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Friday, October 7, 2011


Just a suggestion, but all of this talk about "Occupy Hartford" doesn't really seem to be bringing any of our "horrible" corporations to their knees. In fact, I doubt they even notice.

Some of the points are somewhat valid, even though I will be the first to admit I am really not following the whole non-event. I think there was probably more coverage when Bank of America announced last week that it was going to begin charging a $5.00 monthly fee for using their debit card to spend your money.

If the "Occupy Hartford" people really want to make a difference, pack up the camping equipment and do something that will send a real message. Stop by your local Bank of America branch and close your accounts. Then go to your local Credit Union and open an account. Credit Unions are almost entirely run locally, are much more customer service oriented and don't charge the outrageous fees that the mega banks charge.

In fact, use of ATM cards in most credit union networks is free.

In a city like Hartford, as well as most urban areas, Bank of America has definitely taken their toll through foreclosures, lending practices and what some might call predatory mortgages. I think hitting them where it counts would say much more than any protest or camp outs could ever accomplish.

I wonder how many of the "occupiers" actually have a Bank of America or Citicorp card in their pockets,or how many gladly accept their Aetna or Traveler's benefits when they need them. Dissension is important, but is definitely more effective when it has a real impact


RB said...

BoA isn't the only one. A few months ago my bank (Webster) was going to charge me $10.00 a month for my checking acct, if I didn't use my debit/credit card 10 or 15 times a month. (I forget which). I called my local branch and spoke to the Manager. I pointed out that I was on a fixed income, which is direct deposited to the bank. When I opened the acct, it was free as long as you had d/d. I prefer to use cash in hand, rather than a card. They did waive the fee. If there are any more problems like this, I will definitely look into a Credit Union.

Wasted Genius Comedy said...

And holy cow, David Panagore, COO of Hartford, reports on his facebook page that he dropped donuts off to tge protesters this morning. I don't think you could intentionally design a more symbolic representation that Hartford is NOT open for business.

And credit unions rock - especially since they're small enough that they actually KNOW who you are and you have a say in how they're run.

peter brush said...

By all means, if one is unhappy with service use a different provider. It's still almost a free country. But, watch out. It may very well be that merchants in future will not accept cards from, for example, credit unions.

And, while one has the right to complain, to vote with his feet, in this instance the disgruntlement is misplaced. BOA is only reacting to stange new laws installed by our Dem Congress under the rubric "Dodd/Frank." In particular, give Senator Durbin a call of thanks. Bernanke testified about the issue last spring .
(May 12, 2011)
Community banks and credit unions have said the exemption won’t work and may make their cards less competitive, as they will be more expensive for merchants to accept than cards issued by larger banks. The exempt banks oppose the Fed’s plan along with the biggest lenders, including Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), which could lose more than $12 billion in annual revenue if the caps take effect.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Mr Fryar's republicans mainly, but not totally, caused the conditions that the protestors are protesting.President Bush squandered the treasury with non sensical wars in Iraq and Afganistan,tax cuts that depleted the treasury and passing the largest entitlement in US history,the drug benefit program.All of which contributed to the historic deficit we face.Obama shares some of the blame by introducing the legislation for the bailout of wall street....which again was agreed to by Mr Fryar's republicans,after meeting with and consultation with President Obama.

Anonymous said...

The Bow Tie sucks. If the Mayor had a spine ge would get rid if him now. The next thing he'll be bringing Eddie a file on visiting day at the Fed pen, but he had to take off his womens clothes first. Sooner or later someone is going to send you a picture of him in drag and them what is Pedro going to do?????

peter brush said...

Mr Fryar's republicans mainly, but not totally, caused the conditions that the protestors are protesting.
HARTFORD, Conn. — A group of prisoners has begun a letter-writing campaign to protest what they see as an unfair ban on pornography inside the state's correctional institutions.
It's W's fault... again.

- C said...

The point about voting with your wallets (at least the plastic there) is valid, but issues the protests are about are far larger than just multinational bank or credit union. We are at the forefront of a new paradigms in business. The old model failed. Time to create new ones. That takes time, discourse, and debate amongst open minds. And kudos to the folks out there helping raises awareness of the magnitude of the issues at hand. Find it hard to believe that anyone commenting here stands to benefit by continuing to have exorbitant CEO golden parachutes, absurd bank bailouts, and increased middle income taxes continue on as usual. And kudos also to our little city's officials supportive enough of their own residents to spend their Sat AM supporting their communities, regardless of their political persuasion or leanings.

Bruce Rubenstein said...

Peter equates President Bush's wasting our treasury with unnecessary wars and tax breaks and the largest public benefit in USA history( drug benefit) with prisoners/porn...he must have been educated in the Hartford school system.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, normally I agree with your point of view, however, in this instance I am disappointed in your reaction to the "Occupy Hartford" movement. Historically, you seem to have called out, what in your opinion, seems to be injustices to the common person. This time you seem to insult the common person. Whether you see that the group has a goal or not, what is important, is that a generation is outraged enough to take action and step up and be heard. I am 40 years old - Generation X - and we lived in hearty times and had no reason to step up, and have been very comfortable.

Personally, I disagree with blaming Wall Street for our current state of affairs. Aren't corporations doing what individuals do on a daily basis? Trying to make money? Live comfortably? It's time to blame elected officials. They are the ones who are supposed to be representing the public. Bank of America has every right to raise their fees. But BOA customers have every right to leave BOA, which I hope they do. I don't think that anyone wants the big companies to leave Hartford, I just think there is so much blame to go around, there is difficuly organizing pointing the finger or finding a cure.

If you are running for office, don't criticize the masses that are going to vote for a part of the cure. what is your plan? I don't care about your views on Cotto or the rest of the council. We already know the council is a mess. what are you going to do to be a part of the solution.

To the Occupy Hartford movement, I am proud of them. Speak up. Be heard. Make a difference!

Publius said...

Art Feltman is calling around looking to put together a slate in the 6th district...and minnie is doing the same thing in the 6th district...

Ichabod Crane said...

Feltman's maneuvering by working for Pedro and by organizing a town committee is prefaced for continued hartford money for his non-profit which is located in Hartford.Feltman is no different then Cornell,Andrew Wood or Kathy Evans.

looks&quacks like a duck said...

Totally off topic Kev, but are you going to find out how a Lt at hpd had a fight off-duty with on duty officers, got demoted, and just over a week ago got re-promoted??? Also find out how the sergeant who was in charge of the downtown detail that night got suspended for 30days and his time was not restored. Stinks a little bit dontcha think???