Tag Archives: bank local

Is Grand Lake Theater on Crack?

Is this man on crack?

Is this man on crack?

Of all Oakland small biz owners, I recall one in particular, Allen Michaan, who rallied a rabid frenzy of gasoline-dependent “consumers” and fellow biz owners into an anti-city government parking fee increase froth.

Not that small businessees don’t have legitimate concerns of pure business survival during Great Depression 2.0, but the argument against parking  went too far. (I generally like his outdoor sign commentaries…)

Michaan, owner of the local movie theater by the lake claimed that his business was down 50% (?) due to the increased $0.50/hr parking fees? C’mon! Wake up and smell the non-fair-trade blue bottle coffee. Your theater has less patrons because their disposable incomes have shrunken like a cotton sweater left in the dryer on High too long. And you scared them off with parking ticket talk to the mainstream media. Heckuva job.

So now that Oakland City Council repealed its parking rate hike (and longer hours) this week, will we see a 50% rebound in said movie theater business? I highly doubt it. The Grand Lake shuck-and-jive to “roll” back higher parking rates will backfire into some other tax increase or service cut.

The real reason for Grand Lake businesses hurting is this:

Unemployment keeps increasing. Nationally the Sept unemployment rate is officially up to 10%.  That represents around 1 million fewer people working in Sept vs August.

To make house payments on your American Dream or to go out to movies every week requires a steady paycheck. A lot of people are losing that, which means they’re losing their disposable income.

Even if you keep your job, let’s say your credit card rate just got increased from 20% to 30% or your credit line got trimmed a cool thousand.  Now you have all the more reason to jump on Hulu.com or visit your local paid-for library’s DVD section… Plus, you might be inspired by all the bad news to actually save a few bucks for when you get laid off.

$3 gas now hurts more than $4 gas did in 2008.

Oakland business owners who have come to terms with all these facts of reality are battening the hatches for a few stark years  — and likely decades  — to come, Japan-style. People are only buying essentials these days. They’re going out less frequently.

Businesses which succeed will be the best of the best.

You can generally find these businesses at yelp.com’s “best of” sections.

They’ll also be located in great locations like Temescal, Uptown, maybe West Oakland, and perhaps even Rockridge. Areas close to public transit. Grand Lake can succeed too: at a smaller scale. Does any low-density neighborhood really need 5 beauty salons within three blocks?

Surviving businesses will thrive when their lesser competitors close. Survivors will have survived thanks to better service, unique ambiance you can’t enjoy anywhere else, maniacal focus, or being tight-knit with the local community. And most of all, offering something tangible which people really need. Food. Water. Air. Shelter. Clothing. You might have noticed that over in SF, the former Sony Metreon building now features an all-week farmers’ market indoors where sony hardware once sat. (Love the empenadas and day-old cupcakes!)

If they don’t offer the above, they are short-cutting or cheating somewhere. Think “bailout” or mafia.

Cheap and good is the order of the day.

Wishing small biz owners out there all the best! We’re in for a decade of penny-pinching. Now support your damn local economy by closing your national zombie bank account and switching to a local/regional bank or credit union!

I just closed my Chase account this week. If you can’t tell, I’m quite pleased with myself. 😉

Who do YOU bank with? [Bank Local!]

Governator’s “Bank on Oakland” promotion revealed by Mayor Dellums – great, if people avoid big evil tapeworm banks

Mayor Dellums has proposed that all Oaklanders who use check cashing services switch over to BANKS. Good idea, but we should all say, FUCK the big tapeworm banks! They take our income taxes and report “surprise” profits; they launder drug money from our now-wrecked communities; they charge high fees. Isn’t enough, enough?*


Dellums further encourages Oaklanders to bank with some of the very criminal banks which have taken our tax money through these various keep-rich-people-from-losing-money schemes: TARP, TALF, AIG’s fradulent $100 billion bailout, Federal “loans”, Obama/Geithner’s PPIP toxic crap for taxpayers program, etc. And WTF Dellums now encourages us to reward these same gnome banksters by opening up accounts there:

You’ll note plenty of drug money connections above.

You probably have no idea that the CIA has funneled thousands of tons of drugs into our own country to finance foreign policy excursions. There’s even a GNN video about it on YouTube – also available at GNN.

If you can’t get your mind around the drugs, nevermind that for now.

From a Year Ago: Oakland City Atty Russo Claws Back a Few Million from Banksters (good preview of our current national situation, no?)


April 23, 2008 07:37 PM Eastern Daylight Time
“OAKLAND, Calif.–(EON:Enhanced Online News)–On Wednesday, April 23, the City of Oakland filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against national financial firms such as AIG Financial Products, Bank of America, Bear Stearns, JPMorgan Chase, Wachovia Bank and others.

“City Attorney John Russo held a press conference to announce the lawsuit, which charges the companies with conspiring to gouge taxpayers in Oakland and other American cities through illegal price fixing and bid rigging.”


If only Top Cop Eric Holder (Obama’s DOJ AG) and the FBI would go and Arrest and Jail these iBankster CEOs!!! But no, he and Geithner and Obama only do a post-Enron-style prosecution of little fish Madoff and AIG execs. Give me a break.

*To Dellums’ credit, there are many local banks and credit unions participating as well. There may be a few solid institutions there who we should support — after reviewing their annual financial statements and knowing who the managers are. I’m surprised Mechanic’s Bank, a regional bank is not on the list.

I bank with Cooperative Federal Credit Union on Ashby Ave in Berkeley. It’s not the greatest – their ATM machine was down last night, they’re closed weekends, someone keeps hacking their database such that I keep needing to get a new debit card… but it’s cheap ($1/month for checking w/o DD) and local. They aren’t doing sub-prime crime in hand with Fannie, Freddie and HUD. COOPFCU sucks less than any big tapeworm bank but I don’t recommend joining them. There are better CUs, such as SF Fire, which even pays ATM fees you incur at other banks’ ATMs. Do your homework and find a good local bank or CU.

Organic foodies say “eat local” because it’s better for you. I say, “bank local” because it too, is better for you.

Here’s more revelation about The Bezzle care of Bill Moyers:

So, who DO you bank with? I doubt anyone who banks with BofA or Wells is going to admit it in the poll below, but let’s see.

If YOU bank with Wells Fargo-Wachovia, BofA, WamuChase or any other gigantic banking tapeworms, you need to switch. Join a local/regional bank or credit union. Fast: Here’s how.

And, join the April 11th protest against ongoing bankster fraud and corporate bank welfare! I’ll be at the SF FRB protest.

Read more about our banking fiasco at Solari Financial Intimacy, Market Ticker or at Culture of Life News.

“As Americans prepare our tax filings, the tensions around bailouts and corruption grow and the truth about the intentional nature of the financial fraud emerges.”

“Ready to print your own currency?”

[Update: This is a state program and Oakland is a pilot city. On the other hand, as already noted by artemis, check cashing shark joints charge insane fees up to 300% per year, so banks are definitely better. (These sharks are essentially mafia without the assassins, yet.) We definitely want to work with all the reputable small banks and credit unions on the site here, after researching their backgrounds!]