November 15, 2011

Bank transfer day: Local, smaller banks are safer

By J. Wesley Wilson–

Nov. 5, referred to as Guy Fawkes Day to many “V for Vendetta” fans and British folk, was a perfect day for the 99 percent to cause a big splash. Kristen Christian’s idea to have as many people pull their money out of the banks, The Bank Transfer Day movement, would have been a perfect one to endorse.

I can vividly remember when I first began to notice the Occupy Wall Street movement. I was sitting around at my apartment watching TV and checking out my Twitter feed when I noticed a blog post about a few dozen people protesting at Zucotti Park in New York City.

Two months later, Occupy has turned into the beginning hill of a roller coaster. It’s slowly rose up to the first peak of the track, but is beginning to fall. The news coverage has died down, as have some of the huge numbers of support, though the movement is still strong.

Not getting the word out in a serious way about Bank Transfer Day was a big mistake for the Occupy movement. What better a way for your “average” member of the 99 percent to show solidarity with the movement and make an impact, while still carrying on their daily lives with the two-and-a-half children and house with a white picket fence?

Imagine if 5 million people would have taken their money out of a big bank, instead of whatever they did. The big banks would have lost untold billions of dollars, instead of the relatively small sum they did. This is something that could have given the Occupy Movement way more momentum after the initial media coverage began to wane.

But all hope is not lost. You can still make an impact even if you missed Bank Transfer Day. Go out to your big corporate bank, take all of your money out of it and find a local credit union to put it in. There are all kinds of local banks and credit unions that would be glad to take your money and put it to better use than the likes of US Bank and PNC. Besides, credit unions have more customer control.

Not only is leaving your money in the big banks against your best interests, it’s just outright wrong. These banks helped break the back of our country, and letting them have even more money is not doing anyone but their CEOs any favors. Remember the reason the Pharisees had Jesus killed? He was throwing the moneylenders out of the temple. Take notice of that old WWJD bracelet you had from Sunday school when you were seven years old and make your transfers.

More on finance:
Editorial: Student loan bubble troubling
SGA, Provost elminate diploma fees for new U of L graduates

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Photo: Nathan Douglas/The Louisville Cardinal

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