PHOTO: RNZ Janette Walker spent three years investigating swaps.
The disastrous impact of banks selling risky financial derivatives to farmers is still being felt in rural communities more than a decade later. How did it happen and how can we stop banks doing it again?
Rural advocate Janette Walker has a storage box at her house. She calls it her “suicide box”. In it are letters from farmers – mostly men, mostly in late middle age – who tell her about the impact on their lives of the events surrounding the global financial crisis (GFC) back in 2007-2008.
The letters came to Walker as part of a research project she worked on in 2010 with Massey University banking specialist Dr Claire Matthews.
The farmers talk about being forced to sell their animals and their farms. About their humiliation and sense of failure. About feeling they had let down their fathers and their children. About depression and attempted suicide.
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