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.… Read More
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.
Although small and mid-sized banks control only 22 percent of all bank assets, they account for 54 percent of small business lending. Big banks, meanwhile, allocate relatively little of their resources to small businesses. The largest 20 banks, which now command 57 percent of all bank assets, devote only 18 percent of their commercial loan portfolios to small business. … Read More
Despite growing public support, local businesses are likely to remain on the economic margins without fundamental changes in public policy. In this lecture, delivered at the Bristol Schumacher Conference in Great Britain, Stacy Mitchell proposes a set of new rules — policies that would foster local self-reliance and refashion the economy for long-term viability.
A growing number of communities are fighting back against the rising power of large retail stores like Wal-Mart. But real change won’t come until we stop thinking of ourselves as consumers and start thinking of ourselves as engaged citizens.… Read More