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"How the Other Half Banks" - Author Discussion on the Unbanked and Postal Banking

Saturday, February 13, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Laurel Books, in Oscar Grant Plaza 1423 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612, USA

Sponsored by Strike Debt Bay Area...

Writer and lawyer Mehrsa Baradaran will be at Laurel Bookstore to read from her new book How the Other Half Banks and talk about credit inequality in modern American banking.

The United States has two separate banking systems today—one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. How the Other Half Banks contributes to the growing conversation on American inequality by highlighting one of its prime causes: unequal credit. Mehrsa Baradaran examines how a significant portion of the population, deserted by banks, is forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services to cover emergency expenses and pay for necessities—all thanks to deregulation that began in the 1970s and continues decades later.

Corporate megabanks with trillions of dollars in assets believe, with some evidence, that they can run the government and control how money works in the lives of people and the budgets of local governments. Baradaran explains how banks and governments have always been in complex relationships with each other; governments need banks to provide money services to people, and banks need governments for protection against economic fluctuations and to provide credit on favorable terms. But in the 21st century, American banks in particular have shed their social contract with the American people and the U.S. government, demanding to be treated as a private industry while enjoying all the benefits of a public service industry.

Baradaran proposes a solution: reenlisting the U.S. Post Office in its historic function of providing bank services. The post office played an important but largely forgotten role in the creation of American democracy, and it could be deployed again to level the field of financial opportunity.

Mehrsa Baradaran is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

Added to the calendar on Sat, Jan 9, 2016 9:19AM
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