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BofA customers are bloody pissed right now.  This is about how to fight back, help those customers, and hit BofA where it counts.

BofA just slapped its customers with a $5/month fee for the privilege of having debit cards.  Many BofA customers are ticket off and ripe to make a change, right now.  Even those who haven't made the connection between BofA screwing its own customers with more petty fees, and BofA's evil deeds with mortgage fraud and mass foreclosures.

If you think $5 / month is no big deal, think of it as $60 / year.    How many meals can you make for $60, eh?   Money for food, or money for banksters?

Go below the orange squiggle for a simple, straightforward, easy-to-do, and effective form of direct action that YOU TOO can do.

Go to a bunch of local credit unions.  Pick up a handful of each one's brochures.

Go to your local Main Street art supply store and buy four pieces of posterboard, some string, and a couple of magic markers.  Note, pick nice happy colors for this.

Make up two signs for yourself and two for a friend.  The signs should say something like "Another card fee?  Ticked off at BofA?  Move your $$ to a local credit union!"

The tie the signs onto the strings (punch a hole about 6" down each sign, and then tie the string where the loop meets from front to back, and reinforce it with masking tape) and make two "sandwich boards," one for you, one for your friend.

Wear these to your local BofA branch.  Bring the credit union brochures with you.  

Stand on the sidewalk, not in BofA's parking lot.  Ideally they will not notice you there.  Be friendly if the police come along and ask what's up.  

Don't go shoving brochures into the hands of people who don't ask for them.  That's a waste of brochures.

Instead, call out to people who are going into BofA:  "If you don't like that new debit card fee, come talk to me!"

Be prepared to tell them:  higher interest on savings accounts, lower interest rates on credit cards and loans, no petty fees, universal free ATM access at any credit union via the Co-Op ATM network, and so on.  

Keep the pitch simple and to the point:  BofA is screwing its customers, you don't have to take it, you can move your money and get a better deal.   Keep ideology out of it.  What matters is getting people to switch.

If someone asks how credit unions work, tell them this:

A credit union is a co-op, which means the members own it.  Instead of paying dividends to shareholders, it returns that money to the members in the form of higher interest on savings and lower interest on credit cards and loans.  Every couple of years you vote for the board of directors, just like shareholders in any regular corporation, except it's one person/one vote, just like any regular election.  

Originally posted to G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:04 PM PDT.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This diary started as a comment. (20+ / 0-)

    Then it occurred to me, dammit this is something we can all do right in our communities, so post a friggin' diary.

    If you can't get to Wall Street, you can get to your local branch of Wall Street's tentacles.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:07:01 PM PDT

  •  Screwed? A $5.00 fee (13+ / 0-)

    is the least of it.  Just think of all the endless.. never-ending.....perpetual.....ever-increasing bailouts.

    Month after month, million after billion.  This bank got - how much?  And the cockroaches are STILL planning to lay off 30,000 loyal employees this month.

    Because their stock is down.  Nervous investors I've heard.  YEAH they better be nervous.

    •  yes, screwed. it's the little things that.... (16+ / 0-)

      .... piss people off.

      It's the little things that get people who haven't been gotten by the big things.

      Little things like annoying voicemail menus.

      Little things like check holds.

      Little things like petty fees.

      That $5/month fee translates to $60/year.

      Any of those can be sufficient to make someone ready to switch to another brand, another service provider, etc.  

      OUR job isn't to question whether someone's anger at $60 / year in bank fees is A Big Deal in the cosmic scheme of things.

      OUR job as activists is to find whatever issues are motivating people, and use those as the basis to organize change.

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:27:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  though, i just made an edit. (6+ / 0-)

      Inserted the item about $5/month = $60/year.  How many meals can you make for $60?   Should you have to give a few days' worth of your food budget to the banksters?

      The organizer's or activist's job is to connect the issues that motivate people (such as being pissed about another arbitrary bank fee) to the issues that change societies (such as banksters running the economy into the ground).

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:34:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would tip (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frustrated1, Cliss

    but, well, you know.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.
    -- Albert Einstein

    by bryfry on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:15:19 PM PDT

    •  me too, bro'. that's OK, we can.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      frustrated1

      .... still squawk, and not let the bastards get us down.

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:27:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lisa Lockwood

        As we take our restriction in a dignified manner.

        How long is our double secret probation supposed to be for anyway?

        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

        by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:39:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What did you do ? (0+ / 0-)

          "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

          by indycam on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:51:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  that, or... (0+ / 0-)

          .... just proceed regardless of whatever baiting comes from whatever quarter.

          Anyway, this is meta so let's take it to "private" message if you like.  

