Thursday, January 14, 2010

Stop the Abuse: It's Time to Break Up With Your Big Bank

Published on Thursday, January 14, 2010 by Huffington Post

Stop the Abuse: It's Time to Break Up With Your Big Bank

by Bill Maher

Hello, I'd like to take a moment to address the millions and millions of you all across America who are currently stuck in an abusive relationship.

Now I know what some of you are thinking: Who is Bill Maher to give me relationship advice?

But that doesn't mean I don't know a dysfunctional relationship when I see one. Especially when it's staring me right in the face.

You know who you are. Those of you staying in a relationship long after it's turned bad. Sticking around despite the abuse -- even as it's gotten worse and worse over the years. Sticking around only because it seems easier than breaking up -- and besides, where else are you going to go?

That's right, I'm talking to all of you that keep doing your banking at the giant, too big to fail, Wall Street banks that brought our economy to the brink of disaster, were rescued by trillions of dollars of our taxpayer money, then paid us back by using that money to hire lobbyists to convince our lawmakers in Washington to kill financial reform.

They took our money... but cut back on lending.

They took our money... and made record profits -- and paid themselves record bonuses.

They took our money... then returned to the risky behavior that led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, with record unemployment, bankruptcies, and foreclosures.

They took our money... but kept on with all the greedy, abusive, ruthless, and cold-blooded practices that have earned them untold billions of dollars a year -- year after year after year. Things like charging you outrageous fees for anything and everything, jacking up your credit card interest rate to 30 percent for being late on one payment (it's a good thing sodomy is legal!), and refusing to renegotiate your mortgage after the housing bubble they helped create burst.

These big banks, deemed "Too Big To Fail" by our Wall Street-friendly leaders in Washington, are convinced that they can get away with anything -- because they always have.

But here's the thing. You don't have to put up with this nonsense. You don't have to stay in a loveless, abusive relationship with your Big Bank.

In fact, it's easy to get out -- and into something much, much better.

My friend Arianna Huffington has started a campaign designed to convince people to move their money out of these big banks and put them into smaller, local, community banks and credit unions that are more likely to see you as a person, not as an account number... and also to reinvest in the community where they are.

It's a pretty simple idea: If enough people who have money in one of the Big Six banks -- that is, JP Morgan/Chase, Citi, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs -- move it into a local community bank or credit union, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward fixing our broken financial system.

It's easy, and painless, and will send a powerful message to Wall Street and to our leaders in Washington.

Face it: Real change is not going to come from Congress. It's not going to come from the White House. And it's certainly not going to come from the lobbyists Wall Street hires to make sure their special interests keep beating out the public interest.

We've got to do it ourselves. And moving your money is a great way to start.

This is not a conservative idea or a liberal idea. It's not left or right. It's populism at it's best -- and it's already attracted people from all walks of life who are sick and tired of the Big Banks and are ready to do something about it.

So it's time to go break up with your banker and get the hell out. Go to [1] and see just how easy it is to end your abusive relationship and find true banking love. Or, at least hot, sweaty, monkey, banking sex. [1]. Tell 'em Dr. Bill sent you...

To watch a video of Bill on Moving You Money, click here. [2]

© 2010 Huffington Post


Bill Maher is the host of, "Real Time with Bill Maher," on HBO. The hour-long show airs live at 11:00PM on Friday nights.


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Donations can be sent to the Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 325 E. 25th St., Baltimore, MD 21218.  Ph: 410-366-1637; Email: mobuszewski [at]


"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs


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