Inspired by Umair Haque and a retweet of a comment I made, I would
like to introduce Truth Bank. Truth Bank was thought right around the beginning
of the 2008 bank meltdown as a conversation I had with my hedge fund
managing in-law. He asked for a cool business idea and I said "truthy bank, a bank that publishes all it’s transactions, to the public everyday. A totally and 100% transparent bank". He didn’t like
the idea citing, he’d lose any competitive advantage he had in finding new assets to invest in. I gave up on truthy bank but head on to the idea until I heard about banksimple.com from a friend and reading “The New Capitalist Manifesto”. Banksimple.com is working off the same premise that banking can done better, be better and you know actually help people with their money without being evil. These are some of the axioms that are brought up in The New Capitalist Manifesto. We have to do better, change and find new advantages for the 21st century and beyond.
I didn’t understand at the time I thought of Truth Bank. What I should have made clear to my fine hedge fund managing family member was that the truthyness is the advantage, That openness, publishing the your transactions is the disruptive element that would make Truth Bank work.
Truth bank is going to stand for a few core values.
1. We will not deceive our members.
Truth will be paramount. If you can’t a afford something we will let
you know. If your business plan has a major hole we’ll let you know
and help with a better idea. We will be honest, always. If you come
to us, you come for truth.
2. We will only invest in “real” businesses.
No ponzi, no hedge funds, no environment destructing businesses will
ever get a dollar from Truth Bank. We’ll only put your money in
forward thinking, betters businesses that you can feel good about.
3. Transparency in everything. Our accounts will be public. Every dollar, every transaction will be posted publically for the world to see everyday. No quarterly postings, no hidden accounting practices, everything will be out front and available for folks to see.
4. We’ll be a members in your community.
Truth Bank will invest in businesses where it’s branches are located,
We’ll be the Bailey Savings and Loans of your Bedford Falls. By being
local, we invest in you and the people who live in the neighborhood,
your failure is our failure, your triumph is our triumph.
5. We will help people. Being poor isn’t a sin, a sickness or a something people are born with. It’s institutional and our institutions perpetuate poverty. Truth Bank will try to help break the cycle by educating folks on financial matters, being honest about their finances and helping them found businesses that will allow them to succeed.
What do you think Truth Bank should do? What would the characteristics of your bank be?