Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Move Your Money" Movement

I was watching The Colbert Report yesterday - which sadly appears to feature more news than NBC, CBS, or ABC - and learned about an interesting movement called, "Move Your Money."

Essentially the idea is to get money away from large, seemingly corrupt banks to prevent them from using it to lobby for loose regulation. More implicitly, however, it seems to be a punishment for wrongdoings on the part of banking institutions, which is of greater interest to me.

I've always believed that the most important vote you can make is the one you make with your dollar. For instance, I am a supporter of the American auto industry for numerous reasons, so naturally I am concerned. When manufacturers like GM, Chrysler, and Ford began seeing declines in the middle of last decade, it was because buyers cast an important - and probably correct - vote. They bought more affordable, reliable, and fuel efficient vehicles from foreign manufacturers, which, in truth, is the best thing customers can do not only for themselves but also for industry. By purchasing the best product on the market, it encouraged change on the part of failing competitors (Ford being a notable example) or the weeding out of poor products (GM and Chrysler for instance, who were rescued by taxpayer money).

I don't think people will be making a run on the major banks because doing business with them affords many conveniences (multiple branches, ATM access, etc.), but the idea intrigues me because it is simple and it probably would work: if you don't like it, don't buy it.

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