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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

40,000 New Credit Union Accounts... On A Saturday! - Day 54 #OWS

Amy Goodman interviews Kristen Christian

Liveblog day 54 at FDL: Live Blog for the #Occupy Movement: Day 53, A Tale of Two Alabama Occupations.

Credit unions opened more than 40,000 new accounts on Bank Transfer Day, with a total of $80 million in new savings, according to a survey of credit unions by CUNA released Tuesday afternoon.

In addition, 60% of the credit unions that signed on new members made loans on Saturday. The loans totaled approximately $90 million.
Related, David Dayen wishes to kill two birds with one stone:
A side note of this is that Wal-Mart’s simple banking services have seen a lot of residual benefit from the controversy over debit card fees from the big banks. Wal-Mart MoneyCenters are kinder, gentler check-cashing stores, charging fees to cash checks. They also offer pre-paid debit cards. This bolsters my belief that the best marriage of convenience and respect would be to allow the postal service to engage in simple banking. As a not-for-profit, they would provide better deals for consumers, and they are conveniently located in the center of all major towns, perhaps the only entity in America with a more convenient set of locations than Wal-Mart.
From his Sept. 7 post, A Public Option for Simple Banking:
This is an incredibly good idea. Mail volume is dropping and it will continue to drop for some time. What little banking services the Post Office already provides, i.e. money orders, are incredibly popular. Wouldn’t it be great to have a “public option” for simple banking, which is all the majority of Americans need? I’m not saying the Post Office should sell mortgages or money markets or CDs. But holding onto cash and allowing check writing and ATM services is right within its wheelhouse.
Next move, a Debtor's Revolution?:
“Non-cooperation with evil is as much a duty as is cooperation with good” -Mohandas Gandhi


What’s the Big Idea?

We need to identify the point of contact between our lives and the banking industry which is exploiting us and corrupting our democracy. It is at this point of contact that we can engage in non-violent non-cooperation and enter into direct confrontation. Every month the 99% dutifully makes debt payments under conditions set by the 1%. We pay our mortgages, our student loans, our credit card, car, and medical debt payments. If one person refuses to make these payments, the banks and the government have the mechanisms to try to ruin our financial lives. But if we can coordinate on a large scale (several million people working together) we can overwhelm the banks and the government’s ability to intimidate and punish us. There is an old proverb that states, “If you owe the bank $1000, you’re at the mercy of the bank, if you owe the bank $1,000,000,000 the bank is at your mercy.” Working together in a coordinated debt strike/divestment campaign we can bring the banks back under democratic control and give teeth to the concrete demands that are being hammered out at GA’s and working groups around the country and the world.
From a the comments:
I think it's important to understand - and to convey the understanding - that participation in debt strike will "ruin" your credit. You seem to suggest that credit bureaus will be forgiving if the payments are escrowed, but credit bureaus are part of the system you're challenging. They won't be accommodating. This is going to be an issue in getting people to sign on: they have to understand that they're agreeing to an act of civil disobedience that will have difficult consequences, and they have to accept those consequences, just as demonstrators accept the consequence of being hauled to jail. And there will be many who can't bring themselves to make this kind of commitment, though you might get critical mass from those who will.
Living with a bad credit rating in America can be a daunting concept. I'll only testify that it's quite do-able, and has the nice side-effect of discouraging poor consumer impulses. Live simply. Starve the beast. And...


Gandhi Disobey

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