          BTW, keep an eye open, I might just post a diary about gigawatts of coal.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:52:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Okay. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lisa Lockwood

            Let me know about the coal one and I can republish it to Kosowatt.

            Of course the OWS group has me scanning the recents like a junkie searching for change so I shouldn't miss it.

            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

            by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:56:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll try to keep you posted but... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote

              ... I have a tough time keeping track of admin tasks such as "remind these-and-such people about blahblah."  

              Yeah, OWS has hit critical mass and it's making the MSM.  And now Anonymous is getting in the game with a plan for a high-stakes civil disobedience "cyber sit-in" against the stock exchange.  

              The most important thing we'all can do about all of this, is encourage people to move their money out of the bankster banks and into the credit unions.  That's how to hit the bastards where it counts.  

              Ultimately the purpose of protests is to change public opinion and get other citizens engaged.  OWS is doing that successfully, more so each day.  Then there has to be something the general public can actually do such as vote for candidates or "vote with their dollars."  Connecting OWS to a movement to get people to move their money, is as concrete as can be in terms of individual action.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:48:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I will make a point to walk to the closest (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard

                CU and see what their terms are.

                Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:14:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  excellent! I think you'll be impressed. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Creosote, Odysseus, carver

                  Especially about credit cards.  Typically they are a few percentage points lower than the bankster banks.  Even if you keep a low credit card balance, that still translates to more food in the fridge.  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:28:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh I don't use credit cards. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Lisa Lockwood

                    I can do math.

                    Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                    by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:11:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  heh, no paying the math tax, eh? (0+ / 0-)

                      Strictly speaking, the math tax is for playing the lottery, but we may as well stretch the definition for credit cards in this case.

                      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:56:39 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well at the rates they charge (0+ / 0-)

                        anything immediately on sale usually will not exceed the cost in interest and fees at regular price.

                        If I can't save up for it I really don't need it.

                        And for the "emergencies" line they try and pull, they will make credit cards for $100,000 medical bills?

                        They never have one of those.

                        Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                        by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 11:28:11 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Rate immediately on sale? (0+ / 0-)

                          What rate are you talking about?  I'm confused.

                          •  Something on sale (0+ / 0-)

                            is usually not discounted below the cost you would pay in credit card interest and fees.

                            Thus being patient and waiting until you save up for it usually is more economical then buying on sale using a credit card.

                            It also helps you decide if you really need that item or are just having an impulse purchase moment.

                            And if it is on sale once it will be on sale again.

                            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                            by Horace Boothroyd III on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 11:52:14 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Or you can pay the balance in full... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Lisa Lockwood

                            ...at the end of the month.

                            I do this all the time.  I put things on credit cards I could otherwise pay cash for.

                            There can be a lot of advantages, if you know what you're doing and have a small amount of discipline.

                            If I buy the sale item using a 5% cashback card, for example, I'll get even more of a deal.  Since I pay all balances in full at the end of the month, I also get the (admittedly very small) "float" of keeping the money in my own interest-bearing accounts.

                            You're right that being patient and waiting to buy something is more economical than buying on a credit card with money you don't have.  However, it can be more economical to use a credit card to buy things with money you do have.

                          •  Thats nice. (0+ / 0-)

                            There are still fees and other surprises involved with credit cards I just don't need the stress from.

                            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                            by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 01:15:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

                            Like what?

                          •  Like what? (0+ / 0-)

                            They are pretty random and unintelligible. A charge you a fee because we know you have a card fee basically. Plus interest is nothing to sneeze at for the 99% who live one or two paychecks away from financial ruin.

                            Must be nice to earn enough to pay off big ticket items in the same month you buy them.

                            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                            by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 04:33:33 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The fees aren't "random"... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...or "unintelligible", and let's not turn this into "class warfare".  As part-time adjunct faculty, I probably make less than you do.

                            Interest is completely irrelevant if you pay the balance at the end of the month.  If you do that, your interest is effectively and actually 0%.

                          •  You bring in less than $670 a month? (0+ / 0-)

                            And you are playing with the fire called credit cards and you seem to encourage others to do the same?

                            Not to mention the class warfare canard.

                            Just the fact that you could be in a position to be tenure track makes your employment situation much better than the situation of most.

                            I have news for you, if you are really poor not just under strain, credit card companies will insert fees randomly because they know it will cause you to underpay that monthly pay off thus incur interest charges which is their raison d'etre.

                            Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.

                            by Horace Boothroyd III on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 10:54:34 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Not less than that, no... (0+ / 0-)

                            ...but I'm also not in a position to be tenure-track.  That's the very definition of adjunct--we're not tenure-track.  And, no, my employment situation is [b]NOT[/b] better than most.  My employment is semester-by-semester or quarter-by-quarter.  Some semesters, I get classes.  Some semesters I don't.  I never know from one semester to the next if I'm teaching and, if so, what or at what institution.  As an adjunct, I have no health insurance, minimal retirement/pension (the least they could legally get away with), no life insurance, no sick days, no paid vacation, and no paid holidays.  That's "better than most"?

