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A reflection on who owns public money: "the public" as an answer doesn't seem to be enough

Updated on July 6, 2015

Political parties form various countries in an international meeting


As a methodology introduction we need to clarify this: political finance is connected in people's mentality and public opinion with scandals and regulation's abuses. But these provisions present the natural starting point for any study of money in politics; as without regulations, there is however nothing to adhere to or enforce. Many important things are clear and the positive regulation itself defines significant differences between countries and countries. Political parties are the most important actor in public spending as at any level they decide; but the question is: can political parties get influenced from the outside? Can they be driven from the abroad? Can they be driven from private companies?

Money funding from the abroad


In Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and so on parties can receive money from abroad: only legal requirement is to show publicity of the taking and its amount. Consequences of these, if you are a pessimistic or catastrophic thinker, can reach the lack of sovereignty and the government to be driven by the outside. When talking about private companies and the influence they have on parties, than the number of countries in the world putting a ban in their influence is lower. Probably the ratio does stand on a less probable collusion with foreign power in the case of private companies financing parties, due to the fact private companies are not state interest takers.

Money funding from the companies

In red, we see countries that do not have any kind of quantitative restrictions on private financing to parties. However countries in green can allow significant amounts to come in parties cash from private companies.
In red, we see countries that do not have any kind of quantitative restrictions on private financing to parties. However countries in green can allow significant amounts to come in parties cash from private companies. | Source

The connection between private economy and the state is however frequent not to say natural. Every income the state has that does not come from its currency printing or from taxes it does come from loans. And several economists advocate even currency printing suffers highly from the influence of the private big enterprises. For example Deutsche Bank used to own a relevant quantity of Italian BTP (bonds payed in ten years) and in 2011 gained the ability to influence the market just selling and re buying the same amount of stock. Somebody is now talking about a role of the bank in referring to the government enrollment and happenings of the time.

Deutsche bank twin towers


The connection between government and private finance is evident in interest deductions too. No laws against interest has ever passed, but curiously in every western town one can get in debt and have part of the interest deducted thanks to government regulation; so that's a way for the state to give money to the banks using its citizens as a mean.


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