The 5th of November - Bank Transfer Day
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Earlier today we wrote of what appeared to be an Occupy Wall Street-related bank boycott planned for November 5th. We've spoken to Kristen Christian, the 27-year-old creator of the event, who has clarified some things. For one, it's not an Occupy Wall Street-organized event, though members of the Occupied movement support the idea and are planning to join in. Further, it's not an effort based in anarchy, or an event that Christian hopes will cause an economic crisis (any more than the one we're already in). "It's not people taking their money and burying it under their mattress. It's shifting the money to a company people respect the practices of.
It’s Bank Transfer Day on Saturday, and some unknown number of people are going to transfer their money from their too-big-to-fail bank to a friendly local community bank or credit union. Good for them! Unfortunately, Bank Transfer Day is happening the week that MF Global declared bankruptcy, with the possible loss of some $700 million in client funds. And the net effect of the two is almost certainly going to be money flowing in to TBTF banks, rather than out of them. Matt Levine has a fantastic post today explaining why it doesn’t make sense to be the customer of a small-enough-to-fail institution.
Peter DaSilva for The New York Times Vince Siciliano, the head of New Resource Bank in San Francisco, says his business is growing. Vince Siciliano — a Birkenstock-wearing, organic food-eating, public transportation-riding sympathizer of Occupy Wall Street who earns $240,000 a year — is far from a banking baron. But as the chief executive of New Resource Bank in San Francisco, Mr. Siciliano has managed to pull off what his bigger rivals have not: turn a profit and stay out of the line of fire. “Our business has tripled this month,” said Mr.
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Bank Transfer Day is gaining some serious steam. Although it's not technically affiliated with Occupy, it's being embraced by the movement and is the first specific call to action since the Occupy protests began four weeks ago. The description and goal of Bank Transfer Day is straightforward: If you currently have checking and savings accounts (deposit accounts) with a big bank, the organizers encourage you to remove all of your funds, close your accounts, and place your money in a new deposit account with a not-for-profit credit union. The organizers ask that you do this by November 5. And since November 5 is a Saturday, you should definitely do it before November 5 since many big banks aren't open on weekends. Bank Transfer Day can significantly impact the way banks are able to make a profit.
On Oct. 9, Kristen Christian, a 27-year-old art gallery owner in Los Angeles, created a Facebook page urging her friends to move their money out of the big banks on Nov. 5. The suggestion hit a nerve. By Nov. 4, 77,015 “friends” had declared their intention to “attend” Bank Transfer Day.