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Easley begins: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doubled down on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric over the weekend, encouraging protesters to withdraw money from the major banks and calling the financial industry 'the most powerful, dangerous and secretive' institution in the United States."

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the issue of deficit reduction, 06/28/11.  (photo: LA Times)
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders addresses the issue of deficit reduction, 06/28/11. (photo: LA Times)

Bernie Sanders Calls for Bank Boycott

By Jonathan Easley, The Hill

17 October 11

en. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) doubled down on his anti-Wall Street rhetoric over the weekend, encouraging protesters to withdraw money from the major banks and calling the financial industry "the most powerful, dangerous and secretive" institution in the United States.

"People might want to think about going to your local community bank and withdrawing funds from these large institutions," Sanders said in tweet on Sunday.?

Later Sunday night, the tweet was replaced with a toned-down version of the same proposal:

"[People might choose to move their money out of the large banks and into local community banks or credit unions.]"

The Vermont senator has been a vocal supporter of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street protests, but these latest comments were his sharpest to date. In a string of tweets leading up to his call for a run on the banks, Sanders offered ideas he says would "change the system to work for all Americans, not just the top one-percent," including a Wall Street speculation fee and a cap on credit card interest rates.

Sanders continued criticizing the financial industry on Monday, both in an editorial at Roll Call and to a newspaper in his home state.

"I think the protesters deserve a whole lot of credit in focusing attention on Wall Street, which in my view, is the most powerful, dangerous, secretive major institution in the United States of America. And the more we learn about Wall Street, the more we learn about their reckless and illegal behavior, the better off we will be," Sanders told the Vermont Reformer on Monday.

"There is a lot to be said about people coming together at the grassroots level at this time. A lot of people are hurting, we are in the worst recession since the 1930s and this was caused by the greed and recklessness of Wall Street. And what the protesters are doing every day is reminding us of that reality," he added. ???

Monday marks the one-month anniversary for the Occupy Wall Street protests, which have spread to cities all over the world and led to more than 800 arrests in the United States. your social media marketing partner


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+144 # MainStreetMentor 2011-10-17 15:14
Yes, Senator Sanders, that's exactly what is needed - a transfer of all accounts from banks to credit unions ... see the RSN Article entitled: "Bank Transfer Day Protest Attracts Massive Following", dated Oct 15/11.
-7 # NanFan 2011-10-18 06:12
What do you all think of using PayPal for a funds reservoir, rather than our traditional big banks?

+3 # boudreaux 2011-10-18 10:18
I think that is a fair question, so I don't get all of the thumbs down...either that or I'm having a blonde moment....
+4 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-18 20:26
Credit Union duh
0 # NanFan 2011-10-23 03:33
Quoting KittatinyHawk:
Credit Union duh

What if you're outside the country, have no access to a credit union, but are being paid by a US organization who directly deposits your pay to your existing big bank, which you need to access to get funds to use outside the country?

Can't exactly change banks if outside the country without changing everything.

It was just a question about PayPal and whether it was considered a good alternative or perceived as a sort of second- or third-party big bank.

+100 # BLBreck 2011-10-17 15:50
Thank you once again Mr. Sanders! I'd love it if you would also advocate State banks. CA is looking into doing this right now.
+14 # Progressive Patriot 2011-10-17 19:45
I think the state bank bill got through committee near the end of this year's session of the Oregon leguis, so maybe it will be considered next year.
+116 # Barbara K 2011-10-17 16:13
I've been advocating this for months and it's so great to see it catching on. We don't have to take their crap. We made them wealthy and we can make them unwealthy. I changed a year ago to my local Credit Union and to my local small-town bank. Much better service, more personable, and no shafting.

