The latest project from Comptroller John Liu's office, and it looks like a good idea to me:
Comptroller John Liu's www.checkbooknyc.com offers unprecedented access into how the City of New York spends its nearly $70 billion annual budget.
While it's catapulted the Big Apple to top in the nation in governmental financial transparency, that was never the end goal. The real goal is to simply compel more judicious spending of precious taxdollars.
The idea here is that opening up government's books and baring it all online empowers and enlists the public to keep an eye out. Then, when city agencies know that every penny spent is being watched, there is an inherent incentive to exercise that much more care in the spending of the public's dime.
The website breaks down city spending by department, vendor, contract, etc. See where your money is being spent by the city!
I have been pushing for divestment in the four worst banks. I base my choice of worst banks on several criteria: customer service complaints filed with the Comptroller of the Currency, predatory lending practices including racist policies and targeting veterans, right wing politics including support for tax breaks for billionaires while advocating cutting social programs, whinging about "big government" while begging for taxpayer funded bailouts, etc. To some degree I also base it on the rating system of the Responsible Shopper website.
I have been targeting Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo. Of these four, three are also the worst on the Responsible Shopper website: Bank of America, Chase, and Citibank. Fidelity and Vanguard are also among their worst. I haven't targeted them because they aren't really "banks."
I have been pushing as alternatives to the worst banks switching to Credit Unions, TD Bank (a large bank that avoided all the predatory lending practices), USAA (for Veterans and their families), and small local banks. read more »