Friday, April 17, 2009

Why have a bank? Vote with your feet. Walk out.

If you're like me you don't hold onto money long enough to warrant keeping a bank account with the liability of bouncing checks when it nears bottom. So don't have one. Use money orders. Why direct deposit all your cash into some crooks' bank? It's your money. Put in in your wallet, or your safe. By the time I pay my bills all I have left is spending cash for food anyway.

If you must have a bank account, just put enough in to cover the bills you must pay by check or your bank card. Why bother going to a money machine every time you need your own cash? Why pay all the associated fees? Banks have a great racket. They hold all your money, fee you when ever they feel like it, post your checks when ever they feel like, and share all your transactions with any government agency or lawyer who comes down the pike.

We have the power to stop banks in their tracks. Vote with your feet. Walk out of your bank.

It's been suggested that credit unions are a great alternative to banks. I don't think people should blindly follow any one strategy or part of the industry. One credit union may be good. Another may be bad. Generally they sound good, but they all still charge the same interest and fees as banks.

Why should people be responsible for propping up an economy based on credit, which profits the bankers, including credit unions? People should learn to live within their means, not on credit. This is the root of the problem. This is what the Japanese discovered when they went through this. They now live more within their means.

The further contraction of the economy without banks that some fear is merely a contraction of credit. People still have the ability to make a living and profit. In fact, without the incredible interest they now pay, up to around 30% on a typical credit card for example, they will have more money and the 'no bank, no credit' strategy will improve their cash position.

The only thing banks are good for is credit, and right now that is even questionable. The root of our problem is credit. It's time to think outside of the vicious credit cycle box. If banks want to attract customers they should compete for the business, reduce their interest rates, cut out all the fees and overdraft penalties that multiply when they hit. That's how a free market will work. Credit unions have those fees and interest charges too. Until they come up with a better alternative, I say walk out on them. Make them earn our trust and our business.

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