+60 # fcvnyc 2011-10-17 16:26
Banks are to become utilities. These privately owned businesses should not be in the business of creating money. This was the opinion of major economists in the 1930 and quite a few nowadays. See also Kucinich legislation HR2990.
+97 # michelle 2011-10-17 16:27
My daughter just came back from our local credit union. She canceled her BofA Visa and applied for a Schools Credit Union visa. Now we are a very small town and it usually takes a few minutes to process an application. They took her info but are so backed up they told her it would be a couple of hours to process. She was told they were taking in lots of applications from people leaving BofA. Really, this is a small, about half republican little town in northern California. Imagine the big cities.
+74 # wmfares 2011-10-17 16:38
an institution cut down in size will be no longer to big to fail.
there is little or no interest to depositors, only fees on top of more fees to be paid.
+7 # R U Kidding Me? 2011-10-17 17:02
Although I am pro doing just what Sen. Sanders suggests, I wonder what difference it would ultimately make since banks such as BOA (my son's nickname for it as in boa constrictor) would actually make since the big guns...that 1% with accumulated wealth in trillions of dollars is their bank of choice along with Chase and Wells Fargo. How many mortgages right now sit with BOA? Their world wide investments? The additional $16 trillion hidden money the Fed gave our banks and Europe as well. The vastness of this abyss is very deep and no short sighted solution will solve it...thinking out of the box is what is needed...dramat ic ideas not the same old same old.
+54 # CL38 2011-10-17 18:39
That doesn't mean that people won't still have an impact by moving their money. Many small steps, one step at a time builds momentum and creates real change.
+32 # jon 2011-10-17 18:52
Your point is well taken, but given the gravity of the situation, we have to use every means at our disposal to fight back, even if that means a few poor folks moving their paltry accounts to a user friendly credit union or - let there be much more of - state banks.
+22 # Progressive Patriot 2011-10-17 19:43
Those high dollar accounts are a small percentage of the accounts these banks hold, and they are not the ones that bring in big fees. It's primarily the small accounts that pay large fees to these banks. OTOH, if one of those large accounts were to pull out their money, the bank would lose huge sums of operating capitol.
+6 # steve98052 2011-10-19 13:56
A more significant benefit to moving funds from the huge multinational financial empires to credit unions and small banks is that they strengthen the little financial institutions.

Some of the small financial companies are dirty too, but the good ones are the ones that lend to small business, rather than investing their money in things like foreign factories and offices to which corporations can outsource their jobs.

Don't move your funds to hurt the bad guys. Move the money to help the good guys.
+2 # jamminon 2011-10-19 16:04
Excellent points steve98052!!

I would add that the reason big banks buy up smaller banks and merge is to get more accounts, greater economies of scale, and less competition, so enough people moving accounts will hurt them.

Credit unions can't be bought by big banks without their members approving, which is unlikely to happen, so the big banks have no recourse if you move to a credit union.
+1 # minkdumink 2011-10-17 17:24
''well I didnt mean to be nosey but I went into a bank,to get some bail for ahab and all the boys back in the tank,they asked me for some collateral and I pulled down my pants,they threw me in the alley and up came this girl from france,who invited me to her house I went but she had a friend,who knocked me out and robbed my boots,and I was on the street again''Bob Dylan/113th Dream
+1 # reiverpacific 2011-10-17 19:02
Heh-heh! Good reminder -great number (there's a splendid break-down and collective belly-laugh, probably weed-driven, at the beginning when they screw up and then just bash into it!).
Our friend is Mr Sanders. I think America's greatest poet might kinda like him.
And remember the last sequence of verse; (off the top of my head) "I saw three ships a-sailin' they were all headed our way", leadin' into the the last words "He said his name was Columbus -I just said "GOOD LUCK"!
Pretty prophetic, what?
0 # boudreaux 2011-10-18 10:23
+48 # DLT888 2011-10-17 17:24
Yeah! How great it would be to witness these huge institutions like Chase and the B of A that illegally snatched hard-working honest people's homes out from under them -- FALL TO THE GROUND. And to see the "FORECLOSED" sign outside every single branch of these banks with no one in sight and people passing by with their children telling the tale of how it all began and how the giants where felled.
+65 # capnDave 2011-10-17 17:32
I long ago quit big banks, CitiBank, Bank of America, and
Wells Fargo due to their excessive fees. They are the leeches
of our economy. Sen. Bernie, you are my hero as a displaced
Vermonter from Grafton.
+51 # genierae 2011-10-17 17:49
Bless you Bernie Sanders, you are always there for us!
+69 # AlwaysRightNeverLies 2011-10-17 17:57
Bernie is NOT a mush-headed self-styled liberal jumping on a bandwagon; he has been a continuing voice for the people and against the oligarchs. It is impressive for a US Senator to take this stance and it can only help the movement for those such as him to repeat the clarion calls of OWS.
+27 # Progressive Patriot 2011-10-17 19:33
It's primarily because of the independent thinking people that live in Vermont. That's the only way someone like him can get elected.
+49 # propsguy 2011-10-17 18:08
revenge is sweet! i moved my money months ago. i'm happy with the service and i'm really happy knowing that i was able in some small way to hurt a big bank since the government seems afraid to do the right thing.
if everyone does it, or just lots of people, it WILL make a difference. they have no hearts; they feel only money. let's give them some pain!!
+46 # Okieangels 2011-10-17 18:12
I closed my account at BofA about 2 months ago, and I regret waiting that long. Starve the jerks!
+49 # CL38 2011-10-17 18:23
Bernie Sanders is a real life hero. He's been fighting for ordinary people for a very long time.

