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November 27, 2014

Open Thread – Move Your Money

Happy Move Your Money Day! Today, November 5, is the day when thousands have pledged to move their money out of the “too big to fail” banks that got us in the mess we’re in, and invest instead in local community banks and credit unions.

And if you miss today, any day will do. Check out the Move Your Money project’s website, and go to Banxodus to find a list of local credit unions in your area.

The Move Your Money project is a campaign that aims to empower individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions.

It has been almost three years since the Wall Street banks, through gross corruption and greed, caused the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression that caused millions to lose their homes, jobs and livelihoods. And while the Wall Street banks have quickly returned to making record-breaking profits and bonuses, helped in large part by the $700 billion bailout by the American taxpayer, little has changed to prevent the types of abuses that created this mess.

That is where the Move Your Money project comes into play. We give individuals and institutions the tools and resources they need to divest from ‘Too Big To Fail’ banks and invest in community banks and credit unions. No longer will we stand idle as banks take extraordinary risk with our financial system for their short term profits; rather we will vote with our dollars and no longer contribute financially to the abusive practices of Wall Street. If Congress is unable to enact meaningful financial reform that will prevent another financial disaster, then we must take action into our own hands and hit the banks where it hurts them the most: their bottom line.

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53 Responses to “Open Thread – Move Your Money”
  1. Baker's Dozen says:

    Waiting for next letter from Kinsasha. I need my Andrew fix and I’m not patient.

  2. justafarmer says:

    I have always had my money in the local community banks. I do have a BoA credit card with a $30,000 credit line (that is NOT a typo!) that I haven’t used in about 7 years and tried to cancel today but the phone line was overwhelmed!

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      Thank you, Mo.
      myrmecos offers much to ponder.

      “I am not enjoying watching my own country develop the same internal dynamic that corroded the heart of Paraguayan society. As power and wealth concentrate upwards, the ability of a democracy to function in the interests of its people falters. Forget free markets, or single-payer health care, or whatever your hobby horse happens to be. None of it- left, right, or center- will happen once corruption becomes endemic. And corruption is a major product of wealth disparity.

      This is why I support the 99% & Occupy movements. At long last they’ve gotten Americans talking about our nascent Aristocracy. I love Paraguay, but if I wanted to live in that sort of system I’d rather move back there than grow a banana republic at home.”

      Talking is good.
      and so is listening.
      and taking time to ponder, to reflect, to think, also, too.

      Then it’s time to roll up our sleeves.
      “No farmer ever plowed a field by turning it over in his (or her) mind.”

  3. StElias says:

    We moved to credit unions and FNBA years ago. Also, Vanguard for investments. Have tried to steer clear of the legacy banks and investment firms since learning our lesson by paying through the nose to shyster brokers and arrogant big banks a long time ago. Sure hated to see the state hand over management of their PER’s & TERs health care (ALASKA CARE) to Hell’s Fargo.

  4. OMG says:

    Ultra-orthodox Jews in Israel spit on Christians.

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/ultra-orthodox-spitting-attacks-on-old-city-clergymen-becoming-daily-1.393669

    I wonder if these guys have paid attention to all the evangelical politicians from America that periodically invade their country.

  5. ks sunflower says:

    We’ve had our accounts with a small community bank for years, but it has merged with other small local banks to form a local network of banks, and we fear it may merge again with a large national bank. Once merger fever gets into a corporation system, it is difficult to eradicate or keep under control.

    So, we plan to switch to a credit union even though our small bank has treated us well for decades. We do not want to take the chance on being caught up in a bigger merger. Keeping it local (and insured) is the way to go. BOA soured us years ago on big banks.

  6. We actually “moved our money” more than 20 years ago when we got fed up with whatever bank it was that kept raising fees and imposing minimum balances, which we never seemed to maintain. Our move to the credit union was the best one we ever made. We’ve never had a problem and they have been consistently helpful with our accounts, loans for cars, setting up accounts for our daughters when they were teenagers.

    So today I’m resting easy, knowing that my money is safe and our financial institution isn’t trying to shaft us.

  7. Sourdough Mullet says:

    That’s a great video to highlight the financial situation in this country, sad that the storyline endures for so many decades. Will we ever learn from our mistakes?

    Here’s another video clip, Rachel Maddow’s most recent, that is a MUST SEE. She brillilantly exposes Herman Cain’s campaign for what she believes it is, a complete and utter ruse perpetuated on the public (literally). She brings it all out in an amazingly coherent montage.

