By Seth Richardson
Here’s something people need to understand: Wall Street is not the economy. We are the economy. If Wall Street crashes to the ground, and every international investment bank on the planet disappears in a cloud of smoldering debris, the economy, which is comprised of the innovation, ingenuity and work ethic of the people of this proud nation, will still exist, and can recover from any blow, if we have faith in our ability to do so, and if we have the resolve to ensure such a thing will never happen again.
The worst thing that’s happening to us is our submission to fear-mongering. Between the main-stream media, Congress, President Obama and the clamoring of businesses “too big to fail,” we are bombarded with bad news and pronouncements about “the economy” and what’s wrong with it. Automakers and investment bankers, insurance agencies and mortgage finance companies wail at the door, insisting that they are vital to the nation and cannot be allowed to fail.
Poppycock and balderdash. Horse apples.
Any business that claims that it is “too big to fail” must, for the good of the nation, not just be allowed to fail, it must be systematically deconstructed and never allowed to return. The idea that our economy is dependent upon the continued existence of any particular business is anathema to the foundations of our nation, which is built on individual liberty, private property, and individual accomplishment.
Any business that claims to be “too big to fail” ought to be dismantled just for saying so. One option is the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890, which says that, “Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony.”
Who can deny that Citibank, which holds such an important position in our economy that its failure can destroy the economic future of millions of people and stall our economic engine, is not enough of a monopoly to be prohibited? Isn’t AIG and the credit default swap industry sufficiently monopolistic that prudence dictates they be deconstructed? I say yes.
But since government was complicit in getting us into this pickle, it would be imprudent to allow government to try to fix it, because it has been proven untrustworthy and incompetent to properly regulate the financial industry. The better, free-market method is for we, the People, to simply refuse to do business with any concern that claims it’s “too big to fail.”
This will take discipline, but we can reclaim our economy from arrogant corporations that think they are owed existence. They exist at our whim and caprice, and it’s time for us to exercise our true power and punish them for their arrogance and cupidity.
So, close your Citibank accounts tomorrow and open new ones at your local independent bank. Take your bailout money and bail out. Support the local banks who didn’t mismanage your money and didn’t get greedy and invest in risky real estate derivatives.
Local banks are doing fine, for the most part. They’ve been prudent with their investments and they have money to lend. Deposit your money and they will have more money to lend. And get to know your local banker, who will be far more appreciative and helpful to you than some faceless drone in an office two thousand miles away who doesn’t care if you made a mistake in addition that caused you to bounce a check.
Think globally. Think about how your mortgage is probably owned by a company on the other side of the Atlantic, and is managed by more faceless drones who couldn’t care less about your well-being. Think about how the securitization of mortgages in your community, which were sold to a bank in Britain, and which were lumped together with thousands of other mortgages and marketed internationally, has lead us to the worst economic conditions since 1930. Think about how the world depends on the American economy, but sucks our capital and our resources away without a care.
Then bank locally. Refinance your mortgage at your local bank, where the banker knows you and cares about you and how you’re doing. Keep your money in your community, don’t send it to Europe. And tell your banker that you want your money to remain in your community, and not be invested internationally, and that you want your mortgage to remain in his hands, not be sold down the river. And tell him that you will only do business with his bank so long as it remains locally owned and operated. If your bank gets sold to some international banking group, take your money out and find another, and tell the international bankers why you are leaving.
As a people, as a nation, we need to take responsibility for ensuring that our economy is never again placed in the hands of companies “too big to fail.” The place to start is with your next paycheck.
© 2009 Altnews