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So, I was thinking about this on my way into work. Would OccupyWallStreet support an alternative credit union? Like an official #OWS Credit Union?

They could meet the requirements set forth by the FCUA if they were slightly more organized.

That would be a real stick in the craw of BofA... Any thoughts?

+Chris Palko and other Anonymous type supporters, would you support it if it officially allowed for a crypto currency like bitcoin?
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Liz Fong-Jones's profile photoJason Nichols's profile photoGregory Esau's profile photoNat Kay's profile photo
22 comments
 
I actually think there is a working group that is trying to come up with something call the permabank. I've seen some info on it at the occupywallst website.
 
Don't local credit unions already fulfill a lot of these goals?
 
+Liz Fong an actual organized FCU would allow #OWS members to remove all money from banks and then use it to collectively fund other work moving forward, i.e. a community medical center, learning programs, etc.

Fragmenting it out to locals difuses the power they could potentially wield.
 
+raw thinktank but dealing with the here and now, would you agree or disagree that a centralized Not-For-Profit credit union would benefit the #OWS movement?

I'm not talking philosophically, I'm talking tactically. I could set one of these up, provided a board of trustees could be nominated, and have it operational in 6-12 months, giving #OccupyWallStreet a real financial platform to work from moving forward, as well as a viable alternative to the institutions, if not the system they despise.
 
+Maleia Ember Kaminsky good point, although a credit union could be syndicated out to each movement independently, so that #OccupyJoMo could have their own, that they control locally, and #OccupySeattle could have a separate one but they could each agree to have a certain portion of their funds managed by a single #Occupation Credit Union.

The locals could lend to support their local projects, and the national would let the movement as a whole tackle bigger issues.

I mean it's just an idea at this point, so I'm just trying to talk it out and see what it could become.
Nat Kay
 
I think it would be more effective to allow credit unions to co-op the movement of their own volition. The amount of investment capital necessary to start a lending institution is considerable, and there are already well established institutions that have kept themselves free and clear of predatory practices.

Personally, what I'd like to see more than anything would be a massive amount of capital being taken from big bailout banks and put into micro-lending institutions like Kiva.
Nat Kay
 
It seems a bit absurd to assume that the American economy would be gutted by loans that make businesses more profitable and empowers individuals to be less indebted.
 
+raw thinktank FCU can make loans same as banks, only difference is no shareholders, and profits are distributed to account holders.
 
One step at a time, brother man. I'm good, but I wasn't able to work out a suggestion to repair the entire American economy before work. :)

This was just an idea for a step in a better direction. Something like Social Business a la +Muhammad Yunus .
 
Not disagreeing, but an NFP credit union would enfranchise both local and national #Occupation movements to participate more fully in the existing financial structure while not necessarily compromising their core values, but at the same time utilizing the force multiplier effects of modern finance.
 
so what?

As an NFP, it's actions would still be directed by the board of trustees as elected by it's members (1 member 1 vote). That individual would only see $1B worth of interest.

The size of an individual's account has no effect on their voting power or control over a credit union (well not none, but dramatically less than a for profit bank, wherein they would vote with shares, and could exert greater control).
 
How would it support inflation or bribery?

The Credit Union would make loans to its members as directed by its charter. If that charter included business loans, then it would make business loans, if it included personal mortgages, then it would originate mortgages.

It's just a pool of assets to be used as directed by its members, the use is irrelevant of the organization.

If an employee was acting contrary to the members wishes, they would be fired. Board hires and fires executives, but is in turn elected by members, and executives hire and fire staff, in the end, if anything it would minimize the risks of malfeasance because a majority vote would be more difficult to control vs. share voting where majority ownership can be concentrated to an individual or small group.
 
Credit Union can't invest, it can only make loans to its members according to its charter. Can't buy stock, can't speculate, capital stays in same system. Members deposit, members borrow.

Makes bubble difficult, albeit not completely impossible.
 
I've belonged to a credit union for over fifteen years (VanCity Credit Union). I'd never go back to a 'bank'. (granted, banks up here in Canada have been a different story than south of the border)
 
there's a qualitative and quantitative difference between purchasing for consumption and speculation.

Credit Unions are primarily bound to the former, but after the repeal of Glass-Steagall, banks could engage in the latter.

Consumption purchases have a very different effect on commodities prices than speculative purchases, and consequently do not generally cause the same "bubble" effect unless the underlying demand fluctuates wildly against the underlying supply.

Regardless, questioning the loan review procedures of a hypothetical entity is kind of pointless, unless the General Assembly supports it, the whole issue is moot.
 
I've been thinking for a couple weeks now that a great tool to see developed out of the Occupy movement would be a website to help people find alternative banking solutions (credit unions mostly, but smaller banks as well) and to facilitate transferring of accounts.

In my ideal implementation a person could visit the site and either enter their zipcode or pick a location where they live. They would then be presented with a list of local banking institutions, comparing number of branches, online services, number of ATMs within a certain radius, fees & interest rates on a number of common account structures (free checking, 1 yr. COD, basic savings, etc...), and any significant notes (membership restrictions, recently bought/merged, etc...)

If a user decided to switch institutions the site would provide forms to help facilitate opening accounts, moving balances, and switching automatic payment (apparently hassle of switching payments is a major factor keeping a lot of people with institutions they're otherwise no longer happy with.

Ambitious, yes. But a way to help people move their money from abusive large banks to smaller, community-focused institutions would be a great way to tear down the power of the large companies from the inside.
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