    There were even more examples of Cain’s nonsense that she didn’t mention, like his statement that he fears “China is hoping to develop nuclear capability”. Also, as someone at IM pointed out, the title of his new book, “This is Herman Cain!” bears an uncanny resemblance to “This is Spinal Tap!”. Have a look:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/#45171907

    • bubbles says:

      this was wonderful. Rachel Maddow lays it out beautifully. i am living in interesting times.

      • bubbles says:

        this mudpup is not amused by “the brother from another mother”:
        http://i.imgur.com/M0ubs.jpg

        • Sourdough Mullet says:

          I agree, Bubbles. I don’t know anything about Herman Cain’s mother, but I have known a lot of proud, elderly Black women who had to fight sexism, racism, pay inequality,and ignorance of so many kinds in their daily fight just to survive and feed their children, all their lives long.
          I don’t understand how any Black man brought up by someone like that (or at the least, being a aware of that kind of struggle) could sell out to the Neocons and the likes of the Koch brothers, working to undermine everything their forebears worked and died for. His mother must be so proud…..

        • what’s with the rock wallaby and what appears to be a pilfered kitten of somekind? Dear Bubbles of recent migraine headache,are you playing tricks on us?

          • bubbles says:

            that is me as *mudpup bubbles* LOL. i saw that picture and thought; “quintessential Mudpup who is not at all amused by this buffoon in blackface.”
            Sourdough spoke eloquently about the struggles of a people; of women whose grace under pressure is legendary. thank you Sourdough. i hope everyone who hasn’t seen Rachel Maddow’s take on Herman Cain’s campaign that Sourdough linked take a moment to appreciate the insult the koch brothers deliver to the people of this nation and in my opinion specifically to their own Tea Party Patriots. they being made to look like what they are. too stupid to know when they have been gamed and conned.

        • leenie17 says:

          Why would you want to belong to a group that hates everything about who and what you are, where you came from and what you look like?

          Why would you want to support a party whose goal is to roll back the clock on many of the rights that people who look like you didn’t have until the Civil Rights movement changed the laws?

          Is the money you get from the Koch brothers worth turning your back on the people in your community who are struggling more and more every day?

          * * * * * * * *

          Sigh….
          Why anyone who isn’t a wealthy, white, evangelical Xtian male would be part of the GOP is simply beyond my understanding!

          • merrycricket says:

            For some, being miserable is all they know how to do. Gotta have some way to be mean and miserable because it’s so seductive. They’re all stewing in their own toxic brew of hate and blame and anger and that has damaged their ability to see the big picture. Alcoholics don’t see the damage their disease is doing to them and the ones they love. This is the disease of greed.

  8. guest says:

    Another very good option is to move your money to the only Alaska-owned bank. Does it make a difference? YES.
    When you take Alaska money away from Wells Fargo and support FNBA, you are investing locally. For real.

    From COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT ACT PERFORMANCE EVALUATION PUBLIC DISCLOSURE
    January 28, 2008:
    “First National Bank Alaska (FNBA) is the largest independently owned bank in Alaska. The
    bank has no holding company. It is an intrastate bank that has no affiliates. The bank is
    headquartered in Anchorage…”
    http://www.occ.gov/static/cra/craeval/Jul08/12072.pdf

    http://www.fnbalaska.com/company_history.html

    It’s still a bank, but its business practices and operating procedures are different. They CAN be different, because it’s intrastate instead of national/international commerce.

  9. Baker's Dozen says:

    Weve changed several times over the years because we’ve moved so much. It isn’t that hard to move if you plan ahead.
    Figure out how much you have in outstanding checks or for auto pay. Leave that in your old acct. Open the new one, deposit all new $$ there, set up your auto pays to start the next month, then close the old acct after all the outstanding checks have cleared. We’ve never had an overdraft fee doing this.

  10. Zyxomma says:

    I moved my money to my very local credit union (three blocks from home) in 1986, when I moved back to the neighborhood after eight years at the other end of the island. At the time, there was not one other bank nearby; they’d all fled. Of course, now that the neighborhood is fully gentrified, all the commercial banks are back, but my money is still at the credit union, and will remain there.

    I do have a Chase credit card, and will close that account as soon as I get a credit card from the credit union (I use their debit card for many transactions). I won’t get there today (they close at 1 on Saturday, and I have a 12:30 conference call), but will express my gratitude later during the coming week.

    OT, this is the credit union where OWS is keeping their account.

  11. Polarbear says:

    Be aware that AlaskaUSA has moved its headquarters out of state and has quietly partnered with Bank of America, the worst bank in the United States. Years ago, we originally went to AkUSA for local service, but their service and your dollars do not stay in Alaska. What they are doing with Bank of America should be illegal. We dropped them right after they sold our mortage to Bank of America with no notification to us, right after the national meltdown two years ago. Do not do business with AlaskaUSA.

