Take Your Money and Run!

On December 7th, Show the Banks (and Politicians) Who's Boss

Leave it to a soccer hero to kickstart some serious political action.

Cantona, a French soccer star who finished his playing career at
Manchester United and went into acting, has sparked a European, and
perhaps a global uprising against the global banking industry by calling
on people everywhere to simply take their money and run away from the
big banks on December 7.

in a television interview about his career, got political in a hurry,
saying that demonstrations such as those that occurred last month across
France in opposition to cuts in that country's retirement program, were
meaningless and "accomplish nothing except to further the aims of the
oppressors." He called on those same protesters, and on people
everywhere, to take "effective action" by withdrawing all their savings
from the banks.

His challenge has caught fire across Europe, where the action is being coordinated on Facebook and via a website called Bankrun 2010.
More recently, this campaign has made its way across the Atlantic to
America, where soccer's not such a big game, and where most of the
economic protest action has been focussed on the reactionary anti-tax
Tea Party crowd. But even here in the US, the idea of sticking it to the
big banks has begun to resonate, with a website called Stopbank USA calling for a day of action by Americans on December 7.

banking industry is clearly nervous. In France, a spokeswoman for the
banking industry called the idea of an organized bank run "stupid," and
warned that it would be an invitation to thieves to steal people's

organizers in the US have an easy answer to that. The US movement is
calling on people not to take their money out as cash, but to close
their accounts at major regional or national banks and to move the money
on Dec. 7 to independent community banks or--better yet--to credit

it's really ironic to hear a bank spokesperson warning depositers about
thieves, when it is clear that the bankers themselves are the real
thieves these days--stealing peoples' homes through deceptive mortgage
terms and through fraudulent foreclosures, stealing their money through
deceptive fees and penalties, and stealing their retirement security by
wrecking the economy while enriching the managers of the banks via
undeserved massive bonus payments tallied in the billions of dollars.

a major run on the big banks seriously damage them? It depends on how
seriously people take the idea. Let's imagine 10 million Americans
pulling their worldly savings out of the banks--not just household
accounts but funds invested in CDs too. We could quickly be talking
about upwards of $50 billion.

not enough to bring down a Bank of America or a Goldman Sachs, but
then, what if the process started to snowball, continuing on beyond Dec.
7? There's no reason why it would have to stop at one day. If people
decided they were no longer going to bank at big institutions, then
those banks' days would be numbered. They all depend upon the money of
the so-called "small people" to give them the cash to play with in their
hedging games, their structured derivative plays, etc.

could all be a fantasy, the idea of taking down the big banks, but
then, it's really a cost-free thing to attempt, and besides, as I've
written earlier, everyone would be better off taking their banking
business away from the greedy big banks and shifting it into credit
unions. You get better service, fewer fees, lower loan interest rates,
higher interest rates on your deposits, and many of the lobbies even
have customer restrooms! So what are you waiting for? Get your papers in
order and prepare to march down to your big bank and tell them, on
December 7, "I want to close my account!"

Hopefully, you'll find yourself waiting in a long, long line.

you're at it, if you're in any association or club, or especially if
you're in a labor union, tell them to move their money out of the bank
too, and put it in a credit union, or at least move it to a community
bank. And don't take no for an answer.