Colorado customers of the "Too Big To Fail" banks are sending a clear message that they've had enough of Wall Street excess, and they're hitting them where it hurts the most--right in their deep pockets.
That's right: A Colorado "Move Your Money" campaign is urging Coloradans to move their money out of Wall Street banks and into community banks and credit unions, which are typically more conservative about how they manage their money, more closely connected to the people and businesses who live near them, and more inclined to make loans they know will get paid back.
For too long the big banks and financial institutions have been the ones largely writing their own rules. They have been indiscriminately increasing credit card fees, offering mortgages that continually reset and creating new financial products like derivatives and credit swaps that allowed them to gamble with our hard-earned money.
Despite receiving trillions of dollars in U.S. taxpayer bailouts, the six largest banks - Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley - have planned to pay out between $140 and $150 billion in compensation, even though their greed and recklessness did so much to cause our current financial crisis. All of these banks have numerous offices across Colorado.
JP Morgan, for example, announced on January 15th that it is setting aside $26.9 billion in compensation this year. On a per employee basis that is a 38 percent increase from 2008 and a 20 percent increase from the 2007 pre-crisis numbers. Citigroup will pay $24.9 billion.
It's as if the whole economic meltdown never even happened. These executives are back to many of their old tricks, including charging big overdraft loan fees for small debits, implementing unfair credit card practices, dealing in opaque, high-risk derivatives and filling their consumer contracts with confusing fine print. Not to mention they have employed an army of high-priced lobbyists to derail common sense reform, spending $344 million on them in the first three quarters of 2009 alone.
But now Main Street is fighting back against Wall Street. Coloradans like Linda Mulligan are marching into banks like Wells Fargo and Chase to shut down their accounts and transfer them to local banks and credit unions that share their community values of fairness and consumer protection.
If you bank with one of the biggies, you know you're through with their reckless behavior and abusive practices. It's time to break up with your bank! You can start again, not with match.com, but with moveyourmoney.info/find-a-bank, where you can find a bank or credit union that is far more personally compatible.
Once free and empowered, you can start an abusive bank survivor network by convincing your friends and organizations in person and via online social networks to do the same. Then you all can contact U.S. Senator Bennet and tell him you expect him to stand with everyday Coloradans in favor of financial reform and a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency to ensure the safety of basic financial consumer products.
It's time to choose Main Street over Wall Street. Join us and Move Your Money today.