Perhaps you have seen the commercial. Bank of America asks “What is 720,000,000, 000 ?” ” A good start.” I find the commercial offensive. For me it reminds me of the anti-lawyer joke, what do you call 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean. A good start.
The commercial implies that Bank of America wants to receive more bail out money. The banking industry with its deregulations and greed have caused the deepest recession this country has ever faced. I am still not convinced that bailing the big banks out was in the country’s best interest. We are the nation of free markets after all. This is our mantra that here the free market reigns and if there is a market for something it will do well, if the market cannot support it, it will fail. Well, the market did not support the hedge funds, the quasi pyramid schemes, the credit default swaps, the soft mortgages and those banks that pushed these quick money schemes should assume the consequences of such irresponsible actions. Instead, Bush and Obama following suit, gave billions of dollars to bail out these guys instead of allowing the market to correct itself or instead of bailing out the deceived who signed onto soft mortgages. The victims of these shoddy business deals are still being held responsible when they were coerced more times than not to do something that every business person knew was not sustainable.
Now that the economy is now beginning to rebound the banks are fighting against the regulations that are needed to prevent this sort of mass greed from happening again. They do not want to be reigned in on their shoddy business practices and extravagant bonuses rewarding bad and unethical behavior.
There is a way that the message that never again will big banks be allowed to squander our money can be heard. And it is with our money that they have squandered. Everytime a deposit is made to a bank we are giving the bank carte blanche approval to invest that money in however they see fit. It might be in a hedge fund. Or it might be in developing a coal processing plant in a foreign country endangering the livelihood of the local people and ruining the environment.
However, what if people decided to invest their money in community banks? Banks that invest the depositers money to support the local economy. There is a movement that is beginning to take notice to move your money from the big banks like Bank of America that squandered our money recklessly and created the largest financial crisis in our history and place them into community banks.
Community banks and some of these are also non-profit banks invest the money into local economies supporting building construction, local non-profit organizations with grants, and job creation with small business loans. It makes sense to support the local economy. It also sends the message to the big banks that they can no longer rough ride over investors money with greed and unethical business practices.
It will take some research to find the right community bank that reflects your values. Paul Raushenbush writes, “Like the terms ecology and ecumenism, the word economy has the root oikos, which is a Greek word that translates as family or house. Any economy should be judged on its ability to provide for the needs of the entire human family it is meant to serve. Banks are an important part of our economy. As part of our economy they should be judged on how well they are serving our community and national family.”
You may get more information on how to move your money at this site. Blessings,