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Move Your Money: Vote and Build Your Community

Piggy Bank

Piggy Bank

I heard about this Move Your Money Group on the news. It was first publicized by the Huffington Post.  I did not think too much about it because our family decided to move our Money out of the “too big to fail” banks nearly 30 years ago and have felt good about supporting our community banks and credit union instead.  We have supported them and they have supported us.

It is also a suggestion made by David Korten in his book Agenda for a New Economy.  It is a  noteworthy action because it certainly is a move that has assisted us in building our local community.

I have had at least 10 people ask me just in the past week how to help green up the environment besides just recycling garbage, growing a garden, and taking shorter showers.   I have now added Move Your Money to the opportunities’  list.

Two individuals and one organization have also overtly stated that they did not want to learn about banking problems, food production and related health issues, or how to make changes to find resolution – “Other people will figure it out.”

What is the Move your Money movement?

“There is no official organization here. It’s a volunteer project. If you have ideas about how this idea can grow, send us a note and we’ll display the best ideas in the Comments section of the site.”

“People all over the country are choosing to move their money out of bigger banks and into smaller, community-oriented financial institutions that generally avoided the reckless investments and schemes that helped cause the financial crisis.
“Fueled by the personal initiatives of thousands, it’s a grassroots effort that has the potential to shift power in the financial system away from Wall Street and to Main Street.”
~ From their site.

This site has a place to put your zip code in and find out the local banks and credit unions in your specific area that are worthy of your funds – well rated.

This is not a new story and I thought the site video was very good and informatively entertaining.

And there was a wonderful story of someone making the move on Salon.com

I wanted to share this idea and see what you thought about this kind of voting with your money to resolve an issue.

I thought it put the money back into the people’s hands.  Money the people already gave to the banks and they are not sharing?

What do you think?  Did you like the video?

Related reading:
Agenda for a New Economy
12 Reasons I Want People to Read This Book
Your Money or Your Life
Relocalization

29 Responses to “Move Your Money: Vote and Build Your Community”

  1. Jannie Funster Says:

    I think the idea of locally owned and operated anything is the way to go if the people involved are honest and caring — from vegetable growers, to cloth makers to bankers!
    .-= Jannie Funster´s last blog ..Self-Portrait With iPhone, Yesterday =-.

  2. J.D. Meier Says:

    > This site has a place to put your zip code in and find out the local banks and credit unions in your specific area that are worthy of your fund
    That sounds like a perfect service!
    .-= J.D. Meier´s last blog ..Lessons Learned from Tony Robbins =-.

  3. Patricia Says:

    Jannie,
    local is better and they do know my name! and support our local business.

    J.D.
    This is really a fun and good website – and Steven Colbert was making it even more fun on twitter the other night…It is what we have been doing for years now and it is profoundly supportive to our community

  4. vered | blogger for hire Says:

    I don’t think I can say it better than Jannie! “locally owned and operated anything is the way to go if the people involved are honest and caring.”
    .-= vered | blogger for hire´s last blog ..Clutter Free Home: Six Useful Tips =-.

  5. P.L. Says:

    Oh, that’s what I call “sense of community”.

    The problem of investing in big companies or investing in distant companies is that you can’t really see what’s happening. Balances and numbers can be cosmetic as they can hide a problem. Just look at Enron, which seemed very profitable…

    The good thing about comunity enterprises is that if there is sense of community, everyone benefits.

    I just disagree with using credit.
    People who use credit all the time can’t get rich.
    Just look at this effort to educate kids.

    Where understanding money is child’s play
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8408400.stm

    Any financial manager knows that debt should only be used if the expected profit is higher than the interest paid. Else any project ROI (return on investment) will be negative.

    Using credit for consumption, like a credit card, is the most stupid thing, since you are not using such money to run a profitable business. It is merely for consumption.

    Indeed, at government level same is happening with government spending. It is used to fund temporary jobs (fund consumption) instead of being used for company incubators, community projects, that would create jobs that will not go overseas.

    Current figure on unemployment is based on job claims. But if you are taking a course, you can’t ask for it because you are not fully available for employers. Also, selfemployed or small companies may have people who are not candidates for job claims. My guesstimate is that unemployment in US could be 17% to 20%.

    Addiction to credit must stop in US.
    Do you want a reason?
    Who is making money with lending and government bailouts?
    An arab price and bankers who caused this crisis.

    Saudi prince plan shows he sees lengthy Citi recovery
    RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s announcement of a rescue plan for his investment vehicle indicates he expects a long road to recovery for his shares in Citigroup.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6090AR20100110

    Banks lift executive salaries, cut bonuses
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60A00220100111

    Community projects are fine, but credit must remain minimal. Credit on a macroeconomical level poses a risk of inflation.

    NIA Says Americans Should Prepare for Hyperinflation
    http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS184944+19-Mar-2009+PRN20090319

    Fed economist: Inflation may be next dragon to slay
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE60548S20100106

    What is hyperinflation? It is when prices go up so quickly that money at night buys less than money in the previous morning. Stores can’t get supplies when they sell, and people loses buying power too quickly. In Argentina, government deficit caused by Falkland’s war in 1982 caused a hyperinflation in 1989 where Argentines were starved in a country that produces meat and fruits.

    France also suffered hyperinflation, because it funded wars (including US independence) and got government deficit that caused hyperinflation and finally french revolution.

    The same sequence of war-government deficit-hyperinflation-revolution was present in chinese communist revolution after China-Japan war and Russian soviet revolution.

    The problem is wars are never cheap, and enemies do not let themselves to be defeated by the cheap. Wars always take longer than expected. Government spending in the war creates so much liquidity that increases the velocity of flow of money that prices go up.

    M x V = P x Q
    where
    M: Money that exists ($).
    V: Velocity of flow of money (how many times in a given period)
    P: Price ($)
    Q: Quantity of production ($/units)

    Government deficit usually forces creation of money (M grows) in many ways, from issuing bonds, printing money, etc to fund the war. Since wars do not increase production after the war, when production is reduced (Q goes down), the amount of money, flowing at the same velocity (V) as during wartime, causes prices to up (P goes up).

    It causes hyperinflation at some point. In an effort to keep government functioning, government needs to create more money, add more deficit, making the problem worse.

    The result sooner or later is hyper inflation. US does not have hyperinflation because banks are not lending (V reduced by banks) because they are collecting real assets from pople, transfering the crisis to people (homeless and credit card holders paying high interest rates). But once banks are recovered, hyperinflation takes place. I doubt the Fed may hit the brakes with enough power to reduce supply of money (reduce V) to stop the crisis.

    Hyperinflation does not warn. Governments are too slow to react. Banks do not like to help lenders. Companies and citizens suffer. And it is a threat to political stability.

    Beware of banks, because they create money, and the world already has enough money.

  6. Deb Henly Says:

    You just reminded me of one of my New Years resolutions, by the end of 2010 I will have said good bye to my big bank. Still having trouble making it to the Farmers Market – that darn chain grocery store is so close and convenient, oh well things to work on.

  7. Patricia Says:

    Vered,
    I just read that 300,000 people had logged on to the Move Your Money webpage…I think others are happy to have something to do to vote locally and support locally. Yep Local is good

    Deb,
    I just wrote about book group and our book discussion for Friday…Hip Hurrah, I am glad you are switching banks… Always something more to do ….. aren’t we lucky! When you get your turn for the Food, Inc dvd – you will see that folks voting with their dollars is even changing that chain grocery store.
    .-= Patricia´s last blog ..Move Your Money: Vote and Build Your Community =-.

  8. Patricia Says:

    P.L.
    More great information – I have to slow down and read some other folks blogs now….Thank you for your super education – Wow

  9. P.L. Says:

    Stock market, options market, bond market and other financial markets are factories that create money without producing anything. They are less profitable than actual manufacture and production. Why?

    In economy there are 2 concepts of value:

    1.Exchange value: It is perceived value. Price changes as perception changes, so the trick to make money is to change perception. It allows to make more money.

    2.Usefulness value: Shoes are covers for your feet. During a crisis would you buy a $10000 pair of shoes or a $40 pair of shoes? Crisis shows how useful an item truly is.

    The difference between exchange value and usefulness value is a toxic asset, or what Korten calls “ghost wealth”. It is imaginary value not “collateralized” by goods.

    Usefulness value is created when you transform goods from useless raw materials to a useful product. This is the true “value added”. Unfortunately it is easier to think that value is perceived value, it is easier to think that money is value.

    How much value added banks produce? Banks use money as inventory and money can’t add value to itself, so the only way to make profit is to take money from someone else’s pocket. Same with insurances and casinos and any financial market.

    The problem of creating money without increasing production is that it creates inflationary pressure. When Americans buy foreign products they exported inflation, causing loss of buying power in poor countries. Exporting inflation seemed easy, inflation garbage dumped on poor countries without any effect on citizens that may be upset with inflation.

    So US became a factory of money and poor countries became a factory of goods, so US only had to produce more money to buy more goods and this is the artificial process that led US to become the biggest economy of the world.

    But there is a problem. Companies discovered that cheaper workers made them more competitive, and poor countries had exactly that. Countries like Colombia have first world qualified workers, and war makes them cheaper as they become refugees. So you may see people who may be qualified to be CEO working for a cheap price as salesman and as jobs are outsourced, they may replace expensive Americans.

    Monetary policy also had an effect. US wanted a strong dollar, and it makes Americans more expensive and there is an incentive to outsource jobs. This is how US unemployment started to grow and salaries lagged behind increase of productivity since long ago.

    The end of the American dream?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/5303590.stm

    The credit crunch only speeds up the problem. But the current system was designed to raise unemployment. Keep jobs at home? Multinationals will not risk to be less competitive with more expensive workers because of nationalists reasons. Money prevails.

    China seized this. By buying lots of dollars in US bonds, dollar was kept up before Yuan, favoring exports that caused trade deficit that makes money to leak towards China. How did China contain inflation? It was lending money to US, so the inflationary pressure of credit bounced inflation back to US, and this is why US is now at risk of hyperinflation. For the first time, US is absorbing the inflationary pressures US macroeconomical policy produced.

    And now jobs are being outsourced to poor countries, bringing balance in the job market and compensating those who suffered inflation for years.

    What is needed? US dollar must plunge to balance buying power. One chinese is paid 1/15th of one American. Just imagine how unbalanced exchange rates are and how much buying power would be lost in case of hyperinflation to balance buying power and return to balance. The more it is contained the most painful…

    US will try to export problems, but the world is nowadays designed to bounce them back due to the heavy unbalances and big bubbles.

    The optimistic forecasts are aimed at preventing negative herd behavior, but recovery is far from near. You have a bubble of government spending that gives a sensation of recovery.

    Producing money with a financial factory is obviously more profitable than creating real value, usefulness value that is achieved with production and hard work. But this is the true healthy base of a healthy economy.

    More money with less effort is what most people want, and this is why mechanisms in place caused this crisis.

  10. P.L. Says:

    Correction:

    Instead of “They are less profitable than actual manufacture and production. Why?” read “They are MORE profitable than actual manufacture and production. Why?”

  11. P.L. Says:

    Correction:

    Instead of “But this is the true healthy base of a healthy economy.” read “But PRODUCTION AND HARD WORK is the true healthy base of a healthy economy, EVEN IF NOT SO PROFITABLE.”

  12. Mark Says:

    Thanks for sharing this, it makes a lot of cents, uh I mean sense.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..Near Life Experinces – Awakening From Our Slumber =-.

  13. P.L. Says:

    Correction:
    Instead of

    P: Price ($)
    Q: Quantity of production ($/units)

    you should read

    P: Price ($/unit)
    Q: Quantity of production (units)

  14. Patricia Says:

    Mark,
    We did this many years ago and it has stood us in very good shape and also helped the local community find us…I think it is very good advice and I like their key locator of well rated local banks and credit unions.

  15. Patricia Says:

    P.L.
    Producing money with a financial factory is obviously more profitable than creating real value, usefulness value that is achieved with production and hard work. But this is the true healthy base of a healthy economy. Another interesting explanation – like the BBC series you sent me to watch….you are very knowledgeable.

  16. P.L. Says:

    Producing money out of thin air is more profitable than producing goods. But it is a distortion of the original system.

    At the beginning, money was invented as a tool for exchange of goods. Money and not production became the center, so making money was more important than making production.

    This whole mindset was the one spanish empire had. Make gold… They extracted so much gold that gold lost its value as inflation came. So the more money you have, the less your assets and money are worth.

