Happy New Years! Move Your Money, a new year's resolution for fundamental change
It's obviously slow around here, this season, a hopeful sign that people are doing good things with their families in preparation for the end of the first decade of the New American Century.
If only we might have preempted it just about a decade, or so, ago. Alas, the best thing we can do is an appropriate and probing retrospective in order to understand what we should have done differently and to plan for resolving how to do the next one better.
Rule 1, I think, is to ignore Dick Cheney and his network of mega-FauxNe(w)s.
Rule 2 is to 'follow the money' (see Rule 1) and Arianna Huffington makes a good point (a couple, actually) in her argument with Larry Krudlow, the GOP financial pundit @ CNBC.
Remember when Rick Santelli played the advocate for Koch Industries by laundering their hidden interest in the 'newly discovered' grassroots teabagger movement, also on CNBC? Larry Kudlow's another one of their players (google @ SourceWatch.org for Kudlow: Citizens for a Sound Economy is where health-care-reform wrecking Freedomworks / Americans for Prosperity were born. For more, cf. Sourcewatch google "Koch Industries" whose brothers are invested in most of the right-wing propagandosphere) who has conflicted interests and the mouthpiece through which to play them.
Besides being able to blow the horn of the interests behind Club For Growth, he's a player for other interests as well but in the video argument, Huffington calls him to task for hyping Dow 50,000 or somesuch nonsense. Krudlow protests, countering that it was another shill for the free-marketeers (also Bush Administration / DCI Group propagandist, James Glassman).
But I digress. The key point is that Huffington's gotten behind an effort to advocate that average Jane and Joe America do a good thing and choose to move their money from the Too-Big-To-Fail institutions into local community banks. Remember the likes of Citibank and Bank of America, the megabanks that just shafted most of the world and were rescued from their deregulatory folly, with immunity?
The rest of the story is about what seems to be a virally-growing literal grassroots movement (by that I mean 'not corporate astroturf'), to MOVE YOUR MONEY.
JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a few friends were having dinner wondering what personal actions they could take to help limit the power of the big banks and create a more sane, stable financial system. How, they wondered, could they help end the era of Too Big To Fail? The financier at the table recommended that everyone could move their money out of the Wall Street banks and into community banks. Community banks are typically more conservative about how they manage their money, they’re more closely connected to the people and businesses who live near them, and they’re more inclined to make loans they know will get paid back. In other words, they have the values that more people would want banks to have.
The filmmaker at the table reminded the others of the story told in the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life — a tale about a small banker, played by Jimmy Stewart, who almost gets crushed by a big banker. In the end, though, the community rallies around the small bank and helps save it.
Three days later, the filmmaker made a short video, displayed on this site. The editor wrote a commentary about the idea. And others started pulling various resources together.
This site was set up as a modest home for the effort. A seed. But the idea will only have an impact if others take it from here.
How? For starters, you could move your money to a small bank. To do so, click on the button that says Find A Bank. But there are dozens of other possibilities: You can get your friends or organizations to do the same. You can use your online social networks to help broadcast the idea. You can look into where your town government keeps its money and, if it uses a big bank, you could try to get it to use a smaller bank. Start your own website (to improve upon or replace this one), dive into the research about smaller banks, and help give rise to a bigger, broader effort.
There is no official organization here. It’s a volunteer project. If you have ideas about how this idea can grow, send us a note and we’ll display the best ideas in the Updates section of the site.
We hope this idea will spread in a thousand different ways.
Thanks for whatever you can do.
I like the video and think we should take the idea to heart. Heck, it's clear that the bulk of our leadership is owned by the big banks, and if anyone's to make the change, it seems that it WILL have to begin with average Jane and Joe, you and me. Go to the site and use the online database to identify local companies, in your area, to which you'd consider moving your cash to take it out of the big institutions who design every means possible to maximize their leeching of fees and overdraft charges.
In any case, Move Your Money is not asking for your money, just that you move it from the corrupt institutions, so they're worth checking out: http://moveyourmoney.info/
Oh, and if Larry Kudlow is arguing against it, it's especially worth the consideration.