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
The nation’s largest seller of everything from groceries to toys wants to go into banking. Wal-Mart has applied to open a bank in Utah. State regulators say it will take about four months for them to review the application. … Read More