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Why don't government leaders trust consumers?

Feb 14, 2014 Philip Burgess

Individuals across the globe take pride in being able to make their own decisions. It's a very liberating feeling when we finally move out of our parents' homes into places of our own and then lead our own, self-designed lives. Freedom is a very powerful thing - something that many individuals might take for granted, as it's become like second nature to a number of us by now.

Even during the depths of the great recession, people were still largely able to make their own decisions. Sure, there wasn't much people could do about being laid off or the rising price of various commodities due to inflation. However, they were able to make their own choices when it came down to making a budget, conserving financially and seeking out alternative credit options when they found themselves in a bind.

And so many people across the United Kingdom were able to find the right short term lenders to fit their needs during these times. This was notable, because high street banks all but shut their doors. And, many times, there wasn't much government leaders could do to help - the nation just had to ride out the recession, and now we're back on the road to recovery.

So why aren't individuals in leadership positions giving us the right to make our own decisions anymore? A number of these people are attempting to restrict the alternative finance options available, saying that citizens run the risk of digging themselves into deep debt. However, that's not what happened during the financial troubles of a few years ago, so why would they assume that would be the case now? Left to their own devices and armed with the helpful information lenders give their clients, consumers might just surprise those in power.

Ex-leader tries to demand new regulations
Despite the fact that he is no longer in a position of economic power, Adair Lord Turner, the former chair of the Financial Services Authority, demanded that leaders take a hard stance on mortgage and short term lending, claiming there will otherwise likely be another global financial crisis due to credit.

This is something Turner would know a lot about, as he was the chairman "during the near collapse of the U.K. banking system," The Guardian stated, which also indicates that he might not be the best person to give advice.

According to the newspaper, Turner made these statements during a recent speech in Frankfurt, in which he also noted that excessive private debt was the main reason behind the global recession that kicked off in 2007. Moreover, he stated that if things remain the same, the economy may be on the brink of collapse in 15 to 20 years.

The Guardian noted that Turner's suggestions regarding the future of short term lending include restricting the marketing campaigns of such organizations, as well as creating banks for the sole purpose of lending to business owners.