I wish HE were running for President in 2012!
+58 # Vancouver Island 2011-10-17 18:27
I understood it is the small,modest bank accounts that have most of the service fees leveled against them..not the wealthy depositors. The service fees amount to a lot of dollars and the banks will feel this. Am I wrong?
+22 # CL38 2011-10-17 18:39
You are absolutely right!
+24 # jon 2011-10-17 18:56
You are right.

It is the small accounts hat pay fees. Large accounts not only pay no fees, but get many perks - when was the last time you got a huge, fancy, gift fruit basket at Christmas time from your bank?
+22 # Progressive Patriot 2011-10-17 19:31
In many banks, especially the large ones, you must maintain a certain balance, or you get charged a fee.
+30 # in deo veritas 2011-10-17 18:51
I rfemember how we in the military hated Bunk of America when they provided the government cards we were issued. They screwed us then and have been doing it ever since. Do these bastards still issue govt. cards? I wouldn't be a bit surprised considering how crooked Congress is. If so, then getting their contract cancelled would possibly bust their butt. Just glad I have had my business with the same smaller bank for decades and they have treated me right. I have paid off four credit cards and will rid myself of the rest by end of year. DO THE SAME if you can.
+5 # boudreaux 2011-10-18 10:28
Yea for you, I know that feeling...
+3 # michelle 2011-10-18 15:27
I too remember the trouble with BofA in Santa Barbara (really Goleta and Isla Vista). The bank was involved somehow in funding napalm used in Viet Nam. The bank was burned and the National Guard occupied Isla Vista. We fanned out to the surplus stores and bought up cheap workshirts. Then we silk screened them with the words, 'Isla Vista POW'. Maybe it's time for new shirts... BofA POW or Wall Street POW. Humor makes the powers that be really crazy.
+14 # Progressive Patriot 2011-10-17 19:30
I passed a Bank of America branch today and saw people out on the sidewalk at the ATM. I wanted to shout at them and tell them to remove ALL their money from that thieving place and put it into a _local_ bank. I was driving and in traffic, so couldn't really stop and do that.
+12 # Vintage2B 2011-10-17 19:43
OK ... good start ... but when do we pull out and sharpen the guillotines?
+1 # michelle 2011-10-18 15:28
and paint them red, white, and blue and call them Freedom Blades. Sigh.
+18 # pernsey 2011-10-17 19:47
I hope this will make a difference, and it is about time!! They are not to big to fail!!
+26 # Inland Jim 2011-10-17 19:53
Credit Unions forever!
+19 # pernsey 2011-10-17 19:56
Go Bernie Go!!
-12 # 2011-10-17 21:00
While I agree with Sanders and have been urging friends and relatives to move their bank accounts to co-ops and credit unions for years, it should be pointed out that Sanders is violating federal law by advocating a "run on banks" -- a law enacted under FDR to build bank confidence. Wonder if Holder will prosecute....

Ironic isn't it?

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
+13 # Gibbous 2011-10-17 21:42
Lee: Wouldn't that touch off a storm!
+14 # jon 2011-10-18 08:29
A run is defined as everybody in town waiting in line for the bank to open.

