Well, my end of year exams are over. For better or worse, I committed my efforts and will need to wait just over a month for results. In July, and possibly after, I shall have some interviews for potential training contracts. For now, though, I need to breathe and climb back down from the exam frenzy. In my tired state, as I reflect upon this year of learning law, the mechanics of everyday life are more apparent than they were ten months ago. I have a better understanding of the corporate world, although that understanding needs to grow and my intention is to obtain a master’s in corporate law next year.
The complications of land law help me understand why acquisitions of real estate take so long and cost so much in lawyers’ fees and in risk mitigation – e.g. paying a party to surrender an interest in the land. Tort law has shown me why otherwise attractive architecture is plastered with specific warning signs, while public law enabled me to grasp exactly what had happened to Tommy Robinson while may were floundering with inaccurate understandings of events – not that I could tell anyone that at the time. Criminal law has given me some understanding of sexual offences, and EU law gives me some insight into the problems surrounding a proposed merger between Siemens and Alstom in the railway sector. Equity and trusts has shown me why laypeople should get lawyers to draw up their wills. Life will never be the same.
I have been keeping half an eye on the news during my revision break and have been reading the posts here and at NEO, as well as those at Richard’s Watch. I was disappointed with the result of the Vollgeld referendum. I took Steve’s point that we should be wary of central banks, and the Swiss proposal was a version of a solution that I did not particularly favour compared with other options, but I felt doing something was better than nothing, and my basic moral views on the matter remain the same.
I do not like the fractional reserve banking system we have at the moment, and I consider it to be at its root a theoretical breach of contract. I say theoretical because in practice banks provide small print to customers so that, in the eyes of the law, customers have agreed to terms and conditions. Legally speaking, customers are not being cheated. In real terms, however, despite discussions in various parts of the internet, I believe that large chunks of the public in Britain – perhaps a majority – do not really understand how banking works and that the distinct concepts of deposit and loan have been merged.
It is true that the UK government passed a law after the 2008 crisis providing that the state would guarantee deposits up to a certain amount – but this is not a perfect solution. Firstly, it does nothing for money deposited above that upper limit. Secondly, it makes the tax payer liable for choices made by an industry over which the average person has little control. There aren’t many alternatives to high street banking from the deposit and payment angle (as opposed to investment). Furthermore, in this age of crazy inflation, people would resent paying for deposit services. Being accustomed to deposits earning interest, paying for a deposit service sounds like a swindle to the average person and makes no sense when the value of the currency decreases. Paying for deposits only makes sense in an age with long-term stability and minimal inflation.
Banking aside, my thoughts have lingered over geopolitics and the practicalities of starting up businesses, changing industries in an unstable world economy, and the possibility of changes in our lifestyles as products such as synthetically grown meat come closer to state approval and commercial viability. Against this backdrop, large parts of the mainstream church seem left behind. By this I mean that the liberals in positions of authority, despite their orations, are not actually as in touch as they think they are with current realities. Ironically, the traditionalist who did not surrender to post-modern and Marxist heresies seem better placed to survive in the fast-paced world of today. Amidst the instability of our geopolitics and economic and technological upheaval, the traditionalists have a bedrock of metaphysical commitments that cannot be broken by empirical data. Their slowly evolving ethical views also make them well placed to communicate with the average person, unlike the jargon-filled revolutionary rhetoric that excites the emotions, but fails to connect with our most basic convictions.