50 years ago banking was dominated by community banks (so called because they cared about the community they were in). These were the people who looked after you as much as their bonuses. Someone you could trust because they shared your risk, who could say the financial system has no clothes because their livelihood depended on you succeeding not failing. Community banks prospered if you kept your house not foreclosed on it. If your small business did well, the community did well.
In short where is the Bailey S&L from “It’s a Wonderful Life” now? Given the way our banking system is set up the modern day equivalent seems to be the Credit Union. It is not for profit, so has no motive to see you fail, and cannot be bought so it does not need to pad its balance sheets with risky investments. Thanks to my friend Brewster Kahle I have been given an opportunity to help right my country by starting a totally transparent Credit Union. But I will need your help, and from my travels I still believe we are fundamentally a kind generous nation willing to help our fellow citizens. Our simple mission is to restore fairness to the financial system, start a work place where your job is contingent on your work not office politics, and provide jobs across America. How this can help all of us will be the subject of future blogs but right now I need your help in naming the credit union since the current working name, “We Don’t Suck”, makes my mom cringe. Write me suggestions and please come along with me for the Journey. It may be trying — it may make your blood boil but I promise it will be entertaining and worth your while.
As Margret Meade once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has”.