                            And I'm not "playing with fire" with credit cards.  If you spend wisely--using them as if you were spending cash you already have--there's no problem at all.

                            I've been doing this for over 20 years.  In that entire time, I've only once been late with a payment.

                            I've never had any credit card "insert fees randomly" for any reason whatsoever.

                          •  Ugh. Damn brackets. (0+ / 0-)

                            I hate switching from one message board's system to another, and I really wish there were an edit function on the DailyKos.  :P

                  •  Sometimes true. Sometimes not. (0+ / 0-)

                    The credit union I mentioned in an earlier comment typically has interest rates--both for deposit accounts and for credit cards--that are worse for the consumer/customer than Bank of America's are.  And, really, that takes some doing, because BofA's rates are atrocious.

                    However, the APR rate is completely irrelevant if you pay in full at the end of every month.  Then you're effectively paying 0% in interest (and, if you know what you're doing, you can make some money in interest off the float--play them better than they play you.)

                    If you pay off in full every month, then what you should be looking for are credit cards that kick back cash or other rewards, and those typically aren't offered by credit unions.

              •  G2. "Op Invade Wall Street" is a hoax (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                alizard

                so say anons. I updated that diary the other day to reflect the new info.
                General consensus is that LE has false flagged to entice low fruit into a honey pot, as well as to discredit #OWS.
                Notice the O I W S video messages entreats people to use LOIC.... a tool with known vulnerabilities, rather than the new tool.


                "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

                by Lisa Lockwood on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 12:41:07 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  aha, OK. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lisa Lockwood

                  Honey pot, that figures.  Sheesh, when will they start prosecuting the people who really destroyed the stock market?

                  Anyway, good to hear Anon are on their toes and not getting sucked into bad situations.  

                  I can't do any no-nos myself, by way of having done some work for the goodguys.  But I can cheer from the sidelines when there's a smart & effective protest of whatever kind, and come up with some new ones occasionally and publicize other good ideas such as the one in this diary.  

                  "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:26:07 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Woaa. I just noticed that (0+ / 0-)

        NR on your page? Wa happen?

        On another note, my DH came up with a rather elegant and simple idea that will send a strong message to any bank of your/our choosing, perhaps target one bank a weekend.
        PM if interested. Maybe we could collaborate on a diary to get the ball rolling.


        "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~Anonymous~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 12:32:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Well done! (3+ / 0-)

    This is a great way to get the message out.

    "Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms (of government) those entrusted with power, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny"

    by xylonjay on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:30:20 PM PDT

    •  hell yeah. (6+ / 0-)

      Even those who don't decide to change right now, will have had the seed planted in the back of their heads, where it might bloom later.  

      Like the next time they get hit with an obnoxious overdraft charge or something: "Dammit I'm sick of this crap!  What was that stuff I heard about credit unions..?"

      The activist's job is to connect the issues that motivate individuals, with the issues that change societies.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer

    A couple of points here:

    1. The fee is NOT for ATM card users. It is for DEBIT CARD users - not at all the same thing.

    2. A far easier solution is merely to either move your accounts to a credit union or else hold a separate account with a debit card at an institution that does not charge for debit card use. There are several of these.

    I opted for solution #2 - since BofA has actually been the best bank I ever worked with in terms of customer service and rapid correction of any errors made - always in my favor thus far.

    But those who only use their ATM card (as opposed to a debit card) will not be charged any additional fees.

    Sadly, everything Communism said about itself was a lie. Even more sadly,, everything Communism said about Capitalism was the truth.

    by GayIthacan on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:37:02 PM PDT

    •  qwerty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CaliSista, Lisa Lockwood

      A couple of counterpoints here:

      1)  I just edited accordingly, changed ATM to debit, but kept the reference to ATM cards in the pitch for credit unions.

      2)  That's exactly what I'm proposing.   Move your accounts to a credit union.  But not just your own accounts: go out on the streets and hold informational pickets at BofA branches, and encourage others to move their accounts too.

      If you're having good luck with BofA, then either you have a high enough balance with them to get the red carpet treatment, or you're a very lucky guy/gal/Martian.  

      However, lemme' ask you this:

      Under what circumstances is a person obligated by principles, to make any change in their lifestyle or forego some optional convenience for the sake of consistency?

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:46:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Does BOA actually offer an ATM card that (0+ / 0-)

      is not also a debit card?  Just curious.  

      •  Nevermind. Was looking for their ATM (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CaliSista

        info and finally found it in the FAQ's.  

