JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS, a few friends were having dinner wondering what personal actions they could take to help limit the power of the big banks and create a more sane, stable financial system. How, they wondered, could they help end the era of Too Big To Fail? The financier at the table recommended that everyone could move their money out of the Wall Street banks and into community banks. Community banks are typically more conservative about how they manage their money, they’re more closely connected to the people and businesses who live near them, and they’re more inclined to make loans they know will get paid back. In other words, they have the values that more people would want banks to have. The filmmaker at the table reminded the others of the story told in the classic film It’s A Wonderful Life — a tale about a small banker, played by Jimmy Stewart, who almost gets crushed by a big banker. In the end, though, the community rallies around the small bank and helps save it. Three days later, the filmmaker made a short video, displayed on the MoveYourMondey.info site. The editor wrote a commentary about the idea. And others started pulling various resources together. The site was set up as a modest home for the effort. A seed. But the idea will only have an impact if others take it from here. How? For starters, you could move your money to a small bank. To do so, click on the button that says Find A Bank. But there are dozens of other possibilities: You can get your friends or organizations to do the same. You can use your online social networks to help broadcast the idea. You can look into where your town government keeps its money and, if it uses a big bank, you could try to get it to use a smaller bank. Start your own website (to improve upon or replace this one), dive into the research about smaller banks, and help give rise to a bigger, broader effort. There is no official organization here. It’s a volunteer project. If you have ideas about how this idea can grow, send the people at MoveYourMoney.info a note and they’ll display the best ideas in the Updates section of the site. We hope this idea will spread in a thousand different ways. Thanks for whatever you can do.
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