Advocating switching from a commercial bank to a credit union, when it is convenient for a person to do so, is not promoting a run.
+5 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-18 20:33
There is a run coming on Nov 5, over 40,000 have signed on...and growing

Know what, banks are feeling it already without the run so switching does hurt
+4 # boudreaux 2011-10-18 10:32
It is ironic but I know alot of us are happpy to hear that great voice of his saying, move your money now....
I'll bet they do prosecute Bernie but still nothing will happen to the big banks..
+17 # Mishkyn 2011-10-18 00:52
I have NO Credit cards! Tried to rent a car from Enterprise,(hav e done so many times) a credit/debit card with a certain amount of money to back it was not acceptable!
If I wanted to rent a car, I was to provide a recent utility bill, a current bank statement and pay for a credit check! NO THANKS!
Hello? Banks are hurting now, we have wised up and cut up our Credit Cards!
But NOOOO, the banks now want to make having a MAJOR Credit card a MUST not a choice!
Break the banks, I will walk rather than
HAVE to get a credit card!
BTW, I deal with a very small local Bank and Credit Union!
+5 # Charles3000 2011-10-18 03:21
The government should stop printing money and giving it to banks. Also, the amount of money in circulation increases by a nominal 3% per year in "nominal" times and about 92 cents of every dollar is created by banks and becomes a part of the bank's assets. Only 8 cents ends up in the governments hands. This should change. Every new dollar should be put into the economy by the government of the people, by the people for the people.
+18 # Charles3000 2011-10-18 03:27
Why are runs on banks dangerous? A run is dangerous to a bank because they only have about 8 cents of every dollar they owe. They are perpetually busted. So if people take money out of a bank, the bank will have to borrow money from the Fed and pay interest on it, interest that actually ends up in the US Treasure. Hence, taking money out of a bank is like putting money into the US Treasure. Hurrah for Bernie! He is helping balance the budget!
+15 # Norm2 2011-10-18 07:12
For almost thirty years we've used the Teachers Credit Union. No banking fees. We can do everything there a person can do at a bank. My fear - the government will bail out the banks again. The government doesn't get it. It's an advocate for corporations, not common people such as myself. If the elected officials don't protect their moneypot, how will they get richer and get money to be reelected to continue with their own greed? Guess it will be a good test.
+12 # Vermonster 2011-10-18 11:09
I have moved my money to a local bank and credit union.

And while we are at it, lets boycott sociopath Koch brother's products. Here is a short list of those that are commonly encountered:

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins

Below is a link to a more complete list
+9 # Rita Walpole Ague 2011-10-18 07:51
Thankful and then some I am for Bernie. I recently signed up to take part in Bernie's mass/participat ory phone call. I asked a pre-call question: Would Bernie please consider running for Pres. in '12 as an independent?

Guess what! No e-mail follow-up, and no call to me the night designated, as I had been told there would be by Bernie's D.C. office assistant.

But my question/urging remains. Please Bernie, hard as it may be, consider once again a run for pres. in '12. We so need you!
+5 # boudreaux 2011-10-18 10:38
My fear is that he may think he is too old to run. I hope not but understand if he doesn't run. It would certainly take alot out of our Bernie to just get into the run....but I too have hope but do not want him to put such a burden on himself...
+4 # boodahday 2011-10-18 08:53
Charles 3000 If The gov't had required the same amount of interest rates banks charge,(imposin g late fees etc) when WE bailed out Wall Street,and cracked down on the unethical practices, maybe.....
+12 # pickren 2011-10-18 09:33
I'm 60 and remember the day many years ago when banks paid 5% on passbook savings accounts - no minimum balance. 401k's were invented to bolster the wealthy in the stock market by letting them get their hands on the average person's money. The average Joe at that time knew nothing about investing in stocks. The banks cut their interest on savings down to almost nothing. I believe this was done so the middle-class would put their money in stocks since the banks no longer paid decent interest. Wall Street has been the biggest terrorist of the middle-class and poor bar none.
+5 # Dale 2011-10-18 09:42
Yes, Bernie Sanders to take on Obama as a genuine progressive candidate.
+5 # Vermonster 2011-10-18 11:23
I have moved my money to a local bank and credit union.

