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Banking Alternatives: Forget Fixing the System (Michael Hudson); and Bank Transfer Day (Credit Unions)

Questions arose today on C Maukonen’s thread about the imminence of the global banking meltdown as to whether or not credit unions are a safer place to stash your cash.  This video says that it is.  I apologize for the hastiness of this diary; I had collected the info for a diary I’d thought to publish sometime over the next few days; it seems timely now, given the questions that arose.

CNBC had an hilariously great piece up yesterday about Bank Transfer Day, which they claim is being promulgated by a group ‘associated with Occupy Wall Street.  It seems akin to the Move Your Money movement.  Yesterday Business Insider had up information about the advisability of switching to a credit union, and tips to avoid snags and penalties.

CNBC said (I will leave their hotlinks in place, and allow you to find out more about the Durbin amendment yourselves; I’m in a tear):

“The Facebook page for the event states the following:

“Together we can ensure that these banking institutions will ALWAYS remember the 5th of November!! If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions on or by this date, we will send a clear message and give the 1% a taste of the fear that we experience every day when we aren’t able to pay for our rent, food, medication, utilities, student loans, etc.”

So far over 6,500 people have RSVP’ed for the event.

The protestors take issue with the Durbin Amendment, which is an addition to the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act that caps the debit interchange fees banks can charge merchants.”

Anyhoo, here’s the video from 2009 at the start of the project:

In this startling video (bad tin-can sound), Michael Hudson says that we are past the time and possibility for the system to be changed electorally, though he doesn’t openly advocate revolution, he leaves you to fill in the blanks.   He is advocating for banks to be run as public utilities, a step further past the Public Banking Institute advocates, as per Ellen Brown in North Dakota.  On a related note, Governor Jerry Brown, formerly known as Moonbeam,  is apparently ready to veto legislation designed for California to ‘study’ the feasibility of public banking (how wry).

Hudson writing at Counterpunch two days ago had this to say, in part:

When I visited the OccupyWallStreet site on Wednesday, it was clear that the disgust with the political system went so deep that there is no single set of demands that can fix a system so fundamentally broken and dysfunctional. One can’t paste-up a regime that is impoverishing the economy, accelerating foreclosures, pushing state and city budgets further into deficit and forcing cuts in social spending.  [snip]

So the great question is, where do we go from here? There’s no solvable path within the way that the economy and the political system is structured these days. Any attempt to come up with a neat “fix-it” plan can only be suggesting bandages for what looks like a fatal political-economic wound. [snip]

That is the spirit of civil disobedience that is growing in this country. It is a quandary – that is, a problem with no solution. All that one can do under such conditions is to describe the disease and its symptoms. The cure will follow logically from the diagnosis. But the role of OccupyWallStreet is to diagnose the financial polarization and corruption of the political process that extends right into the Supreme Court, the Presidency, and  Obama’s soon-to-be notorious Committee of 13 once the happy-smoke settles from his present pretensions.


(cross-posted @

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