Because it's the time of year to be cynical like scrooge, I just have to look at this new grassroots movement to go against the Banks and just... well, just be realistic and realize no one is going to do this.
But Acclaimed stinky French dude Eric Cantona has proposed a worldwide protest of capitalism and shit. His plan goes something like this: Everyone goes to their local bank today, December 7th and withdraws all their money. The banks run out of cash and close up shop. Mass panic ensues. This gay earth burns to a cinder. the end.
So far this plan is getting some support. I mean, it's not every day that Tyler Durden approves your crazy high school Anarchy plan. I guess it's also getting attention in the mainstream media, as the Guardian is pimping it out.
So you're probably wondering what you can do for this most noble of causes. Well, you can go to your bank today and clean out all your accounts, in the worst case - nothing happens and you can put it back later. In the best case you help kill capitalism. Though considering how many heads that awful beast has, I doubt it will be that easy.
Besides, I'm sure that even if it's successful, it would just lead to the success of another huge bailout. What this boycott is trying to do is no better than having everyone take a shit at 9am on December 8th to destroy the sewage treatment plants monopoly over our dirty water! At worse the global financial district panics as banks run out of small bills and loose change.
Let's all be honest, nobody who would listen to this guy actually has any money of any amount anyway. As if the banks will feel the pain when I withdraw my $0.57 cents anyway? They are banks after all, they'll just create some more billions existing only inside the databases of their computers in a digital world. Do you honestly think that not having money will stop them from playing with it?
The same mentality would be if you want to bankrupt the whole health care industry by getting everyone sick at the same time. Thus testing the limits and abilities of the doctors. All that will happen is people would die. Just like this, the banks will kill every one of us before they go down.
This is simply turning Banking into the new gas station boycott and we all know that didn't work for shit. Even if Citi bank charges you $20 a month for the privilege of having your money in their system, you're not doing much to solve the real issue with this silly boycott.
Even if this idea is stupid in all regards, I do believe that having your money in a bank is a fairly stupid move. It may not be all at the same time or capitalism crushing, but perhaps you should rethink where you keep your money. I would say take it out of the banks and put it into a credit union. It really is the best solution.
So why is it the ultimate solution? My credit union reimburses all atm fees with no limit. This allows you to feel like you're taking it to the man without filling out all the stupid paper work. All you do is go down to the corner store's ATM and take out money with a $3 fee as much as you want. They'll cover it and eat the loss.
The whole point of credit unions is that instead of just pocketing the money they make off of loans, they turn around and reinvest it because they're not-for-profit. So their loans come with a better rate than your normal banks. They do rely on the profits from their financial products to continue existing. When you get a loan from a credit union or a bank it could be sold off, though I would trust a credit union with being less of an asshole with it.
My credit union, for example, doesn't charge any overdraft fees. Instead it counts it as a credit card and if you go negative on your account, you have a month to pay it back or else they charge you a 5% rate on it. If you can't see the difference between that and how Chase, BoA and Wells Fargo nickel and dime you with fees, then I'm not sure what's wrong with you.
And for those of you who believe that closing a bank account is as simple as walking into a bank and asking for your account to be closed. I think this whole thing is going to be a bit of a problem. You see, a closed bank account isn't really closed.
The best and only way to do banking...
Then you have to figure out what you will do with your cash now that it's out of a bank. Do you stuff it under your mattress? Just wait till you get robbed and then after get evicted. Not fun, no sir. Then again, having it being used by crazy bankers to increase their bottom line isn't any more fun.
The answers are pretty ugly as to what they do with your money when they get it. One example is that peoples' pension funds are used to speculate on commodity prices.
The overwhelming majority of holders of a bank accounts, savings accounts or even a pension plan, are unaware the way money is created or what the banks are doing with the money that 'they are given. They know nothing about the principle of money as debt. They do not know the reality behind words like "asset bubbles", "Treasury bills", "Hedge Funds" or "securitization". Hence the media in general make little effort to inform in an objective, transparent and accessible way to all. The only thing the public really understands is that most major financial crimes and insider trading remain mostly unpunished, but they are the first to pay the consequences.
Then again, it would be a little irrational to NOT gamble other people's money as a bank. Just think about it. As a decision-making manager you have your six-or-seven figure salary at your feet. They're not taking that away from you. But you know they won't get that seven figure bonus unless you blow the profit margins out of the water. If you go bankrupt then you have a pretty sweet severance package and a nice government bank bailout. Too big to fail, right? So you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain from pissing away other people's money on a risky venture as a banker.
May I suggest you invest in a copy of "This time it's different" with the money you took out of the bank today.