The lessons from this event underscore some of the rules of business today -- rules that echo basic tenets of trust and good, old-fashioned customer service. Simply put, customer relationships do not begin and end at the transaction.
What if $2 trillion dollars of corporate, brokerage and fund money began to migrate back to Main Street using the full 7,800+ population of banks instead of hyper-concentrating in under 100 too big to fail institutions?
Shouldn't money have some relation to actual wealth? Isn't wealth not just numbers on a screen, but something like those things and services that meet human desires, produced by labor and using the fruits of the Earth?
In December 2009, my friend Arianna Huffington called with this idea to educate "ordinary" people about the financial system. We called that project "Move Your Money" and the tool has been running ever since.
Globally, a burgeoning movement for local, cooperatively owned and community-oriented banks is blazing the trail toward a new, sustainable form of banking.
The "New Economy Movement" is a far-ranging coming together of organizations, projects, activists, theorists and ordinary citizens committed to rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up.
When individuals, religious institutions and local and state governments decide to move their money, it puts direct pressure on banks and on the federal government to change their policies. Cities and states have incredible leverage if they chose to use it.
The goal: to wrest control of our democracy back from the robber barons and CEOs that systematically block any effort to create an economy and a body politic that serves the needs of the vast majority of Americans and not the elite few.
Bank of America is actually doing a number of things congruent with the emerging needs of the economy. What's not to like about a big bank that actually depends on the goodwill of millions of individual consumers for its survival? So how can one mess this up?
If moving your money to a credit union won't make Bank of America or Wells Fargo small enough to fail, it is a rational consumer decision. Making the switch may not be a revolutionary act, but it will certainly make your life easier.
Last week, I attended the Broadway production of Once, which is based on the film version of Once. I do not attend Broadway musicals often, but (A) I liked the film version of "Once," which focused on these two unnamed, star-crossed, musically-gifted lovers and (B) I'm oddly fascinated by film's relation with Broadway. Regardless here are the seven things I learned while attending the Broadway production of Once.
Credit unions serve more than 90 million Americans and play a key role in supporting our economic recovery. Unfortunately, current law imposes requirements which unfairly penalize healthy credit unions for growing to meet the needs of their members.
On Ash Wednesday, churches in San Francisco announced they were removing $10 million from Wells Fargo and called on the bank "to put an immediate freeze on its foreclosures and repent for their misconduct." The effort is part of several national campaigns to get consumers and community groups to remove their money from the big banks and transfer accounts to credit unions and smaller financial institutions. We're told that the banks, desperate when thrown a lifeline by taxpayers in 2008, are now stronger and better able to weather a crisis than they were. And yet, they continue to scream in protest and lobby on Capitol Hill against the ignominy of reform. Simple greed -- hey banks, how about giving that up for Lent?
The general pattern of the FDIC closing banks with weak operating characteristics and deepening asset quality troubles continues. The FDIC shuttered four additional banks today bringing the 2012 count to seven.
"We are being bamboozled by lobbyists, it's time for democracy to be restored," Deepak Chopra told his guests, Arianna Huffington and Dylan Ratigan at a DeepakHomeBase (DHB) event this week.
My university and many other Jesuit institutions uphold a great standard in their commitment to fighting for social justice. Is investing in corporate banks, which foreclose on families who they purposefully target with sub-prime mortgage loans, socially just?