By DJ Pangburn
Sep 19, 2011
Help limit the influence of big corporate banks and strike a blow for the working man by moving your funds to a credit union.
1. Fuck Convenience (And Your Money is Federally-Insured)
The subversion used by the big banks is “convenience.” How it makes cattle of us all. It’s the same predilection or tendency that leads one to McDonald’s or Dunkin’ Donuts instead of traveling across a city to a farmer’s market, and enjoying the stroll whilst doing so. They reel unwitting fools in by the matter of convenience. Well, fuck convenience. Walk the extra few blocks, bike it or hop on a train to either a credit union or small local bank.
There is nothing convenient about giving one’s money to the unethical, especially when it enables them to execute risky investments, lose it all and come slithering back on their underbellies to beg the middle class for bailouts. Yes, your money is an an enabler of bad behavior.
Like a naughty child, you must take the source of bad behavior from them and let the bastard cry. Note that credit unions are also federally-insured, so your money is as safe as if it were in a corporate bank.
2. Your Money Will Not Precipitate Economic Crashes
Credit Unions, co-ops and small banks are not too big to fail. As such, they are careful in how they spread risk and will not precipitate economic crashes like that which we experienced in 2008: a crisis of big banks mingling financial tentacles and appendages with corporate insurance firms (see: AIG) and high-flying investors who have zero sympathy for the plebes.
This ties into the convenience question: our pathological need for convenience draws us to the big banks like an electro-magnetic force, or perhaps more appropriately, black holes of crushing disintegration, from which no light in the world can escape.
3. Your Money Will Not Line the Pockets of Fat Cats
Fact: Your money will not line the pockets of rich bank executives. Your money will not be used to pay out exorbitant bonuses even as the economy implodes. Your money, in turn, will not add to the salary, stock options and other compensation of, say, Bank of America‘sBrian Moynihan or Washington Mutual’s Kerry Killinger—who made $25.1 million as his company collapses.
Credit unions exist to create a reasonable profit in order to remain solvent, not to enrich executives, boards and investors. Excess earnings, in turn, are used to offer members more affordable loans for housing and businesses, as well as lower fees.
4. You Are Part of a Union, With Voting Rights
Credit unions are member-owned and democratic. Each member has a vote and can run for the credit union’s board. This is a right you absolutely do not have at large, corporate banks.
5. No Financing of Unethical Business
This past December, Bank of America financed the sale of Erik Prince’s Blackwater (now Xe) for $500 million to a group of investors, describing the mercenary army’s business—which had slaughtered scores of Iraqis—a “growth industry.” Washington Mutual collapsed because of its overwhelming exposure to predatory loans in the sub-prime mortgage crisis (and they were merely one of many).
Corporate banks often exist in a morally bankrupt looking glass world into which we cannot, by virtue of our social status, peer. And it’s through that looking glass that unethical decisions are made, in which Bank of America believes it is morally and ethically advisable to finance a deal for Blackwater.
Credit unions, one can be sure, will not be making such deals.
What To Do
Find a Credit Union in your city and make the switch. You can use this site to easily find credit unions near you and to get more information: