Posted 2 years ago on Oct. 12, 2011, 7:47 p.m. EST by deliberate
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I believe that the OWS movement is a great opportunity to organize the actions of financial services consumers against the consensus targets of the movement's ire, the bailed out banks. We can do so by creating a pledge to close out and move our bank and credit card accounts by a specified date if a list of basic demands aren't met. We should provide them with enough time to enact these changes. In the event of inaction on behalf of the banks, I think it would be wise to only have a fraction of the pledgers close their accounts at the 1st deadline. This will demonstrate to the banks and citizens watching this unfold that we are acting in earnest. At the next established deadline, the rest of us will follow through on our pledge. If the bailed out banks with which we have accounts comply, then we should not do anything. If they do not, then we can move our accounts to banks which have complied. If the bailed out banks collude to do nothing, then we can move our accounts to banks and credit unions which were not recipients of bailouts.
To do this, I think that OWS movement would need to write out a formal pledge. People on the ground can collect signatures and contact info. We can also create an online site where people can pledge. Anonymity may be of importance to some, so perhaps we can create a system that allows people to pledge without divulging their identities.
I would like to stress that I am not trying to instigate a bank run, which would be devastating to our economy. Our demands should be reasonable and we should give the banks sufficient time to implement the changes. The time should also suffice for the industry to brace itself should a bank decide to not comply.
As for what these demands should be, I have a couple of suggestions:
1) We make a list of the bank employees primarily involved in the decisions to invest in the opaque and ultimately toxic investments that led to the financial crisis. We then request that these individuals be replaced.
2) That they open up their books to an independent audit. In this audit we will verify that assets can and are being valuated accurately and that predatory lending is not once again prevalent.
3) Complex derivatives be segregated from federally insured capital.
4) That banks must retain some of the risk when securitizing loans, not just punt it off.
Some of these suggestions have been brought up in the Dodd-Frank bill, but naturally it is receiving quite a bit of resistance. Nonetheless, I believe they are reasonable requests.
I am open to other suggestions and am willing to put my paltry bank account and two credit card accounts on the table. If enough people are willing to do the same, we can generate a tremendous amount of pressure for these banks to finally make some meaningful changes.