      •  the thing I don't understand.... (0+ / 0-)

        .... is how an ATM card differs from a debit card.  In both cases you have funds on deposit in an account, and the card can be used for making deposits or withdrawals or purchases using that account.  

        If I had to guess, I'd say that the debit card does not link to your other savings & checking accounts, but the ATM card does.

        If that's the case, then it seems to me the only reason to have a debit card separate from an ATM card, is to limit the possible damage that can be done to your other accounts if your debit card is stolen or skimmed by one of those phony card-machine slots that steals the number and your PIN.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:29:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Difference between ATM and Debit (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lisa Lockwood

          Not to be snotty, but maybe a cursory education about personal finance might be in order before commenting about this.  Seriously, no offense intended--knowledge is 99% of winning this fight.

          A debit card is a "signature card"--in other words, it can be used like a credit card.  It can be swiped and, for transactions over a certain amount ($25, I think), you sign for it just like you would for a credit card transaction.  You can use it to pay for dinner at Applebee's with a signature or withdraw $50 from an ATM with your PIN.

          ATM cards only work with ATMs and in businesses that have a PIN set-up allowing them to swipe ATM cards (usually large grocery store chains).  If you give it to the wait staff at Applebee's, you're going to be washing dishes.

          It has nothing to do with linking savings and other checking accounts.  My debit card is linked to both my checking and savings account, at least for the purposes of ATM transactions.  Obviously, it won't withdraw money from my savings account when I use it as a "signature" card; the primary account is the checking.

          •  heh, simplicity is good. (0+ / 0-)

            "Personal finance" can become a rabbit-hole with a Rube Goldberg contraption at the bottom.   I'm an engineer, not a financialista, so perhaps a disclaimer is in order when it comes to suggesting protests at financial institutions:-)  

            Anyway, so from what you said, it just seems that the primary difference is the method of authorizing purchases, PIN vs. signature.  But a signature can be forged, and any swipe-card can be skimmed, so security & authentication issues exist for both.  

            "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:32:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm an English prof, not a "financialista". (0+ / 0-)

              This doesn't require an MBA.  All you really need is a little personal knowledge and/or access to Wikipedia.

              It's not just that the primary difference is the method of authorizing purchases.  The number of "point-of-sale" merchants that take PIN-only cards (ATM cards) is really quite small, whereas a debit card is good anywhere Visa/MasterCard/American Express is (whichever is backing the debit card) as well as anywhere a PIN transaction can be done.

              And yeah, there are security issues with both, but there are security issues with checks, too.  In fact, checks may be the least secure, because they include your bank's or credit union's routing number, your account number, and, if used, your signature, all on one document.  To that extent, you ought to just get in the habit of checking your accounts regularly.

              •  the entire point of this diary was... (0+ / 0-)

                .... to promote an effective tool of peaceful and lawful protest, that can have an impact on the bottom line.  Using the correct term for the card is a technical edit that's easily made.  My expertise or lack thereof about the specific details of "what type of card this is", is irrelevant to the main point, just as anyone's lack of technical knowledge about some aspect of their daily lives is irrelevant to their ability to support a protest over something related to it.  

                How many people who have been supporting "net neutrality" know anything about the technical issues that are in play?  For example there are protests a'plenty over cellphone carriers' attempts to charge for bandwidth and monthly upload/download totals, fully ignorant of the inherent limitations of wireless infrastructure, and in that case it does matter.  

                "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 01:33:36 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry. (0+ / 0-)

                  I mistook this for a fact-based community.

                  Carry on.

                  •  oh puh-leeze. (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you need to know how asymmetric cryptography works in order to support privacy legislation?

                    Do you need to know the current and projected CO2 levels in parts per million in order to support protests over climate change?

                    For that matter do you need to know quantum mechanics in order to use a CD player or the DVD drive in your computer?

                    And I'll bet that not one in fifty of the OWS protesters can speak knowledgeably about how fraudulent mortgages were set up, or fraudulent investment vehicles sold, that crashed the economy.  But they know they were screwed and they know how to raise their voices and demand justice, and that counts.  

                    So are you also in favor of bringing back "literacy tests" for voting?

                    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                    by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:53:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Oh, please, yourself. (0+ / 0-)

                      I just like people to be reasonably informed about things they argue.  Call me crazy for that.  Furthermore, the difference between an ATM card and a debit card is not mere trivial.  It is not only fundamental to your argument, but it's also basic knowledge anyone with a bank account--any bank account, anywhere--should have.

                      Bringing in literacy tests is just a scurrilous attempt at painting me as a racist, and this issue has nothing to do with race.  Nothing at all.