  12. laurie says:

    We moved our Bank on 6/23/11 because US Bank decided they needed $7.95 a month for each account. Unfortunately, we chose a Regions bank free account which after a little more than 90 days begun charging us $8.00 for the account and $4.00 for the debit cards each month. We are now using our new credit union checking account and are just about ready to close the Regions account. They just announced yesterday that they will not be charging the $4.00 debit card fee and will refund that charge to everyone who paid it on Monday 11/7. Interesting timing.

    It is a pain in the butt to change banks. We have only a few automatic payments on our account, but I can appreciate how difficult it would be if all of your bills are on automatic draft. You would need to have a good float of money in order to make the change because making a mistake could cause an avalanche of overdraft fees. Banks know this.

  13. I’m really getting concerned that we aren’t doing near enough for those that have everything. Can all the rethugs and t-baggers be THAT wrong?

    • leenie17 says:

      I do believe that the GOP has a plan in place, if they win back the White House, that all of us earning less than one million a year will simply endorse our paychecks over to the 1% to use as they wish. Hopefully, they will choose to give a little to charity since the second part of the plan is to eliminate all social services including food stamps, welfare, unemployment, SS, VA, Medicare and Medicaid, etc. Those of us who no longer have any money (having handed it allll over to the wealthy) will be forced to rely on the kindness of strangers for survival. Oh yes, and all those annoying requirements like minumum wage, OSHA regulations and EPA laws will be eliminated as well. Can’t have anything interfering in profits now, can we?

      It’s just a more efficient plan than the tax breaks and bailouts that require SO much pesky paperwork to accomplish the same thing.

  14. OtterQueen says:

    If you know anyone who is military/ex-military, tell them to check out USAA. I’ve had a Wells Fargo account for about 35 years, but I just switched everything over to my USAA account. They have excellent customer service, and they’ll even refund the fees that other ATM’s charge you for withdrawals. We also get our auto insurance there, they have low rates and a very user-friendly interface for paying for and modifying your coverage online.

  15. merrycricket says:

    My money is in a small community bank. I started protesting big banks over 20 years ago. So I give you this lovely video to show you how beautiful we are when we work together. This video is a flock of starlings over the river Shannon in Ireland.

    http://vimeo.com/31158841

    Enjoy!

  16. Alaska Pi says:

    Moved my personal accounts 10 years ago at the behest of a relative who was adamant about local banks being invested in our community in ways national banks never will be.
    Owner of small business I manage moved accounts 3 years ago. We have always had a nice tidy solvent set of accounts .Along with multiple other problems, we had to spend too much time trying to understand pages and pages and pages and pages of “fees for service” charges each month to make it worthwhile to stay with the national bank. ( It had gotten so nitpicky we were being charged for their employee’s time to process cash orders )
    Local bank is easy to deal with. Fees are easy to understand, service is excellent , and if there is a question on either side it’s all very easy to resolve locally.
    Heads up to everyone who uses debit/check cards regularly- some of the current flap over fees for service for customers comes from banks trying to “get back” the $$s they think they are losing after recent legislation to cap/rollback fees on businesses for processing those transactions.
    While these ways of paying for things are easy in many ways , they still cost small business a ton of money to process. In the small business I work at, we could afford to hire a full time person with a living wage and decent benefits for what we pay in processing fees every year . I never use my card at small businesses.

    • Elsie says:

      Alaska Pi, I freely use my debit card in a great number of my transactions these days.

      As a consumer, I don’t think much about the costs TO the small businesses for allowing me the convenience of using my debit card. Having processed your words there, I will be more aware of my transactions to small businesses in the future and try to be more careful when paying for them.

      I appreciate you mentioning this.

      • Alaska Pi says:

        Elsie- you can check with the small businesses you patronize but rule of thumb for us here is that debit card transactions cost us more for small purchases ( under $ 30) and credit card transactions cost us more for larger purchases ( well over 2%). As they both come out of most consumer accounts in the same way, sometimes it is just a matter of choosing the type of transaction which costs your small business less.
        Personally, I would prefer to have the $s to hire someone full time as we could use the help greatly but debit/credit cards and their fees are a fact of life at present so keep hoping folks will choose the least costly method :-)
        A sidebar but important: like every other business which accepts credit cards , we had to spend many thousands of dollars recently to meet processor demands for reducing chances of credit card data theft from our system. Everyone- please stay vigilant about protecting your information on your end too. Data theft costs ALL of us waaaayyyyy too much money.