And while we are at it, lets boycott sociopath Koch brother's products. Here is a short list of those that are commonly encountered:

Angel Soft toilet paper
Brawny paper towels
Dixie plates, bowls, napkins and cups
Mardi Gras napkins and towels
Quilted Northern toilet paper
Soft 'n Gentle toilet paper
Sparkle napkins
Vanity fair napkins
Zee napkins

Below is a link to a more complete list
+2 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-18 20:31
Thanks...I will look see However, for those who do not have money, many of the store brands go to and run so hope that is shown.
I use Marcal for Environment sake as well as most Environmentally safe products for over 35 years...too bad no one caught on to that when us Environmentalis ts were warning you.
+6 # Paul Scott 2011-10-18 14:31
The website below explains why big banks are not loaning money to fire up the economy. I do not agree with the writer that the banks run a risk at all. This process is actually risk free, for the banks, as long as they have the "right" people in the right seats of our government. When the smoke clears wealth will have protected their wealthy ass by dropping wages and benefits back, to the middle class, 100 years.

While big banks are turning out these outrageous profits the economy, which is the working class’s lifeline; to their homes, sits in depression; therefore, the same banks that are collecting interest from the tax payers, on those loans to the government, are foreclosing on the unemployed workers homes, because they hold the mortgages. Everything that is needed for wealth to make more money is in place, in this nation, if only the people can be shut up.

+5 # noitall 2011-10-18 16:25
Those who say that our mere savings or checking accounts won't phase the bank, don't understand the filthy rich. They worry about the pennies. Go for coffee for a rich guy sometime, they'll try to schweeze out of paying..."Oh I just have a $100 bill or "I don't carry cash". Believe me, they'll freak! And they'll try to stop you.
+1 # KittatinyHawk 2011-10-18 20:27
November 5 is transfer fund day. We are going to Credit Unions....would have thought you all read that.
+2 # MainStreetMentor 2011-10-19 08:42
Here is a link that will help RSN readers transfer bank accounts to credit unions:
0 # deeperpolitics 2011-10-19 10:53
I compiled some information regarding banking fraud, for any sitting on the fence on this issue.
Just google "The History of Banking Fraud" or
"Financial Terrorism by the International Monetary Fund"
"How The World Works - Two Videos - Bill Woollam"

Just passing it forward.
+2 # 2011-10-19 16:33
North Dakota from 2006 to 2011 was the only state in the union where real estate values increased (11%) and it's still cheap there. The unemployment in North Dakota is 3%. North Dakota has some of the lowest taxes in the union.
Why? They have a state bank that invests in North Dakota. North Dakotans keep their money in North Dakota. Money regenerates for the businesses and residents of their state. It's pretty simple.
+1 # sol4u2 2011-10-23 23:25
Bernie always stands for the people! thank you. But if you have not heard BoA could be looking for another tax payer bailout for its Merrill Lynch derivative which it is moving - quickly - to FDIC insured accounts so when they go belly up or lose face as did the mortgages the good ol taxpayer will pay again since the FDIC is set up with taxpayer funds! We need to keep calling our representative in DC and complaining. The banks have the power and it is time it stopped!
0 # 3rdgenimmigrant 2011-10-27 11:34
ps Thank you Bernie and I pulled out of such banks when they got the bail out money.And I am boycotting PAY PAL, Western Union, MC & Visa for refusing to relay funds to Wikileaks. EVERYBODY BOYCOTT DO NOT SPEND AND SEE HOW MORE EFFECTIVE OF AN OCCUPATION THAT IS.
0 # 3rdgenimmigrant 2011-10-27 11:42
We the 99% have the most powerful tool the thing that the 1% depends on us to enrich them by. MONEY. DO NOT USE IT BARTER. I moved in a trailer 17 yrs ago on affordable cash purchased land, without a bank and a mortgage (latin= Death Pledge)
People GET OUT FROM UNDER THE SLAVE masters. Quit living a life that you cannot afford because your enriching the masters of deception and greed. My father a successful Corporate VP and owned a loan shark (Mortgage Business) TOLD ME 33 yrs ago, this was going to happen and that they were going to sink the middle class. Take heed get off the money it is the chains they bind you with.

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