Money Rage

Putting Your Money Where Your Rage Is

Occupy Wall Street or The Tea Party, better epitomized the “little ball of hate” approach to political discourse and I could not decide. Therefore, I’ve decided to join both groups, so that I can become a living, breathing version of Munch’s painting “The Scream,” 24/7/365. While Dean Wormer may have told Flounder that “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son,” I’m pretty sure he never said a word about going through life “enraged.”

According to The Puget Sound Business Journal’s Kelly Giblom, big banks in this country are presently receiving boatloads of rage as a result of their recent adventures in fee-raising. At the same time, however, they’re also the recipients of boatloads of something that doesn’t seem to be consistent with rage: cash.

A flurry of data released today by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. shows those big banks have seen a significant jump in deposits in King County since last year. Meanwhile, smaller, state-based community banks have not seen a similar boost.

According to the FDIC, Bank of America had $16.47 billion in deposits on June 30, 2011, up from $15.39 billion the same day in 2010. JPMorgan Chase had $5.13 billion in deposits at the end of June this year, a $305 million jump from the year before. Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank also recorded large deposit gains of $632 million and $438 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, Washington Federal, the state’s largest bank saw a more modest increase of about $4 million to record $2.55 billion in deposits on June 30, 2011. The state’s second largest bank, Spokane’s Sterling Savings Bank actually lost $71 million worth of deposits. It had $530 million in deposits in King County at the end of the second quarter.

I see Ariana Huffington’s “Move Your Money” campaign has been a raging success (it never was in Texas, at any rate). Putting your money where your rage is directed is apparently something that defies the countervailing pull of cognitive dissonance. Of course, these statistics might also indicate that the reports of public anger and rage at the big, bad banks are being exaggerated by certain elements of the press and political class, and that much of what we see enacted on our television and computer screens is more political theater performed by an activist minority than reflective of widespread popular discontent. Whatever the truth, it’s unlikely we’re getting close to it by watching the main stream media.

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