                      •  if you bothered to read the comments above.... (0+ / 0-)

                        .... you could have found out that when it was pointed out that this was about debit cards rather than ATM cards, I went back and edited the diary accordingly.  

                        And as for squirrelous attempts at painting acorns to look like inedible rocks, your attempts to discredit either me or this entire method of protest, are truly worthy of someone who has more than just a casual stake in the debate.  

                        Now what might that be, eh?

                        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                        by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 08:23:21 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No idea what you're talking about. (0+ / 0-)

                          You're attacking a straw man of your own invention here, with a double-helping of ad hominem.

                          Re-read my posts in this thread (and, if you feel like, others).  I haven't said a word about "this entire method of protest".  Not one word.  Check it.  You'll see.

                          In fact, I completely agree with #occupywallstreet and the protests.  Only in your imagination do I not.

                          I don't have any stake in this debate.  I'm a part-time community college adjunct English professor living on the west coast, about as far removed from Wall Street as is humanly possible.

                          But, as an academic and an intellectual, I rather like it when people are accurate and precise.  I also believe they should be fully informed.  This just goes with being in academia.

                          It also irritates me when people on my own side of an argument argue the case without being informed, and that's because the opposition's going to hit people like them squarely on the forehead with some basic error-of-fact like this and laugh the rest of the argument down, no matter how valid it is.  And I HATE it when liberals leave themselves open like that.

  •  this is getting noticed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frustrated1, meg, Creosote

    I've heard it mentioned on mainstream radio news. Although, since my idea of mainstream is NPR, it may not be getting out everywhere, but still . . .

    Way to go, Geek!

    Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

    by Mnemosyne on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:47:26 PM PDT

    •  that's good, though it wasn't me.... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mnemosyne, Empower Ink, meg

      ... this meme is so obvious that it's clearly been occurring to others as well.

      But I have another meme that's not quite so obvious, and that will become the subject of another diary:  how to start your own bank, and use it to bootstrap Main Street in your own community.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:51:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've looked at that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer

        jointly and severally with friends over the years. Trouble is, once you have a bank with deposits coming in, you have to hire somebody to manage the moolah.

        You need to use the money to grow more money, which means being in the overnight and international markets. You can't just let the stuff sit there. And there are federal regs to deal with, so isn't quite as easy as "My dad has a barn, let's put on a show."

        But more power to you. Go for it. Kos National Bank, free checking for all!

        Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

        by Mnemosyne on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:11:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually it can be done... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Empower Ink

          ... strictly speaking, it's not starting a "bank," it's starting a credit union, but none the less, it gains the advantages of fractional reserve lending and all that.

          But I wouldn't call it Kos National Bank, or even Kos Credit Union.  Trademark issues, among other things.  And the theme colors should be greens, blues, and browns.  But marketing is another issue for another day....

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:15:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  even with a credit union, (0+ / 0-)

            which is what i looked at when we were figuring out if we could set up an NGO for microlending maybe 20 years ago, you still have to have people manage the money and be in the markets.

            And there are state regs; federal ones, too, although I think they're a bit different than for commercial banks.

            Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. -- Hunter S. Thompson

            by Mnemosyne on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:40:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yes, you have to have people managing.... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              alizard

              .... the money.  My method calls for doing it in a manner that demonstrates feasibility before launching a new legal entity.  Then at that point it becomes possible to hire people, proceeding slowly and bootstrapping the scale-up.  The original founders have to be willing to put in quite a bit of volunteer time, with the knowledge that once the operation gets up to speed, they will need to volunteer to step aside and let the membership elect a new Board and so on.  

              But I don't agree about "being in the markets."  The whole point of something like this is to develop local economic strength that is not connected to "the markets" in the sense of national and global equities, commodities, and suchlike.

              I have other mechanisms in mind whereby a local CU can act as an engine of economic resilience while minimizing adverse exposure to the national and global economies.  But I'll say more about those in a subsequent diary.  

              As for all the regulatory stuff, that's something that all CUs deal with all the time, so it's not nuclear physics.  Basically it becomes part of someone's job description, and then it scales to a full-time position and possibly more than one full-time position as the institution grows.  

              Understood, it's easy to "black box" these things, but what I'm black-boxing are things that are routine tasks.  The stuff that's unique to my proposal can't exactly be black-boxed, but it can be developed and people can be taught.  

              "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:04:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

    move your money to a credit union. Absolutely agree.

    I suggest you take your own advice, make the sign and stand outside your local branch of Skank of America and see how long it takes for you to have a serious conversation with the police.

    Between you and B of A, who can afford the better lawyer? Who can tie you up in legal horse shit for months?

    If it works out for you without anyone getting arrested or punched or ridiculed, post another diary with pictures and the story of how people were pleasantly surprised that there is an alternative to paying this stupid fee.

