Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Move Your Money!

One of the most significant experiences I've had thus far in my life was my time as a fellow at The Greenlining Institute. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area (Bay Areaaaaaaaaaaa!), Greenlining has become a well-known force in the community reinvestment movement, what I consider the postlude to the Civil Rights Era of the 1960's. Community reinvestment, or "greenlining" is a public policy, and community/leadership development philosophy, in my opinion, that focuses on ensuring resources are invested in communities and micro-economies that will provide the highest yields to the broadest possible spectrum of those communities, particularly historically disenfranchised or "redlined" communities, that now tend to be our nation's lowest income areas.

Today, with the American economy in a historically lull (literally coming off a decade of zero-neted growth, WTF?!), the idea of redlining has grown and taken many different shapes. While we continue to work, toil even, our monies are transferred by the federal government into the hands of the already irresponsibly wealthy, only to have them not reinvest it back into our lives, our dreams, our communities. There are many issues with the way President Bush, President Obama, and the U.S. Congress have responded to the economic crisis. The saddest, and scariest, has been the inability to leverage their "bail-out" of U.S. American commercial banks into liquid funds reinvested by those commercial banks through small business, residential/commercial development and home mortgage loans at realistically competitive rates. Every American taxpayer is being redlined.

So, I'm moving my money! In protest of the poor and irresponsible practices of the past 20 years on the part of the Federal government (through Reagan-era inciting of deregulation and anti-government policies, incuding the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, particularly Reg Q) and commercial banks (recklessly seeking higher shareholder profits through "selling" banking and financial products, even at the expense of consumer's financial security), I am moving my money to a community bank.

My mom and I have been discussing the need for strengthening community banks over the past year, primarily since Lehman first started dipping low. This website, and my lover and soulmate Arianna Huffington, inspired me to actually take a step and DO IT, as well as further promote the need for consumers to speak with their money, and MOVE IT! The "too big to fail" banks that are left won't be too big to fail if we take all our money away. At least the money we voluntarily let them hold in accounts and through products such as credit cards.

Along with my own personal fiscal responsibility for this new year and new decade, I am also looking forward to knowing my money will be invested into a community bank that re-invests in the community they are serving and receiving monies from. All the while, growing in a fiscally safe and sound manner. The true aims of banks (Hamilton must be spinning in his grave right now seeing how this system he so intricately crafted has turned out).

BTW, I chose this bank: Burke & Herbert Bank & Trust. Conveniently located and renowned for being safe as a financial institution.


Play me out fellas...Pink Floyd - Money

Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash...
Money, get back. I'm all right Jack, keep your hands off my stack.

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