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Is it socially responsable to be a shareholder of a bank? As a shareholder of a bank you encourage the bank to bet against the interests of their beneficiaries.

Banks aren't betting against the interest of their beneficiaries. They're simply paying the market rate on deposits or charging the market rate on loans. As the bank's customer, you can take your business anywhere. Case in point, millions of people now are using online money market accounts through ING, Emigrant Direct, or Citibank for their savings because the rates far surpass anything a traditional money market or savings account can pay.

To say that a bank is trying to charge the highest rate they can for mortgages is just how capitalism works. Kroger would charge $10 for a gallon of milk if we were willing to pay that much.

From an SRI standpoint, I could see an investor taking issue with short-term loans exceeding 20-30% annualized interest rates or pushing the use of cash advance checks. I've also read about some banks providing loans to the Sudanese government to fund the purchase of military equipment for carrying out genocide. But charging the highest interest rate on mortgages that the market will bear is no crime and, in the greater scheme of things, is exactly what we want banks to do because those rates are tied the cycle of our economy and we need periods of recession and growth to maintain our productivity.
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