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Friday, March 18, 2011

Civil Disobedience vs the banks

There was a time not too long ago-- perhaps 30 months past, when the banks were on their knees- literally.  To express with some personification, the evil banks were bloody and bruised- hemorrhaging money due to bad investments and shady, corrupt business practices.  Once proud and smug superior, they were gasping their last breaths and begging..  pleading like delirious, rabid dogs for the governments of the world, particularly the US, to save them.

Unfortunately, the governments of the world did...
Especially the United States

And you know the story- they took trillions of dollars of taxpayer money and gave it to them interest free..and continue giving it to them through intentionally complex names like 'Quantitative Easing'.  And in the case of the US, they created money out of thin air backed by nothing and worth nothing so the banks could prop up their balance sheets while doing fuzzy bookkeeping such as not counting the toxic assets still being held, so as to to look good for investors.

And on and on..

And now the banks are proud and uppity again..

So what can people do about it that won't get them into legal trouble?

There are basically two simple and Legal things a person can do that if it spread into a movement, would seriously hurt banks and deservedly so...

1)  Withdraw all non-essential money from your bank and keep as cash.   

If you have an account that requires say $1000 to avoid bank fees, then keep that amount and whatever else you may need to pay monthly bills.  The rest- withdraw it as cash.    As I wrote in a previous post, banks survive through something called 'fractional reserve'. This allows banks the means to lend without having to pay out large rates of savings to bank customers. It is a 10 to 1 rule, meaning for every $1000 it holds of a bank customer, it is allowed to lend out $10,000.   

Right now, you get less than 1% interest on your $$..  the banks make 5-15% lending it.    If 1 million people withdrew $1,000 in cash, that would equal $1 billion dollars cash taken out of the banking system.  Then when you take into account 'fractional reserve', it really means the American people will have deprived the evil, soulless banks of $10 billion dollars to make profit from.  And to take a step further, if that money was lent out at the paltry interest rate of 5%, in simple math, it means banks would be prevented from receiving $500 Million in Profit~

2)   When shopping, avoid cards as much as possible; use cash.

Of course there are some purchases where its not too reasonable to use cash to make a purchase- buying a home, a car, major appliances, etc...   But for most other transactions from food to gas to clothing, cash is just as convenient.  And there are advantages..

   a- It allows you to maintain a disciplined budget
   b- deprives the banks and credit card companies of transaction fees from debit cards which add up to billions in profit each year
   c- When you use cash, you don't risk overdrafting & all fees associated or paying off purchases in installments with interest to credit cards.
   d-  Privacy.  You make a purchase, and there's no ability for other people or entities to snoop into your business to see what you purchased on X date, how much you spent and where you were located.   We have so little privacy as it is- why volunteer to give up more?

Most people believe they can't make a difference.   But any change for the positive starts with One.. then an idea is passed to another, and so on.   The banks should have have been severely weakened and broken up after the 2008 crash, much like what happened to Bell telephone.  They've historically done a lot of evil to a lot of people, and have gotten away with it.   

Legally, the above two options are the best two ways to get even.  The banks may be oblivious to your civil disobedience but you will know you took a stand... 

And remember, a movement begins with One.

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