Democratize Access To Capital
June 7, 2018 7:02 AM   Subscribe

“The rally came days after the Trump administration announced it would roll back the Volcker Rule, which since 2014 has prohibited banks from using their accounts to conduct risky, speculative trading, in an effort to avoid another financial meltdown like the one that threw the country into a recession in 2008.” The Public Banking Movement comes to NYC (Common Dreams) “The Wall Street banks that are holding the public’s money are actively harming New Yorkers, harming New York communities, harming the planet, etc.” Progressive Groups unite to push for a Public Bank in NYC. (Mic) What is a Public Bank and how could it do better for California? (Truth Out) How Germany’s Public Banks funded their green revolution. (Guardian)
posted by The Whelk (18 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Are there any plans to "get the band back together" so to speak for another round of Occupy Wall Street? I have heard nothing about this anywhere.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:43 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


DC's government actually just had some meetings with residents about establishing a public bank, and a feasibility study is underway. If the government here is actually behind the idea (which, admittedly is sort of unclear as of yet), it's possible we could get there first.
posted by Copronymus at 8:18 AM on June 7


Sen. Gillibrand is pushing to have Post Offices become public banks as well. It's a good idea whose time came a long time ago.
posted by SansPoint at 8:25 AM on June 7 [17 favorites]


Has something happened to credit unions recently that has made the more bank-y? I remember the one my Dad used growing up was like a tiny building with a couple old ladies and a vault. That one, and several others have all been absorbed by some kind of mega credit union that seems to have much swankier offices.

The one I use now (UFCU in Austin) has like major office buildings at some branches, and other giant buildings that aren't branches at all. Why are me and my fellow members paying for all that? What are all these people doing?
posted by LiteOpera at 8:47 AM on June 7


A lot of them have been growing by leaps and bounds, taking in those who have been done wrong by the big banks. I had a CU account through an old employer that was just taken over by Unify in the past year. It looks like they took a NCUA list of small-time credit unions and asked if they wanted to get out of the business.
posted by dr_dank at 9:13 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Gillibrand's postal banking bill set the maximum APR - that's fees and interest - at the 1 month treasury rate. That would mean a fraction of a penny is the most that could be charged for a one-month $100 loan, akin to the size and tenor of payday loans. If the goal was to craft a bill that was (1) laugh-out-loud stupid and (2) impossible to pass, then mission accomplished.
posted by jpe at 9:14 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I suspect there's also a growing amount of what people want/expect from their credit union, especially if they're switching from a large bank. I know I couldn't use any banking or credit union that didn't have:

- membership in a large ATM network
- alternatively, ATM fee reimbursement
- an iPhone app
- the ability to link with Mint
- Apple Pay
- good fraud detection
- long customer support hours (not necessarily 24/7, but at least times I can speak to a human outside of my working hours)
posted by SansPoint at 9:19 AM on June 7 [2 favorites]


> If the goal was to craft a bill that was (1) laugh-out-loud stupid and (2) impossible to pass, then mission accomplished.

Senators seem to be judged by their performance, not by their efficacy, so if you reinterpret 1 and 2 as "Pander to your constituency while making sure nothing actually gets done," it may very well be mission accomplished.
posted by I-Write-Essays at 9:20 AM on June 7


I've been hearing a little about raising money for businesses (for a whole business rather than projects) by crowd-funding, and it's apparently so restricted as to be practically useless. This is a shame.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 9:25 AM on June 7


It's been so clear for a while that lawmakers have no interest in stimulating the economy by shaking up banking.

A legitimate argument could be made that banking is an extension of the government's interest in facilitating trade, and that just as minting coins and printing dollars is in their purview, so are banking and credit networks.

Imagine if instead of Visa and Mastercard eating up a couple of percentage points of a sale for credit card processing, there was a public alternative? It could probably go as low as 0.2% if there was a funding mandate, or even be free if it didn't have to be revenue-neutral.

I know people are afraid of big government, but holy crap, imagine if it were all linked together and we didn't have to jump through hoops like Visa, Paypal, Venmo, and Bank of America to send a friend some cash.

We wouldn't have Patreon horror stories if we didn't need stupid work-arounds just to pay our favorite artists regular micro-payments.
posted by explosion at 9:37 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


Gillibrand's postal banking bill set the maximum APR - that's fees and interest - at the 1 month treasury rate. That would mean a fraction of a penny is the most that could be charged for a one-month $100 loan, akin to the size and tenor of payday loans.

Yeah that's silly. I worked with Community Lenders of Texas when they were expanding a few years ago. They wanted the same thing; providing alternatives to payday loans for those without access. This nonprofit group required a guarantee from the borrower's employer, and they STILL lost money charging 18%. Charging less than two points is organizational suicide.
posted by FakeFreyja at 9:54 AM on June 7 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, the USPS has other revenue streams besides the interest it would collect under Gillibrand's plan.
posted by SansPoint at 11:57 AM on June 7


Gillibrand's postal banking bill set the maximum APR - that's fees and interest - at the 1 month treasury rate. That would mean a fraction of a penny is the most that could be charged for a one-month $100 loan, akin to the size and tenor of payday loans. If the goal was to craft a bill that was (1) laugh-out-loud stupid and (2) impossible to pass, then mission accomplished.

Unless your goal is to be laugh-out-stupid, you might try rechecking your math. You're off by a factor of 100.
posted by JackFlash at 1:26 PM on June 7 [2 favorites]


Apologies for being overly snarky -- I make mistakes too -- but just a suggestion that it's a good idea to take a moment and get your ducks in a row before rushing down the path of "Ha, ha stupid lady is stupid and doesn't understand important money things."
posted by JackFlash at 3:07 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]


I've been hearing a little about raising money for businesses (for a whole business rather than projects) by crowd-funding, and it's apparently so restricted as to be practically useless. This is a shame.

Well, as a society we've decided that "there's a sucker born every minute" should not be the SEC's guiding principle when it comes to protecting (or not protecting) amateur investors.
posted by sideshow at 3:24 PM on June 7 [4 favorites]








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