      • beth says:

        My watch battery died last week on my way to the hospital– I popped into a small business along my route (OK, it was a pawn shop) to get a new one. I had no cash on me, but did have my debit card and a couple of blank checks folded up in my wallet (card and checks from local bank). Not wanting to go through the hassle (gadzooks, I’m getting lazy in my old age!) of writing out a check, I asked if they took debit cards. “Yes”, they said, but here would be “a fifty-cent fee to cover processing charges [to them]”, would that be OK with me? It was. I thought it more than fair for the convenience it gave me…and for a new battery, to boot.

        If I’m not mistaken, that was one of the things Elizabeth Warren was working on for consumers — getting the fee big banks charged small businesses for CC transactions knocked way down, or eliminated; until then, though… My debit card is co-branded w/ MasterCard which makes it great for online and/or telephonic payment of bills and for making purchases, but it sure does irk me that small businesses have to pay for my using it [with them.] I’ll happily pay 50-cents to alleviate the small business’ burden for transactions I make. beth.

    • Baker's Dozen says:

      The small business I recently left had switched to using “Squareup” to process CCs/debit cards. It was must cheaper and frankly much more convenient. The “statement was all online; the $$ transfered into our acct every Mon-Fri evening, AND it kept track of check/cash sales at the same place. They were getting ready to load up the inventory onto an ipad when I left. No more scanning. Just pick the right product on the ipad. It calculated tax automatically, and since we had nontaxables as well, it was great.

      You might check there to see if it works for you, and you can set up an account and try it out for free. In addition, you can take it to street fairs etc. and use it there if you have a connection. You can use it on your smart phone.

      https://squareup.com/

      • UgaVic says:

        We just became more aware, at a small company support meeting, of this company and the service they offer.

        It seems it is well worth it to look into it for many small businesses. It also seems to be good for those who do craft fairs, farmer’s markets, etc as a low cost way to offer being able to take debit and cc, all with some pretty low fees.

        There is also a similar type program for those who use one of the larger accounting programs.

    • bubbles says:

      wow Pi. i had no idea. thanks. i will be careful in the future to pay with cash for purchases under a hundred dollars.

  17. Kath the Scrappy says:

    I moved my main money a few months ago. Didn’t see this coming but didn’t like when I saw the too-big-to-fail stuff going on. Turned out my Mortgage Co. actually WAS an FDIC small, local bank named Homestreet Bank that has been wonderful all these years.

    What a difference. Instead of a ‘rabbits in a headlight’ look that they had at BofA, all the employees at my new bank look genuinely HAPPY, plus eager to help me! They cut out their landscape outfit and came in on their days off to turn their land space into a PeaPatch. Use what they want and donate the rest to the Foodbank. The bank folks were/are so excited & proud talking about their garden.

    So, I got into problems today with my new internet acct. Haven’t learned to use it much, turned out my UserID was what I had written down as the password. Opps. Called computer support (this is my 3rd time of mucking the dang thing). AS USUAL, friendly and happy to help. The lady (I got nervous) said Sure, she could transfer some money betw accts for me – yep, it’s done now already.

    I told her I was trying to close out that last BofA credit card and “I just LOVE my new bank!!!” You know what she said?

    “Congratulations!”

    Have you ever had a banking person say something like that? I plan to finally close all the BofA ckg/svgs accts on Monday. I cringe at seeing the ‘rabbits in a headlight’ look, BofA just laid off about 30,000 people a couple of months ago. But, jeez the rates & svc just don’t compare, plus the $75 annual fee on that credit card w/higher interest. New bank has NO annual fee for their credit card.

    • I’m so glad you talked about Homestreet. They have our mortgage as well. But I just assumed they were a bigger bank – I’m glad to find out they are not. We’ve never had any trouble with them. Well, a little bit. I used to mail in our mortgage payment and no matter when I sent it in, they wouldn’t cash it (in Seattle) until after the late payment date and we would sometimes get dinged a penalty. So I finally started taking in the check to the local branch. They are friendly and helpful. We exchange pleasantries once a month and we haven’t been dinged with a penalty since.

      It would be even easier if we had our checking account there, but we’re very happy with the credit union and have no reason to want to change.

      I was glad to see that the news covered some of the people who showed up in Seattle to move their money. Apparently, some didn’t wait till today, and that’s even better.

      • Kath the Scrappy says:

        When I discovered they Homestreet Bank was a bank (duh? can’t imagine it took me over 12 yrs to realize) when I checked them out, they only cover WA, Oregon and Hawaii. In business since ?1920s? and very stable. I have them do mortgage auto deduct payments and have never had a problem.

