In this cover story for Sojourners Magazine, Stacy Mitchell writes that there is remarkably little evidence to support the idea that bigger banks are superior. They have come to dominate, not because they are more efficient or offer better services, but because they have rigged government policy in their own favor. It’s time for a new set of rules—banking policies for the 99 percent. Continue reading
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After winning an Oscar for Best Documentary for Inside Job, Charles Ferguson injected some much-needed real world relevance amidst the fabulously glitzy proceedings. Continue reading
A top Federal Reserve official says that locally owned banks do a better job of serving communities and small businesses, but they are threatened by federal policies that favor their big competitors. Continue reading
How do we change course and revive a banking system that is more local and responsive to the needs of communities? Continue reading
Hanging in the balance of the financial reform debate is an issue that has received far less attention than the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, but is at least as important and probably more so: whether Congress will restore the authority of states to oversee national banks. Continue reading
Not one to let a good crisis go to waste, Bank of America managed, in the dark days of 2008, to parlay its own insolvency and near collapse into attaining something it had long dreamed of: federal approval to bypass a national law that says that no bank may acquire another bank if it would end up holding more than 10 percent of the country’s deposits.
Now, at long last, a new Senate proposal calls for reinstating strict size caps. It would mean disassembling at least five big banks.
The latest report from TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky warns, “Even if TARP saved our financial system from driving off a cliff back in 2008, absent meaningful reform, we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time in a faster car.” Continue reading
Hearings held to investigate the crash of 1929 led to the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act, which fundamentally restructured the banking industry. Can the FCIC hearings, which get underway today, help to bring it back? Continue reading