    By keeping dollar high, a bubble is created that sends jobs overseas as inflatrion is contained. Since the current system creates money constantly, it is inflationary, so someone must absorb the shock of inflation. For years poor countries absorbed inflation, but nowadays they are so cheap that they are absorbing US jobs. So there is a tough choice: to absorb inflation or to see jobs going overseas.

    Making money in a financial factory has that effect in the economy. The financial factory has an inflationary effect in the macroeconomical level.

    The acumulated effect as been so big that nowadays Americans should lose 14/15 of their buying power through inflation so US goes back to its state of balance, no bubbles present. Else, jobs will be gone and the only jobs Americans would find would be… a government job.

    Some people believe that by 2027 US would have no jobs in manufacture.

    US has done nothing to solve the crisis, because those who are getting a benefit of statu quo are lobbying very strongly to preserve current state of things. It is like a family that has lots of debts and poor finances, and a son wants to keep a rich lifestyle.

    Economical adjustments are impopular, but growing unemployment due to wrong monetary policy hurts more in the long term.

    The profitable factory of money has a price. Credit and financial business helps to fuel crisis in US as it produces money without increasing production.

    Some people joke about this crisis, saying that if Iran and North Korea wanted to destroy US, they should not enrich uranium, but they should enrich banks to send loans of mass destruction to US.

  17. P.L. Says:

    If you notice, in the BBC documentary there is a bias. The presenter, a Harvard university professor, somehow defends the portion of system that was created in UK, and was adopted by US. He criticizes some things, but he does not question the core, the essence of the hive.

    But you also may find that Harvard and Yale suffered losses during this crisis.

    Harvard and Yale Report Losses in Endowments
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/11/business/11harvard.html?_r=1

    How is that those who teach economy to the world, are suffering losses?

    I presented you these documentaries, so you could see and be amazed, to present you this truth, so you start having some skepticism about what works and what does not.

    The fact that you are familiar with a system does not mean it works. Economic cycles do not take a few days but years. So a system that worked 30 years ago may not work today, because not enough time had passed.

    We have 600 years of having the same types of crisis. Why don’t we learn? Do we attach so much to a system because we love it, unregard of how good it is, just because a romantic feeling towards it?

  18. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. great thought provoking ideas – we can all help our community in some way or other ..

    Keep yourself on the road with your decluttering and having a clean slate – good for you ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..Saint Hilary, Happy Anniversary, Hilary Term and .. =-.

  19. P.L. Says:

    There is a system in which finances do not provoke a detrimental effect on the economy. Let’s say you ask for a loan from a bank for a productive activity. Instead of paying interests, you pay a percentage of your profit. If you have losses, the bank has losses. The bank would be repaid faster if you have more profit.

    This scheme produces far less profit than the normal finances that create money out of thin air that creates inflationary pressures that once exported, send jobs overseas. But this scheme of finance does not harm employment and causes no inflation. And it also doesnot produce toxic assets and has a component of shared risk, making bank CEO not willing to risky practices like the ones that caused this crisis.

  20. P.L. Says:

    Panel Told of F.B.I. Efforts to Fight Financial Crime
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/business/economy/15panel.html?hp

    Quote:
    ——————————————
    “The financial crisis calls into question the fundamental assumptions regarding financial supervision, credit availability, and market discipline that have informed our regulatory efforts for decades,” she told the commission. “We must reassess whether financial institutions can be properly managed and effectively supervised through existing mechanisms and techniques.”

    But Ms. Bair also said that the underlying causes of the crisis were deep-rooted.

    “This crisis represents the culmination of a decades-long process by which our national policies have distorted economic activity away from savings and toward consumption, away from investment in our industrial base and public infrastructure and toward housing, away from the real sectors of our economy and toward the financial sector,” she said.
    ————————————

    As you see, the financial factory of money takes money away from production of real wealth, and focuses on ghost wealth created by the financial market. Financial markets produce money out of thin air that is not collateralized with goods.

    Imagine this case.

    John asked for a loan of $10 to buy a $10 house.
    John should repay $20.
    But John can’t pay, so the bank decides to refinance his loan and a $20 loan is issued and he will have to pay $40.

