Taking Back Agency and Accountability through Public Banking

Next City
Friday, June 15, 2018

This article examines the rising support for public banks that would work directly with community banks and credit unions. Funding infrastructure projects through public banks would bring down costs by reducing interest and debt service payments made toward private institutions.In New York City, for example, dozens of residents and community organizers in early June gathered in front of the New York Stock Exchange to launch the Public Bank NYC Coalition, a group calling for the creation of a New York City-owned bank. Oakland and San Francisco are exploring the idea. New Jersey and Michigan are also considering setting up state-owned banks. “I think this is the sign of the sleeping giant, the American populace, taking back their agency and accountability for the banking system,” said Kat Taylor, who co-founded Oakland-based Beneficial State Bank. “It belongs to all of us.”