        I can’t believe this. Last night I applied on-line for their credit card. Sure my credit is good, but by 8:01am this morning (on a SATURDAY!) they sent me an “approval” email, card should arrive 7-10 bus days. So I’m going in Monday, feeling more confident about closing the AlaskaAirlines credit card and telling them I don’t want to pay that $75 annual fee coming due. Homestreet card is not only free, plus no interest for 12mo, but only 7.99% after that. I’ve been paying much higher interest. It’s a pain to transfer, since one has to make sure of linked bills & ActBlue etc, but I’m so happy with this new bank & lower fees.

  18. Kath the Scrappy says:

    OMGosh, this was a beautiful sight! You folks have seriously GOT to watch:

    Gov. Scott Walker gets checked, Mic Checked!
    (in Chicago!) 3:46min

    When Wisonsin Governor gave a speech at Chicago’s Union League Club the morning of Nov 3rd, he has some unexpected guests:
    Stand Up! Chicago

    • Irishgirl says:

      That was fantastic!

    • Kath the Scrappy says:

      Oh yes, fantastic! But what I think is wonderful is that the people were interspersed throughout the room so they couldn’t call security to just haul folks away. Best Occupy YT I think I’ve seen!

    • barbara says:

      damn that was great. liked, shared on fb and tweeted!

    • That was fantastic! The best part is that they were there and no one suspected so they were able to go through their whole message. At one point it seemed that the others in the room would shout them down, but it was great that they kept going even when someone tried to get them to stop.

      I don’t imagine a repeat will be quite so easy. It’s likely there will be some sort of screening set up for any future appearances by Walker. But this video is there and can be replayed over and over.

    • leenie17 says:

      Much more organized, polished and professional than the nastiness that people screamed at the meetings during the health care debate. Full of facts as opposed to full of hate.

      Good for them and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving speaker! ;)

    • fishingmamma says:

      YAAAY!!!

  19. Lani says:

    Occupy Oakland: second Iraq war veteran injured after police clashes: Kayvan Sabehgi in intensive care with a lacerated spleen after protests in Oakland, a week after Scott Olsen was hurt. He says police beat him with batons
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/04/occupy-oakland-second-veteran-injured

    How disgusting is it that we have to look overseas for real news about what is happening in the US?

    • Kath the Scrappy says:

      Lani, I saw that at Dem UG. There too everyone said it hadn’t even appeared on our news. Pathetic, and it’s just getting worse.

      I hope he’s going to be okay. Our Veteran’s medical payments at work – repairing damages from assaults by our cops on our own shores.

  20. CO almost native says:

    I, too, already switched banks- while not a credit union, I reside at a local institution. I even changed types of accounts, when they tried to increase fees if I didn’t have a huge balance. My banker looked at the fee sheet, and shook her head: “What were they thinking?!” she muttered.

    Plain vanilla savings and checking works for me.

    I am in the process of picking another credit card- so over Citibank :-(

  21. Sister A says:

    Once again, I must bemoan the fact that I moved my money – quite happily I might add – about 3 months ago. Tomorrow, I will go into my credit union with donuts and flowers from local merchants, and I encourage other folks to do the same. I can’t be part of the switch tomorrow, but I sure want to be part of the Thank you – thanks for taking good care of our money, for not taking risks, for being part of our community, and for handling money in an ethical way.

    • thatcrowwoman says:

      Good on ya, Sister A.
      Great idea. Thank you for sharing.

      I’ve been with my local educators’ credit union for 20+ years, savings and checking.
      (Still kick myself for not switching earlier and getting our mortgage from them.)

      Our credit union participates in food drives for the community food bank, and has an “angel tree” for the council on aging at Christmas, as well as other community service projects. I’m a Jewess with plenty to eat, and sharing makes me feel more better. When we all do a little bit, we can make a Big Difference.

      Imagine.

      Occupy/Appreciate/Celebrate our Communities.

      We are the ones we’ve been waiting for, eh?

      L’Shalom,
      thatcrowwoman

      • Tele says:

        That IS a lovely idea! My partner and I just joined our local credit union last week (we were late getting on this bus; I’m so impressed with your long history, fellow corvid friend!) They decided to remain closed today to keep a family-friendly schedule for their employees – that, and I’m certain that they’ve received enough new members over the past months that they can share Nov 5 converts with the other local credit unions. But a Monday delivery of smoked salmon and cookies might start the week off right…

        You both make such moving points. Thanks for these.

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