Over the past few weeks, Jain Family Institute (JFI) and Berggruen Institute have released parts 1 – 3 of their joint report series for a Municipal Bank of LA. Part 1 speaks to the public bank’s capacity to increase affordable housing. Part 2 pioneers strategies for democratic governance of financial institutions. Part 3 explores how the public bank could build community wealth in part by helping employees purchase small businesses.
Detailed in the series, the public bank could:
- deploy five new low-risk lending programs that could build or preserve over 17,000 affordable units in Los Angeles over its first ten years of operation, while turning a profit for taxpayers,
- finance the transition of nearly 1500 workers to shared business owners,
- incorporate citizens’ input into investment decisions through deliberative democracy.
These reports were initiated by Los Angeles City Council’s unanimous approval in October 2021 to initiate a viability study and business plan for a public bank.
Yakov Feygin, Berggruen Institute Associate Director of the Future of Capitalism and co-author of the briefing, stated in a press release:
“Averting a ‘silver tsunami’ of damaging small business shutdowns and promoting new models of ownership is a matter of simple, low-cost financing programs that only a public bank is likely to undertake. Los Angeles and other cities should seriously explore the potential of public finance to promote more resilient and inclusive economies.”