by Evert Cilliers
A few weeks ago I closed my account at Bank of America and opened an account at a credit union instead.
I cut my ties with one of the banks responsible for our economic crisis — one of the banks whose actions have caused countless Americans to lose their jobs and their homes, and caused many children in the third world to go hungry.
I felt clean. Moral. New.
Now I have a dream. What if millions of Americans disassociated themselves from the banks that have brought us grief?
The four biggest US commercial banks — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — possess 64% of the assets of US commercial banks.
These are the banks that are said to be too big to fail.
But what if millions of Americans moved their accounts from these big banks, and put their money into smaller local banks or credit unions instead?
Wouldn't these big banks then become small enough to fail? Isn't this the punishment they deserve for causing all of us so much grief?
I urge you, I implore you, I beg you to move your account from a big bank to a small bank. It is the quickest, simplest way to solve our entire financial crisis. Instead of getting a bail-out, the banks can then be allowed to fail. These banks caused us grief; let's kill them.
Vote with your money. Take it away from them. Why should you leave a single cent of your money in their greedy hands?
This is the best and most practical solution, because it is a democratic solution, executed by the citizenry themselves. It'll work way better than waving a pitchfork or a teabag.
Why depend on Washington? They're in cahoots with Wall Street, and are using our money — hundreds of billions, one-two-three trillions — to prop up these pieces of cancerous, wasteful, irresponsible fecal matter stinking up our lives.
In the words of Sen. Dick Durbin: “And the banks — hard to believe in a time when we're facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they frankly own the place.”
Well, they don't own YOU, do they? It's time to disown them. You have the power. These banks don't deserve your helping hand; they deserve the back of your hand.
They don't just hold too many toxic assets — they ARE the toxic assets in our financial life. Drop them out of your own life, like you would plop a turd down the toilet. Flush the toxic banks out of our economy.
Tell me, do you want to continue paying the salary of Bank Of America CEO Ken Lewis, who made $9.96m last year? In 2006, he made $91.58 million from stock options and vesting of stock.
Or Citigroup's Vikram Pandit, who made $10.82 million in 2008, a year when the government propped up his bank with $45 billion of capital, and the bank's shares tanked by almost 80%? What kind of a job is it that gives you ten million dollars when you perform your job 80% below par?
Or JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon, who got $19.7 million in 2008, down from about $34 million in 2007?
Or Wells Fargo's John Stumpf, who got $13.8 million in 2008? Wells Fargo has taken $25 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
These guys don't deserve a cent of your money in their banks. Neither do the CEOs of the stress-tested banks listed below. Neither does a scoundrel institution like Goldman Sachs, whose hand can be seen in all the bail-out machinations, and who has done such fraudulent things as sell to pension funds their trashy derivatives that they sold short at the same time, fraudulently making money out of the fact that they were selling stuff they know would lose its value. If you work on Wall Street, get over your fear and awe of the Government Sachs Cartel. They may be powerful, with their hooks into Washington, but they're scum. Remove all your business from their greedy hands. Take Goldman Sachs down. If they ask you to lunch, refuse. Shun them. They won't be so scary and powerful anymore if they don't get any business from you and your friends.
My fellow-Americans, it's time for the worm to turn.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Don't be a victim. Hit back. These banks cheated you out of your house and your job and your 401k.
As for the credit card debt you owe to some predator bank gouging 25% interest off you, stop paying it. Offer to settle for 15 cents on the dollar. They'll take it because they've landed themselves in ocean-deep doodoo already. What's their alternative? All they can do is sell your debt for two cents on the dollar to some bottom-feeding debt collector. Whose calls and letters you can ignore like spam. You'll never know how easy it is to get out of credit card debt until you try it.
There are two kinds of justice in this world. Retributive and restorative justice. In retributive justice, the offender is punished for wrongdoing so the victim can feel better and society can be repaid for the wrong committed by the offender. In restorative justice, the offender is given a chance to be reintegrated in the community after duly apologizing and atoning.
None of these offending banks have displayed the slightest qualms over what they've done. There have been no apologies. No atonement. Instead, they behave as if it is natural and just that we bail them out.
So at this point, they deserve nothing less and nothing more than retributive justice.
And it is within your power, and the power of us all, to mete this out.
If you are a responsible individual, a true blue American, and not a goddam wimp, act now. Move your account. It may be the most powerful twenty minutes you've spent this year, and the best thing you've ever done for your country.
See if your account is with any of these big banks and strike a blow for freedom by moving it: JP Morgan Chase & Co.Citigroup. Bank of America Corp. Wells Fargo & Co. Goldman Sachs Group. Morgan Stanley. MetLife. PNC Financial Services Group. US Bancorp. Bank of NY Mellon Corp. SunTrust Banks Inc. State Street Corp. Capital One Financial Corp. BB&T Corp. Regions Financial Corp. American Express Co. Fifth Third Bancorp. Keycorp. GMAC LLC. Do your bit to take the bastards down.