Did Santa Cruz County just throw down the gauntlet to big banks?
This is exciting, a local county jurisdiction taking matters into their own hands. Let us see this action spread to other jurisdictions across the country and the world.
Robert Reich says counties should follow Santa Cruz’s lead.
A strong case can be made that employers shouldn’t pay attention to criminal convictions of real people who need a fresh start, especially a job.
But giant banks that have committed felonies are something different. Why shouldn’t depositors and investors consider their past convictions?
Which brings us to Santa Cruz County.
The county’s board of supervisors just voted not to do business for five years with any of the five banks felons.
The county won’t use the banks’ investment services or buy their commercial paper, and will pull its money out of the banks to the extent it can.
“We have a sacred obligation to protect the public’s tax dollars and these banks can’t be trusted. Santa Cruz County should not be involved with those who rigged the world’s biggest financial markets,” says supervisor Ryan Coonerty.
The banks will hardly notice. Santa Cruz County’s portfolio is valued at about $650 million.
But what if every county, city, and state in America followed Santa Cruz County’s example, and held the big banks accountable for their felonies?
What if all of us taxpayers said, in effect, we’re not going to hire these convicted felons to handle our public finances? We don’t trust them.
That would hit these banks directly. They’d lose our business. Which might even cause them to clean up their acts.
There’s hope. Supervisor Coonerty says he’ll be contacting other local jurisdictions across the country, urging them to do what Santa Cruz County is doing.
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