Post Office Banking: An Old Idea Getting New Life

SteveBlog

News OK: In big cities and affluent areas, banks can seem as ubiquitous as coffee chains. Making a deposit or stopping in to talk about a loan can be about as simple as grabbing a nonfat vanilla latte with an extra shot, no foam.But many Americans — those living in poor neighborhoods or in rural communities — don’t enjoy such convenience. They rely instead on costly … Read More

Banking on the Post Office

SteveBlog

Capital & Main: Several years ago when my wife Susan and I traveled across Ireland by local bus, we headed toward a national cultural site a few miles beyond the nearest town. The route the bus took crossed a rural peninsula, and finally to the little community.  As we wound through the country roads, old people climbed aboard, and when … Read More

Elizabeth Warren’s Fight Against Payday Lenders Comes to the Post Office

SteveBlog

The Nation: Nine years ago, a Harvard law professor dreamed up a new concept: a government agency devoted solely to protecting consumers from unscrupulous financial companies, the way the Consumer Product Safety Commission protects us from faulty microwaves. Today, Elizabeth Warren’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is in full effect, and has already netted Americans about $10 billion in remedies … Read More

Should We Bring Back The Postal Banking System?

SteveBlog

Law Street: If you are tempted to take out a payday loan you might want to take Sarah Silverman’s advice and try literally anything else.  The trouble is, there are rarely other options and here in the United States there are 40 million Americans who are “unbanked,” without access to the formal financial system.  Shockingly, these Americans spend the same … Read More

Postal Banking Worked—Let’s Bring It Back

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Nation Magazine has an article on postal banking by University of Georgia Law Professor Mehrsa Baradaran, the author of the 2015 book “How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy."  It's about how regulated, federally subsidized banks serve the wealthy and the middle class, while a Wild West hodgepodge of unregulated lenders serves everybody else.  Read more.

A Bill of Rights for the Post Office

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Some people just love to complain about the Postal Service, but the vast majority of Americans are pretty happy with the service they receive at their post office.  In fact, several new surveys show once again that people think the post office is just fine. According to a new Gallup poll, Americans rank the customer service they receive at post … Read More

Ralph Nader: For America’s Unbanked: Re-establishing the Postal Savings Bank

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Ralph Nader has a great piece on postal banking: "Fact: Tens of millions of Americans do not have a bank account. As a result, many of these Americans spend a reported $89 billion annually in interest and fees by using predatory services such as payday loan and check cashing services. It's a perpetuating cycle of poverty in which the poor … Read More

Postal Banks Are People’s Banks: 6 Things You Need To Know About Postal Banking

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It’s being called “Bernie’s Brilliant Idea,”, and Bernie Sanders’s embrace of postal banking is indeed brilliant, both in timing and substance. But while his insurgent presidential campaign may give a credible boost to USPS financial services, Sanders’s endorsement is far from sufficient. To make postal banking happen requires a broad, mass coalition willing to keep pushing the issue regardless of the … Read More

How the government subsidizes the rich, while we pay the fees

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The United States has two personal banking systems. One of these systems is carefully regulated. It benefits from substantial government subsidies, and it offers extensive protections to consumers.  The other system serves the poor.  “One of the great ironies in American life is that the less money you have, the more you have to pay to use it,” writes Mehrsa … Read More

New book explains why we need a postal bank

adminStory

A new book entitled How the Other Half Banks by Mehrsa Baradaran makes a great argument for why we need a postal banking system.  The book explains how economic inequality in this country is caused largely by unequal credit.  A significant portion of the population has been deserted by the banking system and is consequently  forced to use payday lenders and check-cashing … Read More

Commonomics USA hosts conference call on postal banking

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Commonomics USA (formerly BankACT), a leading voice for postal banking since USPS inspector general Dave Williams first proposed it in January 2014, will host a series of conference calls featuring prominent economists and experts on United States Postal Service-based financial services, beginning on  Tuesday, February 3, when Dean Baker, American macroeconomist and co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy … Read More

Senator Elizabeth Warren: Coming to a Post Office Near You: Loans You Can Trust?

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Senator Elizabeth Warren has a piece in Huffington Post about the OIG's report recommending that the post office offer financial services.  It starts like this:  "The poor pay more. "According to a report put out this week by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Postal Service, about 68 million Americans — more than a quarter of all households … Read More