    Management 101 - don't ask people to do something you haven't done or aren't willing to do yourself.

    If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy

    by Patriot4peace on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 06:53:27 PM PDT

    •  Done that. (5+ / 0-)

      I already organized a "bank run" on a nasty bank.  Got a bunch of people to join in too, and move their money.  No troubles with the police either.  (Next question?)

      The police will not arrest you pre-emptively.  Usually they won't object to a 2-person informational presence on a public sidewalk, so long as you're not blocking the sidewalk or pestering people who are trying to use the ATMs or otherwise not wanting to be pestered.  

      Sorry to hear it if you live in a place where the police are mean.

      However, if your do live in a place with mean cops, you can always drive to the next town over, and do the info picket at their BofA branch.   Or you can do it for 15 minutes at your own local branch, and then scoot to another one before the police have a chance to show up.  

      Picket & scoot, picket & scoot, and then go out for a nice lunch or dinner.  

      As for pictures, no, I don't post photos on the internet of my friends & I.  For that matter I don't post a whole lot of photos in general.  Been online since before there was an internet, when text was all there was.  

      Management 101: you're more likely to get what you want if you're nice to people, than if you're not.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:09:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  great way to make a run on the bank legitimately, (2+ / 0-)

    I like it. Make BofA pay the consumer way!

    Republicans only care about themselves, their money, & their power.

    by jdmorg on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

    •  thanks; and the best part is.... (2+ / 0-)

      ..... it's 100% legal, and that can't even be argued.

      Essentially what it boils down to is encouraging people to choose where to put their money.  

      Now let's see someone try to argue against that.

      The best they can do is try to promote BofA: good luck!

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:18:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm with you, G2 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Empower Ink, Odysseus

    Even if it wasn't cheaper, even if it didn't make a point I think is important, my money would still be in a credit union.

    I've never had a real bad experience at a bank, but I was always just a customer--and believe me no red carpet service for me!

    The whole vibe is different at my credit union, though. I'm not gonna go all Hallmark, but trust me I'll never have another "bank" account. As just an average member (with no huge income or any other reason for special treatment) every person I've ever talked to at the CU spoke as they would to their boss and/or friend. For decades now.

    Premium service at discount prices, how do you beat it? If my fees and charges were doubled I'd pay, no problem.

    I do understand you wanting to make a political point, and I agree with you. Even absent that, though, anyone who can join a credit union should. Others may have reasons for preferring banks over credit unions--I can't think of any , though.

    It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

    by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:31:05 PM PDT

    •  yeah, same here. (6+ / 0-)

      Had my accounts at the CU since forever-ago.  And more than once they've bailed my arse out in a pinch.

      For example:

      We're going to install a PBX for a new client (this is what I do for a living).  It's a couple of days before the project is to begin, and we're on site tracing connections to their existing PBX in preparation for cutover.   They've just handed us a five-figure check for the new equipment.

      Then ...oops!, a coworker makes a booboo with a screwdriver, blowing the main DC fuse on the old switch, that, since it stored its program data in bubble memory, goes down with a crash and cannot be reprogrammed.  Twenty or so phones are dead and connectivity with the outside world is down.  (Yes this was years ago when crappy technology like that was common.  The stuff we installed had permanent memory so it was not vulnerable to power outages.)    

      So we tell them what happened and that we're going to do the installation that night.   This at about 3:00PM, when the time is getting agonizingly tight to do what we need to do.

      My coworkers quickly start installing a handful of single-line telephones at the front desk, so the receptionist can at least answer incoming calls for the rest of the day.  

      Meanwhile I scoot across the bridge to the CU with my check, and ask the teller for mercy: can they clear the entire balance right there, so I can go write the check to the warehouse for the materials?  

      Sure, she says, no problem, and gets another signature, and then says the magic words, "The funds are in your account."

      I scurry across the bridge again, pick up the equipment from the warehouse, write them a check for it, and the check is good on the spot.  

      Thereby saving the installation.  We work hard late into the night, get all the new telephones connected, and the client has dialtone the next morning when they open for business.

      All thanks to the Credit Union being able to cut me some vital slack about check clearance policy, so we would have the funds to do our job.    

      That's worth a lifetime of loyalty, and you can bet that the bankster banks wouldn't have done it.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:22:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Damn, I'm glad I don't have any stories that (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, Odysseus, Unit Zero

        compare to that!

        Once, when I was working even more hours than I do now, I was kind of in survival mode--just trying to hold on until a much needed few days off at Thanksgiving. When the last work day was finally finished I made a beeline for an ATM and withdrew some cash. I wasn't paying attention, but it must have been after 5:00pm.

