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Think Out Loud

Where's Your Money?

Pete Springer/OPB

Jane Blackstone believes in community revitalization. That’s a big reason she helped spearhead  Lake Oswego’s move to invest 1.2 million dollars in local community banks. As the city’s economic development manager, she’s received many of calls of interest from other cities in Oregon. She says the idea is pretty simple: give community banks — and businesses — a much needed lift in the midst of the recession.

She’s quick to point out that this decision didn’t have anything to do with an anti-big bank sentiment, it’s just part of the city’s overall stimulus plan.

Credit unions might be able to enjoy more of those types of investments in the future, if Governor Kulongoski signs a bill that would allow credit unions to accept municipal funds over a certain amount. By and large credit unions have fared better than many banks but some are struggling in this economic climate. And a few have been victims of their own success — finding that they have too many deposits and not able to make enough loans.

Do you bank at a credit union? Why? What do you like about it? Are there any disadvantages? Do you bank at a big national bank or a smaller one based in your community? What are the factors that you consider when choosing? What difference does it make that your money stays in your city or town?

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