As the year comes to a close, I find myself reflecting upon all that has transpired this year, and with emphasis on this countries banks.
Folks, if your doing business with any of the major banks of this country, and you can afford to go elsewhere...why haven't you? Seriously, after all that has transpired, after all that has been revealed to us, why would any of us continue to trust them with our money?
What's that? Your unaware of any wrong doing by said establishments? Wow! OK, let me preface my response to you with a question of my own... Have you had you head up your ass for the last five years?
Let me break it down for you in simple facts...
- Banks and Mortgage firms gave home loans to people they knew were at risk of default.
- Banks and Investment/Management firms took advantage of relaxed restrictions in regards to retirement/401K options, by converting low risk and low fluctuating slow growth packages to very aggressive, far more volatile and risky ones. This strategy optimized the banks possible gains, while exposing the investors to greater possible losses. Many of those losses at the height of the crash in 2008 exceeded 30% of a persons retirement package.
- The bottom of the market nearly dissapeared when investors realized what had happened and started to sell their shares. This was avoided when the government stepped in and threw a very public 700 billion dollar life jacket to the banks, in order to secure confidence in risky mortgage backed securities markets. By the way this was a ruse by the federal government, the truth is, the sum of money loaned to the banks was in the trillions of dollars in cash and loan guarantees.
- The banks took advantage of the interest free Federal Reserve bailout, and were able to not only save themselves, but turn a tidy profit to the tune of 13 billion dollars by loaning the Federal Reserve the money back to them with interest.
- Bank of America is paying no Taxes for 2010, and is instead receiving a one billion dollar refund from you and I.
- What was our award for giving them that refund? Oh! Yeah they tried charging their customers an additional monthly fee of five dollars for using their ATM cards. After a media shit storm of epic proportions, and the worst possible timing of it's announcement to do so...the Occupy Wall Street Campaign had just begun, they shelved the idea - for now.
So here's what I suggest to those of you who for some insanely dumb ass reason have stayed with the big banks, pull your money out, and invest it in a local bank or credit union. Sure, they too are likely going to charge you for services, but never to the degree to which these other criminal establishments like Bank of America have.
Don't reward criminals, don't give them reason to think that the public doesn't care, make them pay - even if our elected leaders refuse to.