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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Banks Against US...
Here is the latest in a long string of articles about bully banks to cross my desk. It's one of the corroborating hits I got from following up a comment on Gaiatribe about Witter Wildlife Refuge being foreclosed.

Since banks don't seem to have much sense of civic responsibility anymore, let's try something else...
1) Instead of putting your money in a bank, put it in a credit union (run by members, including you).
2) If you need to get a mortgage, seek a "halal" or "equity" mortgage instead of a standard bank mortgage. "Halal" is what the Muslims started with for religious reasons, but they're onto a good thing here and other people can follow suit. There are some opportunities in America and Canada, others in Britain.
3) If you can't find a credit union near you, minimize your support of banks by finding other safe places to put your money. A good, secluded stash in your home is pretty secure -- especially since modern banks no longer care much about protecting your money. There are even home safes available.
4) Explore progressive issues and consider voting to take power away from people with more money and leverage than manners, and promote equality instead. Here is one "Progressive Party Platform", another "Progressive Party of America" version (there are also state parties for this), and here is the "Green Party Platform" plus their "10 Key Values." There is more than life to money, and there should be more to society than money, too. So check out these organizations, and if their goals sound like the kind of world you want to live in, please lend them your support.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

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Comments
drewkitty From: drewkitty Date: November 12th, 2009 12:33 am (UTC) (Link)
While I agree with your comments about both credit unions and alternative financing options, I must profoundly disagree with this:

>> A good, secluded stash in your home is pretty secure -- especially since modern banks no longer care much about protecting your money. There are even home safes available

It is actively dangerous to keep cash at home. The modern home is accessible to many persons, including vendors, friends of acquaintances, party guests, and others who may five-finger a cash stash. The presence of.a safe advertises that there is something worth stealing, and most consumer safes can be defeated in minutes.

Further, if it were to become known to even one unreliable person that one had a stash of cash at home, this dramatically increases the risk of home invasion robbery and/or police anti-drug raids, if one sees a difference. Note that most cash in circulation bears trace amounts of cocaine sufficient that a large stash will trigger a drug dog.

Under asset forfeiture laws, cash seized under suspicion by government agents is pretty much gone.

There is also physical destruction by flood, fire or insects to guard against.

While it is unlikely so far to happen in the US, past unstable currencies have been devalued and become worthless while in circulation, not to mention the inflation cost of holding cash.

I must in fairness point out that funds in a bank are government depository are insured to 100K. This includes credit unions. Funds under bank control are protected; getting mugged in the parking lot is your problem.

Where to invest a surplus of cash (other than in debt reduction) is up to you.

Mattresses are a poor risk and hold money out of circulation, hogging a resource that you or others could benefit from.

Did I mention that criminals and junkies will kill for laughably small amounts of cash?

If you must do this, TRUST NO ONE. Never ever tell anybody -- especially not children, even adult children. Have a safe and keep it almost empty as a distractor.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 12th, 2009 01:17 am (UTC) (Link)

Thoughts

YMMV. A home stash can be quite secure if you do it right. That starts with putting it in a non-obvious place, preferably several, and not telling anyone where that is. Even a safe can be concealed rather well if you put something in front of it; wheeled furniture is good.

I've had banks abscond with my money, more than once, under spurious conditions. If they can't do a decent job, stuff 'em. People can do better themselves, and have. All systems have advantages and disadvantages. But it's a lot harder to get money out of a house. All someone needs to get it out of a bank is the right string of numbers.
ionotter From: ionotter Date: November 12th, 2009 07:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thoughts

A friend in the gold industry used to keep a "400 ounce London Good Delivery" bar in his house. He painted it with a dozen layers of latex paint, then used it as a doorstop for the living room.

Nobody ever noticed.
mtrose2 From: mtrose2 Date: November 12th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC) (Link)

Sigh....

Elizabeth, banks lose money when they foreclose on homes. Foreclosure is usually a last resort, not a first one. Just because a bank is doing things that people don't like doesn't mean they're doing it because they don't give a damn, or because they're greedy bastards trying to make a profit from the skin off your back. Sometimes... hell, most times, they're just doing what they have to in order to stay afloat themselves.

The people who own that bank are people too. They have houses and cars and jobs. They have salaries, which they need to keep in order to live. They are not in business for your charity or your convenience, nor should the be. If their bank goes under, it won't be a few greedy bastards getting their comeuppance while the rest of the town wipes their hands of them and says "Good riddance." Banks store funds, give loans, and hold assets. If you think one foreclosure is bad, what happens to the other mortgages the bank holds if it goes under? What happens to the money in the deposit boxes, and the people to whom that money belongs? What happens to people who need loans for a house, a car, to start a business?

Nobody likes losing their house. But saying, "Evil bank, more regulation for you" is far too simplistic and close-sighted a response to a problem that has been in the making since the start of the stock-bubble in the 1990s.
ionotter From: ionotter Date: November 12th, 2009 06:56 am (UTC) (Link)

Paywall and a heads-up...

The link provided for the refuge story goes to a paywall. *tch*

However, I did a little digging using a variety of search terms, and I came up with a lot of older articles from May, June and July. But then I came across this.

Grim reading, but then I noticed a few things?

1. It's listed in "press releases".
2. It's written by Jim Orr.
3. It popped up on Digg a day and a half ago.

Looks like the owner has figured out how to play hardball and use the internet to his advantage! More power to him, I say.
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