Presented below is a note prepared for the December 4th meeting of the Occupy Wall Street General Assembly by its alternative banking working group. We present it – without comment – as a document for understanding the aims of OWS (as per John Gapper’s recent column).
This note has been prepared by the alternative banking working group of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement. The note is for discussion with the OWS movement and more broadly.
The purpose of this note is to describe the characteristics of an ideal bank that embodies the values of the OWS movement. The current banking system lies at the heart of our current economic crisis of increasing volatility and inequality. To change that system, we need to replace it with a better bank. What would be the characteristics of this bank?
None of these features is new, and many are already evident in credit unions, community banks and “mutuals”. But our purpose is to imagine something that might have a broader reach and impact – that might transform the banking system, and thus, by its example and through its operations, potentially create an economy that is fairer, more inclusive, democratically managed and stable.
1. Democratic – all customers would own the bank, and have an equal say in its governance, regardless of the amount of money in their accounts. Employees – or rather partners – might be co-owners of the bank, forming a co-operative....MORE