On June 9, MSNBC Business Journal reported that, “According to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), more than 1.2 million Americans joined a credit union in 2009. … Memberships increased more than one-and-a-half times faster than the growth in the U.S. population,” says CUNA’s CEO Dan Mica, who points out that nearly one in four Americans now belongs to a credit union.”
Last week, Democracy for America launched its Move Your Money campaign encouraging its members to follow suit and move their money from “to big to fail banks.” DFA stated that they have taken this action because even though the administration has enacted a new law to reign in Wall Street, Wall Street banks are still continuing to do business as usual and Americans cannot wait for long-term reform efforts. Since DFA launched their Move Your Money campaign “6,511 DFA members have pledged to move an estimated $403 million dollars out of the big banks and into local community banks and credit unions this year.”
DFA clearly targets big banks on Wall Street, stating that, “…JP Morgan/Chase, Citibank, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley — have had an incredible year, getting huge taxpayer bail-outs, making record profits and paying out multi-million dollar bonuses to their CEOs while many of them are still participating in all the highly leveraged activities that caused our housing and credit crisis in the first place.”
This week, DFA is turning up the volume and uniting with “State Democratic Parties, and State and Local Governments” to rally support across America through door-knocking and other similar activities.
When President Obama gave his first State of the Union address, he expressed that while he “hated” to bail out Wall Street, his action was necessary in order to prevent our financial system from collapsing; an event that would reverberate around the world in one failed system after another. He promised us financial reform and we have begun to see the beginning.
If DFA and others are successful in getting significant numbers of people to move their money out of big banks into smaller banks and credit unions, what impact, if any, will that have on our system and on reform efforts? Should we wait and allow a slower and more deliberate process take hold through the implementation of legislation and regulatory reform? Or, should we take action now and move our money from an industry that seems to care only about how the benefits of CEOs and shareholders? Which sock will you bank on?