The dominance of Visa, along with Mastercard and the big banks that issue most credit cards, comes with high costs for small business owners and consumers.
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When the country’s giant banks were teetering on the verge of collapse during 2008’s financial crisis, the U.S. government stepped in to bail them out. The banks were, in a phrase that has since become infamous, “Too Big To Fail.” Would the government do it again? And does the expectation that it would step in give megabanks an unfair competitive advantage over local community banks? Those are the questions at the heart of an eagerly awaited report released at the end of July by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal department. In a conclusion that highlights the need for more regulatory action to reduce concentration in the banking system, the G.A.O. found that the answers to both questions are “yes.”… Read More
ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell is interviewed on the Local Bites Podcast. She lays out the evidence against the growing consolidation of economic power in the hands of a few global corporations and exposes the policy decisions that have led us down this path. She highlights several promising initiatives from the growing localization movement, and outlines the key components of a ‘localist policy agenda’. … Read More
Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. This analysis finds that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and “micro” business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent. … Read More
Since 2000, the overall volume of business lending per capita at banks has grown by 26 percent, but this expansion has entirely benefited large businesses. Small business loan volume at banks is down 14 percent and micro business loan volume is down 33 percent. … Read More
To regenerate local businesses, we’ll need more than Buy Local campaigns; we’ll need to change public policy, which now favors big business. In this presentation, Stacy Mitchell looks at seven key policy areas to focus on. … Read More
While just 24 percent of big banks offer totally free checking, more than 60 percent of credit unions and small banks do, according to a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The report also found that credit unions and small banks have lower fees on average and do a better job of disclosing fees to prospective customers.… Read More