        Maybe I was tireder than I thought or I guess there may have been some "celebrating" involved, but anyway two days later I tried to take out more money. I didn't really need it--it was sorta "just in case" funds. Well, since holidays are counted as a continuation of the previous business day the ATM declined to dispense any more. Not a big deal, since I didn't really need it anyway. Out of habit I put the receipt in my wallet (too bad, info/identity thieves!).

        When I got my next statement it listed both transactions as having resulted in withdrawing cash. I wasn't sure how fishy my story would sound, so I was glad to have the receipt which clearly denied funds.

        When I got to the CU to look into this I swear the first man who even spoke to me acted as if restoring my account to the correct balance was his dream job. Honestly as we talked it became clear that he shared my enjoyment of a puzzle, so he was working on it as if it were a game.

        After checking my account activity and making a few calls he told me simply, "Don't worry. This is getting fixed." Having seen my records on his computer he knew I hadn't bounced any checks, but he asked if I had held off on writing any checks and offered to contact anyone who might be blaming me should this mistake have caused me not to have completed any transactions. Not needed, but the offer was much appreciated.

        Too late to shorten this little tale, but of course they took care of me just like promised. I remember waaay back in the 1960's when banks were like this too. It's not even what was done--after all even BoA might have felt silly ripping me off too blatantly--it's the way the [whatever his title was] acted while helping someone who was far down the list of "major accounts."

        I'm stickin' with the (credit) union. Really wish I worked someplace with a labor union, too!

        Oh, by the way, the problem was apparently a faulty ATM which was "misreporting" and within a week or ten days it was replaced.

        It matters not how small the beginning may seem to be: what is once well done is done forever. Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience

        by Had Enough Right Wing BS on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:35:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  wow, that's a darn good story too! (3+ / 0-)

          Not having adequate cash for a holiday is a big deal, as in, can't buy necessities of one kind or another.  So that would have been a real squeaker, as we say.  

          Your attitude of "solving a puzzle" probably helped, because emotions are contagious and curiosity is a very viral emotion.

          Yeah, banks used to be a lot more friendly too, when they were regulated institutions and had to attract customers by having good customer service.  They also used to do things like giving people toasters or radios when they set up new accounts.  And we'd joke about those toasters and radios, but little did we know.

          And they had "Christmas club" accounts, to encourage people to save money for their holiday spending sprees, rather than charging all that stuff on credit.   Nobody objected to the word "Christmas" because there wasn't a religious right trying to use it as another symbolic victory in their efforts to gain "dominion" over society.  

          All of that was lost with deregulation.  The nasty Republicans want to turn the world into a "dog-eat-dog" jungle.  And keep in mind those "doggies" are a symbolic stand-in for humans.  Yes, that's right, "human-eat-human".  The final transgression of all morality.  

          To my mind it's a significant act of dissent and rebellion to "live your life as if we've won the revolution."   One element of that is to not play by "dog-eat-dog" rules, another is to shop on Main Street, another is to do business the oldschool way as far as possible.  There are many more elements of this.  Perhaps another diary on that subject.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 10:19:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  T&R'd. I moved MOST of my money to my local (6+ / 0-)

    credit union, where I've established a checking account, savings account, secured credit card with a 12% APR, online banking, payroll check direct deposit, online bill payer, debit card, etc. The money I have on deposit gets reinvested into the local community in the form of low interest business and consumer loans.

    I maintain a small balance at BofA, and at least once per week I go in to make a transaction of one type or another. Every time I go in I wear my hand-stenciled T-shirt that reads:

    SICK OF BIG BANK FEES?
    Go to "MoveYourMoneyProject.org"

    So far, seven customers have engaged me in conversation and subsequently opened accounts at our local credit union.

    The other day the branch manager said to me, "You know if you keep wearing that shirt in here I'm going to have to close your account." To which I replied, "You know my best bud writes for the [our community newspaper]."

    I'll keep you all posted.

    "I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues." Uh, Mr. President, and if the bill DOES raise "serious revenues"?...

    by WisePiper on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 07:45:58 PM PDT

    •  woot! Dude, you get the award for... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WisePiper, Unit Zero

      ... having serious guts!

      (I have similar arrangements with my accounts:  I keep one small account at a bankster bank for a few transactions every month, but my business accounts and main personal accounts are all at the credit union.)

      Yeeee-hawwww! for you, walking into the bankster bank wearing that T-shirt.  

      Know what I'd suggest?   Make up another T-shirt saying something like, "Financial alternatives for strong communities: (URL)."  

      Now see if your branch manager threatens you over that one.

      Technically there's no free speech on private property, which is also a core Republican principle.  

      However, the T-shirt with the new wording is so mild that if the branch manager over-reacts to that, he's going to look like a total arsehole in the court of public opinion.

