The Case for Public Banking

September 9, 2022

Banking for the people.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Banking for All

To participate fully in our economy, you need access to money and banking services. But for millions of people, our banking system has been a barrier to entry, as Roosevelt’s Emily DiVito explains in a new brief.

Presenting the findings of a field survey of bank branches in California, the brief illustrates how our banking system has failed unbanked and underbanked people; and Black, brown, and Spanish-speaking people in particular—from disparities in treatment and access to information to a lack of no-fee, no-minimum account options. 

We need alternative banking options, DiVito writes: a federal system of FedAccounts and postal banking, local public banks, and state-run no-cost, no-fee account programs. 

“Our entire country suffers when some are excluded from full economic participation,” DiVito writes. “Only through an inclusive, fair, and accessible banking system—that meets the needs of those who have most often been sidelined—can the US reach its full economic and social potential.”

Read more in “Banking for the People: Lessons from California on the Failures of the Banking Status Quo.”


Two Approaches to Industrial Policy

The Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Biden last month, marked major gains for green industrial policy

But those gains will be realized in two different ways: through enhanced use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) and tax credits. 

“With the DPA, the government gets to determine the who, what, where, when and how,” Roosevelt’s Todd N. Tucker told the Wall Street Journal’s Katy Stech Ferek this week. 

“With the tax credits, they are putting the ball in the court of private investors.”

Learn more about these two approaches in “The Unprecedented Green Industrial Policy Wins in the Inflation Reduction Act,” by Tucker and Sunny Malhotra.


What We’re Reading and Listening To

Student Loan Forgiveness [podcast feat. Roosevelt’s Alí Bustamante]News Not Noise

The Cost of Reparations [podcast feat. Roosevelt’s William “Sandy” Darity Jr.] – Vox

America’s Electric Utilities Spent Decades Spreading Climate Misinformation – Grist

How “Bidenomics” Got a Lot More ProgressivePolitico