to move back to simplicity again. If somebody is able to do this the possibilities are tremendous. If ABN AMRO and Fortis are able to recreate a simple bank again they could Change History.

To keep this blog simple you have to believe the essence of Banking is the Movement of Cash-Flows. A cash-flow is a transaction between two actors.

Every product a Bank is offering at this moment is very complicated construction where cash-flows are manipulated.

A Customer is doing the same thing. He is constantly trying to Balance his Cash-Flows. What a Customer expects from a bank is a Trusted Advisor that is helping him to find Balance.

A Bank could become a Community of Customers who are Helping each other to Balance their Cash-Flows.

For some people it is very easy to balance. They have a nice stable job, good health, friends that are helping them, they are succesful in their business. They have accumulated money. At the other side of the spectrum we can find the opposite. People are without a job, sick, without friends or without a home.

The Cooperative Banks that were created in the beginning of the 20th century tried to find a way to balance the extremes. They got the idea that somewhere in the middle everything was compensated. They believed in Solidarity.

If you want to Keep the Balance you need to do more than "manipulating streams of money". You need to take care of the sick, you have to provide jobs and provide housing. The Cooperative Movement started to build houses (Woningbouw-vereniging), created collaborative hospitals and insurance companies. They started to educate (Het Volkshuis) and took care of the huge addiction to alcohol. The Collaborative Movement was financed by "Enlightened" Entrepreneurs who created jobs and even build complete cities.

I hope you see "the big picture". When we see a Bank as the Center of a Community we are able to connect this Center to other Centers (Healthcare, Education, Housing,…).

If we move to the right level of Coordination we are able to Balance the Whole of Centers and Create Harmony.

The Technical Infrastructure to do this is available. It uses the concept of Software-Services and a Kernel based on a Dialogue between these Services (The Software-Bus). The Infrastructure also contains a Monitor who is able to Balance the Centers. Cordys ( is one of the Providers who has build such an Infrastructure.

A Technical Infrastructure has to be embedded in a Social and an Ecological Infrastructure. The concept of Panarchy is one of the beautifull concepts that can be of help. People have to exchange stories and create new myths. Here we can use the Concept of the Chronotope of Bahktin.

When you read my Blogs you will see that I have written many many blogs about this subject. Just take a tour.

The Comeback of the Extended Family

Saturday, July 14th, 2007

Your daughter phones you. She is trained to become a nurse. She wants to practice in a hospital in South Africa. She has a Shortage of money and is not able to pay for the airplane-ticket. She asks for a loan. You give her the money because you can afford it and of course you love her.

What will happen if she goes to a bank? The Authorisator looks at her account and tells her that unfortunately a loan is not possible. When you go to the bank a nice person (your Account Manager) will tell you what products they offer when you have a Surplus of money.

The main difference between a bank and a family is that a family is based on trust. A bank is based on mis-trust. A small percentage of their clients did not pay back the loan. They don’t want to make this mistake again.

The family and the extended family (tribe) were, for a very long time, responsible for raising and educating children and created structures of moral and financial support.

In the Western Culture the extended family is replaced by the Institution, a Rule Based System, created by Programmers. The system is trying to match shortages (money, people, resources, and needs) and surpluses (money, people, resources, ideas). It has fallen into the trap of complexity.

Institutions are replaced by the most natural form of cooperation, the Extented Family (The Community).

Trust is created by showing Honesty, Understanding the Other and Keeping the Promise You Make. The Community makes the system simple and effective again because it operates on a human scale.

New innovative cooperative banks are emerging where human beings are a having a dialogue about their shortages and surpluses. Of course they use invisible Payment-Infrastructure as a stable layer to build on.

Do you want to read more about this subject