Instead, Bank of America customers followed the right road to getting Wall Street’s big boys to listen, and it runs straight through corporate wallets. Kristen Christian, a 27-year-old Los Angeles art gallery owner, understood this when she used Facebook to organize “Bank Transfer Day,” set for Nov. 5, a nod to British rebel Guy Fawkes.
The premise of the event, which will be nationally “attended” by more than 70,000 people, is that consumers have banking choices and can move their collective money as a means of making their voices heard at banking HQ. Sound familiar? And while OWS has offered its support, Christian plainly states on Bank Transfer Day’s Facebook page that the movement was “neither inspired by, derived from nor organized by the Occupy Wall Street movement.” If it’s a request for due credit, it’s fair. While OWS was picketing, she was planning.
And preceding both Christian and the BofA revolters is Move Your Money, “a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions.” In its latest update, the organization boasts that since 2010, almost 10 million accounts have fled the nation’s largest banks. How much of that number can be attributed to the campaign itself is open for conjecture, but financial companies no doubt know what the loss of 10 million accounts looks like on a ledger.
While it might not be prudent to suggest Occupy Wall Street switch from protesting to holding hostages, in effect, that’s what it should do. Are CEOs’ compensation packages unfair? Single out a company and hold it hostage — by organizing a boycott large enough to make its board listen and demanding a fix. Angry at large banks? Put down the signs, “Like” Christian’s Facebook page and move your savings to Hill Valley Credit Union.
Corporate suits can walk around protestors, however persistent, for eternity. Keep taking cash out of their hands, though, and Moynihan & Co. will stop and listen.
As of this writing, Kyle Woodley did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.