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"Move Your Money" Responds To "Too Big To Fail But Not Too Proud To Be Bailed Out"

It's a great time to be an "economic carnage" observer and junkie. Between financial services' meltdown and Toyota's unintended acceleration, there's sufficient material for a lifetime of Tweets and blogs.

In this January, 2010 Health Care Strategist post for example, I predicted the financial services industry would begin to suffer, among other things, growing customer defections. I wrote of...
"...watching a real-time experiment in the consequences of pissing-off customers AND sticking them with the bill. Given enough time, and some credible options, customers act in all sorts of unexpected ways. Mostly, though, they just leave.

"It may take time to develop, but watch out for the coming disintermediation of financial services. Gone are the money center financial supermarkets. They may be "too big to fail" but that doesn't confer immunity from the hurricane of shifting customer loyalty. There's no such thing as "too big to be stupid."

"While the Feds worry about technical issues - mortgage-backed securities and other such ticking time bombs, bankers' worry ought to be more visceral: vanishing customer loyalty. Time bombs can be defused, given enough taxpayer money. But you can't "bail out" loyalty earned over decades and lost in the blink of a "crisis eye."'
Now a Huffington Post-inspired initiative called "Move Your Money" is encouraging consumers to flee money center banks in favor of local alternatives. Wait. I blog a prediction only to find someone already hard at work making it come true? I love it when that happens.

Case study-wise, it's an important lesson for industries (health care anyone?) sufficiently arrogant to think customers are locked in, that there's no substitute for what they offer. Or that their place in the food chain is so important as to be "destiny." Most dangerous of all is dismissing your critics as a bunch of progressive loons (which, on occasion, those at HuffPo can certainly be. That fact alone doesn't make their ideas any easier to dismiss.)

Today on CNBC, a Wall Streeter commented to the effect that "You may hate us now, but you need us to help you rebuild." Well, no, we don't actually. You're right about the hate, though.

"They need us! We're indispensable! Where else would they go?" Watch "Move Your Money" and learn.


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