    The bank went to Wall Street, which issued a security certificate that is worth $40, backed by the debt of $40.

    But John defaulted and his house was reposessed.
    So the bank has a $10 house and the investor lost $30 because the investment failed.

    So John has no home, and the investor lost $30 of his $40, as the bank collected all the $40.

    Financial games are a game where banks create money and transfer loses to everyone else. Investor bought a security that was worth $10 in real wealth and $30 in ghost wealth, so he lost $30 when such ghost wealth became apparent.

    Bankers are experts in transferring risk to others. Now that Obama plans to collect a financial crisis fee, you bet that taxpayers will end up paying more to banks, because one rule is certain: A bank will never lose.

  21. patricia Says:

    Hilary,
    Yep I am still decluttering and amazed at how much I let slip into my life when I was busy with other focus…
    Thank you for coming on by and wading through – I am detoxing today and have very little energy…sorry I am being so slow this week with comments

  22. patricia Says:

    P.L.
    More fascinating information sharing here and your examples make the quotes real…to the lay person.

    You write with such clarity have you thought of having your own blog? or website…I think a wider audience would benefit from your good information sharing?

  23. P.L. Says:

    I used to have a website in 2000 but I got bored of maintaining it. But thanks for the idea. Perhaps some day.

  24. Sara Says:

    Patricia — Personally, I like this idea and agree with Jannie…I like people to know who I am. Recently, my pharmacy, which is part of big chain, moved all their refills and requests for information to a central clearinghouse…meaning you don’t actually talk to the pharmacist in your local pharmacy.

    I didn’t like this at all. I ended up moving my business to a local pharmacy so I can talk to the person who is actually filling my prescription and who sees my friendly face…well not so friendly when I’m sick. Local seems to suit me better:~)
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..2012 Doomsayers – Are They Right? =-.

  25. patricia Says:

    Sara,
    Yep, I think it is better on so many levels…When my Mom was on Hospice to save money we had to go to one of those pharmacies your mention – the prescriptions were being sent from here to there…and 3 times in 6 months we got someone else s – what a hassle…it did not save me any time or money

    Now it may have saved a robber or two…but I think it it is local and caring, the local neighbors can create a safety net – when folks know each other and care….Korten’s book is all about this on a bigger scale…

  26. Kim Woodbridge Says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently but haven’t taken action on it yet. One reason is that when I looked at banks in my area nothing was very close and I don’t drive – I need a convenient location.

    This is a credit union right across the street from me though. I’m not sure if I qualify as a member but I’ve want to go over there and ask. Another hesitation I have, however, is that it always looks so busy and not a pleasant place to do my banking. A lot of this is mental and I have to deal with the inconvenience in order to do the right thing – I already do in so many parts of my life.

    And, of course, changing banks is a pain and I going through the hassle right now of changing my name.
    .-= Kim Woodbridge´s last blog ..Me in the 1980’s =-.

  27. Patricia Says:

    Kim,
    I know it is a hassle – that is what the salon article is about and reluctance/ like changing your hair dresser.

    Did you try their zip code tester and those places were too far away? It is a 45 minute walk to our credit union and in the rain, that is often the pits…and it is busy, busy but then I think it is the local people supporting me and my endeavors so I could get this home loan…

    I still think it is worth it and a good thing when changing your name – a who new ID!!!

  28. Kim Woodbridge Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    I went to the credit union across the street this morning, became a member and opened a checking and savings account. I found out location is temporary while the new (much bigger building) is being renovated – but it will still only be 4 blocks away.

    I still have my old account and it will take some time (prob about a month) to completely close it. But I feel so good and so excited about this.

    The rep. who helped me was SO friendly. And I noticed that when the tellers were ready for the next person in line they would say “can I help the next member” rather than can I help the next customer” :-) The rep. also told me that so m”any people have been joining recently.

    Yay! And thanks for the kick I needed to do this.

  29. Patricia Says:

    Kim,
    I don’t think you will have any regrets. My local bank is building a new branch and employing my partner’s firm to design a green building and hiring local folks to build it…and our credit union is giving away 2 $5,000 prizes for the best essays on how this prize would help you get ahead or caught up…in other words they are paying for a plan they can share with other members to help with recovery…all right here in my own neighborhood :)