      And yeah, do keep us posted!

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 08:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, alizard, Unit Zero

        I don't think she's really going to close my account there. It felt like a pro-forma threat. I think she secretly sympathizes with all the customers that have left since the credit union opened on our island. (I wouldn't be surprised if SHE has an account at the CU.)

        "I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues." Uh, Mr. President, and if the bill DOES raise "serious revenues"?...

        by WisePiper on Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 09:28:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Credit unions aren't the good guys, either. (0+ / 0-)

    Don't make that mistake.

    I left mine because they were nickel and diming my accounts without even sending me notice.  They changed the minimum balance on me from $100 to $300, sending no notice, and I didn't catch it until they sent me the quarterly statement.  They'd already taken $15 in monthly fees ($5 a month) at that point.  I called to ask for the fees to be waived, but they didn't budge, so I pulled what money I had in the credit union out.

    The better advice is to play the system.  Play it better than they play you.  I'm with Bank of America--and I know they're far from perfect--but, aside from unavoidable mortgage fees, I haven't paid a single dime to them in checking, savings, or credit card fees.  Ever.  In fact, due to my rewards credit cards and various other kickbacks, I think I've made over $1000 off of them.  I'm what they refer to in-house (and occasionally on an open mike) as a "deadbeat".

    •  if you want to be a "bank hacker"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...or as you called it, "play the system," that's cool, as for anyone who wants to develop the expertise and take the time to do it.  

      Others of us would rather hack our computers or PBXs or automobile engines or whatever, depending on our talents and needs.  

      As a generalization, for those of us who aren't interested in becoming bank hackers or don't have the specific talent for that, putting the $$ in a community institution deprives the banksters of the use of it.  That in and of itself is worthwhile.  

      If you wanted to publicize your techniques, I'm sure there are plenty of people here and elsewhere who will eagerly learn enough to be able to use BofA or other bankster-banks in such a manner as to negate any possible profits those institutions would otherwise earn on them.  In a way that could be considered a case of "revenge by other means," whereby a concerted campaign by activists could really put the scare in BofA that they could lose serious money if more of their customers did it.

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:40:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Stop paying on your credit cards (0+ / 0-)

    If even 25% of people refused to pay their credit card bills until the banks lowered their "interest" to something reasonable it might have an impact.

    Chase raised our interest from 9% to 29.9% when they bought out WaMu and didn't automatically make the payment on time. They didn't pay themselves out of our account and raised the interest more than 300%.

    Fuck them. I refuse to pay it. The banks are never going to lend me money anyway, why am I concerned with have a "good credit rating"?

    It's vig. It used to be illegal.

    O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

    by Kevanlove on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 12:13:55 AM PDT

    •  eeyow. (0+ / 0-)

      Was this on your credit card or mortgage or what?  

      29.9% is the kind of rate that loan sharks used to drool over.  

      Bastards.  I can understand why you would just walk away from them and not look back.  

      Yes we need usury laws.  

      But if more people shifted their $$ to local community credit unions, that would send a strong message in and of itself, and in a practical sense, make more $$ available for local community resilience and economic development.

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:45:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Credit card (0+ / 0-)

        We don't have a mortgage with a bank. We took our money out of Chase and put it in a very small bank.

        That is the kind of interest they charge people who miss one payment in 4 years. One.

        Might as well borrow from a loan shark.

        O great creator of being grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives. ::: Jim Morrison :::

        by Kevanlove on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 12:49:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah that's for sure. (0+ / 0-)

          Miss one payment, get hit with usury.

          The underlying "booby trap" mentality has started to become really common, even showing its ugly head in the way this very site is managed: fuck up once and get whacked, with no explanation or recourse.  

          I think it has to do with population competition for resources, and the emergence of a new social darwinism: the way to get ahead is by setting out booby traps for others, and the value of individuals is a factor of "supply and demand."  There will always be more people to sign up for a Chase credit card, so they don't have to care about the ones who walk away.

          None of this went on when population was below carrying capacity.  

          "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 01:39:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  write checks! (0+ / 0-)

    I don't get charged for writing checks, so I'm thinking of going back to using then instead of debiting.  

    •  yes, definitely. (0+ / 0-)

      Wherever possible, write checks.  And pay cash.  

      And also it's good to get back to writing letters and sending them through the postal mail.  For one thing that'll save the Post Office from the nasty Republicans.  

      For another thing, letters are more secure and more private than email:   No hacker intercepts, no Google siphoning intel about your life via keywords, and if .gov wants to read your mail they need a warrant.  All the benefits of using good crypto, with none of the technical complexities for the average user, and all this at a price of less than 50-cents.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Wed Oct 05, 2011 at 03:49:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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