Just a Little Common Sense

For a life based on reason, ethics, literature and art.

More Than Just “Occupy” Wall Street!

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Occupy Wall St.
Protesting the fact that Banks are abusing the current social-economic system is absolutely necessary, and I’m glad it’s happening. But the only thing that really scares the shit out of bank CEOs and managers is when their profits are under threat.
Of course, threatening banker profits is not an easy thing to do, but one thing every single one of us is capable of is to vote with our feet and take our savings to businesses with less of a cut-throat attitude. What I am talking about are Ethical Banks. While still being privately run businesses, these banks are above all distinguished by being transparent and selective about the projects they finance. They will happily invest in projects that have social and/or environmental aims, but shun companies who pollute or exploit. In essence, they sacrifice profit margins for a secure and fond clientele that doesn’t hate them.

The arrival of Ethical Banks threatens to change the game. If they can become major players they might outstrip traditional banks – because just as people are willing to pay more for milk from happy cows, many are happy also accept marginally lower interest on their savings in exchange for the knowledge that those savings will not be used to steer global economy further into a huge ocean of shit.

So, here is what I suggest we do: Let’s take our money out of the savings accounts, and move it to one of the ethical or green banks.

Granted, ethical banks are still banks. I do not kidd myself into believing that they are responsible because their CEOs are such good-hearted people – But responsibility has become a product, and the demand is growing rapidly. The laws of their own game will force them to stay transparent and responsible in order to stay in play. It is in our power is to change the market. If we succeed, we will simply force conventional, irresponsible take-no-hostages-bankers out of business.

Personally I do not think that this is the cure to our problems; but it sure is exchanging the disease for a more benign one, giving us some air to look for alternatives.

So, go to wikipedia and take a look at its small but growing List of Ethical Banks. Perhaps join the Bank Transfer Day on facebook. Take your money out of irresponsible and greedy hands, and trust your savings to (however slightly) more responsible people. If possible, do it on november 5th, because the more people do it on the same day, the bigger is the chance of wide-spread media reports.

Don’t tell yourself that it won’t make any difference. I can guarantee it won’t do any harm. So, if nothing else, just humour us. There is a lot to gain, and nothing to lose by trying.

Written by Phil

October 19, 2011 at 21:03

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