Press Room & Media
In the News
By Editorial Board, Bloomberg – Should U.S. post offices also be banks? Lately, a group of legislators including Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been championing the idea as a way to address economic inequality. It might seem far-fetched, given how the postal service has been struggling recently to even deliver the mail. But the idea shouldn’t be dismissed.
By Wan R. Smith and Philip Fracica, Nonprofit Quarterly – Today, as President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure bill is debated in Congress, it’s worth recalling that this isn’t the first time the US has faced an infrastructure deficit. “By the 1930s nearly 90 percent of US urban dwellers had electricity, but 90 percent of rural homes were without power. Investor-owned utilities often denied service to rural areas, citing high development costs and low profit margins,” recalls one account.
By Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance – Rural America is in crisis, and the gap between struggling rural towns and coastal supercities is growing ever wider. Much of this distress stems from the concentration of corporate and financial power, which is centralizing wealth in the hands of the few while wiping out the independent businesses and well-paying jobs that are the foundation of rural economies.
By Susan Arbetter, City of Albany – Under Sen. Sanders’ “New York Public Banking Act” (S1762A/A5782), a bank would be controlled by a government body rather than by private investors. Additionally, the public bank would be an institutional lender — in other words, a bank that other banks turn to for loans, not one at which individuals would open checking accounts.
By Ben Frogel, The American Conservative – Local banks and credit unions foster a sense of community and place, are far removed from the culture wars in Washington, and enable local businesses to stay afloat against the tide of homogenization. Conservatives should readily take up the mantle of public banking, which helps locally owned businesses, frees municipal budgets from Wall Street, and promotes the decentralization of banking power. Conservatives can look to North Dakota’s state bank as an example of how and why.
By Alexander Sammon, The American Prospect – Last week, the country’s largest banks announced their quarterly earnings, crushing estimates and expectations nearly across the board. It marked another surprisingly profitable quarter in what’s become quite a run since the coronavirus hit the U.S. over a year ago. Banks, to the surprise of nobody, have been among the first American institutions to recover, and have done so dramatically. Millions of working people lag behind.
By Sherry Robinson, Carlsbad Current Argus – The pandemic has shown us the weaknesses in the supply chain and reoriented consumer demand. Consumers nationwide depend on four big meat packing companies, and when plants closed over COVID-19 outbreaks, grocery store shelves emptied. That spurred consumer interest in buying local meat; there’s also growing enthusiasm for organic, grass-fed beef.
By Oscar Perry Abello, Next City – Public banking legislation was introduced into the New Mexico state house and senate earlier this year, where it received approval from one house committee but stalled in another. Some of the reason for that stalling out was questions raised about the proposed bank that can’t quite be answered at the state level. Those questions would require action at the federal level, actions that happen to be at the heart of the Public Banking Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last year.
By American Society of Civil Engineers – On March 3rd, ASCE released the 2021 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure through a virtual Solutions Summit to an audience of more than 3,400 attendees from across the country. The Report Card, which covers 17 categories of infrastructure, assigned the U.S. a cumulative grade of ‘C-‘, up from a ‘D+’ in the 2017 report. While the GPA improved slightly, there are still 11 categories in the ‘D’ range, meaning these systems are in poor condition and at risk.
By Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times – A score of California lawmakers have signed on to a new bill designed to offer Golden State households free financial services, taking on the state’s powerful banks at a time when easier access to banking services could help families cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.