I want to add my voice to all of those that are encouraging you to ‘move your money’ from any of the big banks that are holding it now to any number of local, community banks. One of the best explanations of why this is important was on the Huffington Post blog lately, so I’ll quote from Arianna Huffington:
“The big banks on Wall Street, propped up by taxpayer money and government guarantees, have had a record year, making record profits while returning to the highly leveraged activities that brought our economy to the brink of disaster. In a slap in the face to taxpayers, they have also cut back on the money they are lending, even though the need to get credit flowing again was one of the main points used in selling the public the bank bailout. But since April, JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo — all of which took billions in taxpayer money — have cut lending to businesses by $100 billion. Meanwhile, America’s Main Street community banks — the vast majority of which avoided the banquet of greed and corruption that created the toxic economic swamp we are still fighting to get ourselves out of — are struggling.”
And she goes on:
“The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the Big Six banks… move it into smaller, more local, more traditional community banks, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward re-rigging the financial system so it becomes again the productive, stable engine for growth it’s meant to be. It’s neither Left nor Right — it’s populism at its best. …. And you don’t have to worry, there is zero risk: deposit insurance is just as good at small banks — and unlike the big banks they don’t provide the toxic dividend of derivatives trading in a heads-they-win, tails-we-lose fashion.”
There are also whole websites devoted to this subject, such as: http://moveyourmoney.info/
Apparently, Catherine Austin Fitts, president of Solari, Inc. and the managing member of Solari Investment Advisory Services, LLC, (and a powerful woman over 50!!!) encouraged people to move their money back in 2004 at her website, the Solari Report: http://solari.com/archive/banks/. This website has all kinds of useful articles on subjects like
How to Find a Local Bank : a step-by-step guide to switching to a well-managed local bank or credit union The U.S. Banking Tapeworm 20 – top picks for big banks whose impact has been parasitic Why Did I Wait So Long? – One woman’s candid story of selecting a local bank and making the switch Where Would Jesus Bank? by Catherine Austin Fitts – a manifesto on how we can start today to align our banking transactions with our intentions to create a better world.
(Admittedly, there are a few strange things in Catherine’s bio, such as her support of the whole idea that the 9/11 attacks were part of a larger government conspiracy, but if you can get past that, she has a lot of useful information, and she did turn out to be right on this subject. Maybe working at a high level in finance as a woman made her a little paranoid! I can’t imagine why!)
I work for a community lender, one that has had its cutbacks during this Recession, so I’ll admit I’m not entirely objective on this subject, but what I see every day is people coming to us to get loans for their small, local projects that are actually creating jobs and helping to build back communities–projects that the big banks in their towns won’t touch with a ten-foot pole. And the more deposits that community lenders like mine get, the more lending we can do. So, the whole idea of moving your money just makes sense to me. I hope you readers will investigage it and see if it makes sense for you! Look at it this way: you’ve got 3 women over 50 telling you to do it!!