Inspired by It's a Wonderful Life (the movie really is a cultural touchstone), Arianna Huffington picks up an idea I've pushed previously: she and her associates are urging people to move their money into community banks.
Huffington is sick of the Too-Big-to-Fail Wall Street fat cats getting bailouts while Uncle Sam leaves the George Baileys of Main Street to sink or swim on their own. She's not asking for a bailout: she's asking us to pull our money from Citi and Chase and do our banking with our neighbors:
The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the big four 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. Consider it a withdrawal tax on the big banks for the negative service they provide by consistently ignoring the public interest. It's time for Americans to move their money out of these reckless behemoths. 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 [Arianna Huffington and Rob Johnson, "Move Your Money: A New Year's Resolution," Huffington Post, 2009.12.29].
As I like to say, be a yokel: bank local! Unfortunately, I'm not sure Madison has a real local bank left. Does Fishback Financial count? What about the credit unions?
Keep your money as local as possible. Learn more at MoveYourMoney.info on how you can take your money back from Potter and support your town's George Bailey.