Arianna Huffington and her buddy Rob Johnson have penned a lengthy explanation of why Americans should MOVE THEIR MONEY from large corporate banks to local banks because corporate banks caused the recession and are evil. This is an admirable goal. Except it seems the real goal of the campaign is to drive readers to this lame website:
Visit www.moveyourmoney.info to learn more about how easy it is to move your money. And pass the idea on to your friends (help make this video—and this idea—go viral!).
The much-vaunted website looks like "My First Wordpress Blog" and consists of: The MOVE YOUR MONEY "viral video"; some words about how corporate banks are bad; and a search tool to help find trustworthy local banks in your area to which you may MOVE YOUR MONEY.
The search tool is courtesy of Institutional Risk Analytics, which sells reports on bank reliability. According to Huffington and Johnson's article, HuffPo "reached an agreement with top financial analysts Chris Whalen and Dennis Santiago, who gave us access to their IRA (Institutional Risk Analytics) database." (Whalen is quoted frequently in HuffPo pages.) As first noted by Shawn Wasson of The News Junkie, the Institutional Risk Analytics link is plugged into an affiliate program. Subscriptions to IRA's service start at $50 and go up to $500 and if you send them a new customer, they're "paying 20% net of PayPal fees and COGS content license costs, where applicable, in 2009 on affiliate sales credited to your code."
So, is this some new revenue stream for Huffington's site? Whalen tells us HuffPo is will not receive any commission from sales generated by the campaign. "The Huffington investigative fund runs the site. We do not pay them any commissions for any sales that may occur," Whalen wrote in an email.
So: HuffPo launches this MOVE YOUR MONEY campaign, which is basically a glorified link to Institutional Risk Analytics' bank reports. Corporate America may or may not come crashing to its knees, but we imagine Institutional Risk Analytics' website will be getting way more than its average of 476 hits tomorrow.