the unbanking of america how the new middle class survives

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The Unbanking Of America

Author : Lisa Servon
ISBN : 9780544611184
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 71. 65 MB
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An urgent, absorbing exposé—why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans. Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America’s banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us. Banks were once essential pillars of our lives; now we can no longer count on them to do right by us. "Required reading for fans of muckraking authors like Barbara Ehrenreich, this fascinating look at the future of money management insists that the 'unbanked' are a sector deserving of respect and solid options." —Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Unbanking Of America

Author : Lisa Servon
ISBN : 1328745708
Genre :
File Size : 51. 44 MB
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An urgent and incisive expose--why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how banking alternatives, from predatory to responsible to innovative, are rushing in to do what banks once did

A Capitalism For The People

Author : Luigi Zingales
ISBN : 9780465038701
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 81. 83 MB
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Born in Italy, University of Chicago economist Luigi Zingales witnessed firsthand the consequences of high inflation and unemployment—paired with rampant nepotism and cronyism—on a country's economy. This experience profoundly shaped his professional interests, and in 1988 he arrived in the United States, armed with a political passion and the belief that economists should not merely interpret the world, but should change it for the better. In A Capitalism for the People, Zingales makes a forceful, philosophical, and at times personal argument that the roots of American capitalism are dying, and that the result is a drift toward the more corrupt systems found throughout Europe and much of the rest of the world. American capitalism, according to Zingales, grew in a unique incubator that provided it with a distinct flavor of competitiveness, a meritocratic nature that fostered trust in markets and a faith in mobility. Lately, however, that trust has been eroded by a betrayal of our pro-business elites, whose lobbying has come to dictate the market rather than be subject to it, and this betrayal has taken place with the complicity of our intellectual class. Because of this trend, much of the country is questioning—often with great anger—whether the system that has for so long buoyed their hopes has now betrayed them once and for all. What we are left with is either anti-market pitchfork populism or pro-business technocratic insularity. Neither of these options presents a way to preserve what the author calls “the lighthouse” of American capitalism. Zingales argues that the way forward is pro-market populism, a fostering of truly free and open competition for the good of the people—not for the good of big business. Drawing on the historical record of American populism at the turn of the twentieth century, Zingales illustrates how our current circumstances aren't all that different. People in the middle and at the bottom are getting squeezed, while people at the top are only growing richer. The solutions now, as then, are reforms to economic policy that level the playing field. Reforms that may be anti-business (specifically anti-big business), but are squarely pro-market. The question is whether we can once again muster the courage to confront the powers that be.

Bootstrap Capital

Author : Lisa J. Servon
ISBN : 0815705689
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 84. 68 MB
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The microenterprise strategy—helping people start small businesses—has generated attention among policymakers and the media as a way to create jobs and help lift people out of poverty. Through extensive interviews and case studies of five diverse microenterprise programs in different U.S. regions, Lisa J. Servon examines the potential and limits of these programs. In the late 1980s, the microenterprise strategy came to the United States from less-developed countries such as Bangladesh, where the Grameen Bank flourishes. Since then over 200 programs have opened their doors in nearly every state. This book identifies the current discourse on microenterprises, discusses how this approach represents a departure from traditional economic development and social welfare strategies, and examines the wide range of results. Boot strap Capital tells the story of both the programs and the people who use them. One program, Women's Initiative, targets very low income women in the San Francisco Bay Area and requires all clients to undergo three months of training before they can apply for a loan. Some of the participants are true entrepreneurs; others pursue self-employment because the mainstream economy has failed them. Servon finds that microenterprise programs combat the problem of persistent poverty by serving a broad socioeconomic group and by focusing on the goals of empowerment, economic literacy, and community organization. She shows that microenterprise programs do more to help those who exist at the margins of the mainstream economy than those who are completely cut off from it. She calls for a rethinking of expectations for this strategy, based on the experience of programs and entrepreneurs in this country. This book provides the basis for reframing policy support for these programs.

Fringe Banking

Author : John P. Caskey
ISBN : 9781610441131
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 24. 40 MB
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"Cogently argued, fills an important gap in the literature, and is accessible to undergraduates." —Choice "Dismantles the mythology surrounding pawnshops and check-cashing outlets, and demonstrates that they are no longer on the fringe of our financial system but integral to it."—San Francisco Bay Guardian In today's world of electronic cash transfers, automated teller machines, and credit cards, the image of the musty, junk-laden pawnshop seems a relic of the past. But it is not. The 1980s witnessed a tremendous boom in pawnbroking. There are now more pawnshops thanever before in U.S. history, and they are found not only in large cities but in towns and suburbs throughout the nation. As John Caskey demonstrates in Fringe Banking, the increased public patronage of both pawnshops and commercial check-cashing outlets signals the growing number of American households now living on a cash-only basis, with no connection to any mainstream credit facilities or banking services. Fringe Banking is the first comprehensive study of pawnshops and check-cashing outlets, profiling their operations, customers, and recent growth from family-owned shops to such successful outlet chains as Cash American and ACE America's Cash Express. It explains why, despite interest rates and fees substantially higher than those of banks, their use has so dramatically increased. According to Caskey, declining family earnings, changing family structures, a growing immigrant population, and lack of household budgeting skills has greatly reduced the demand for bank deposit services among millions of Americans. In addition, banks responded to 1980s regulatory changes by increasing fees on deposit accounts with small balances and closing branches in many poor urban areas. These factors combined to leave many low- and moderate-income families without access to checking privileges, credit services, and bank loans. Pawnshops and check-cashing outlets provide such families with essential financial services thay cannot obtain elsewhere. Caskey notes that fringe banks, particularly check-cashing outlets, are also utilized by families who could participate in the formal banking system, but are willing to pay more for convenience and quick access to cash. Caskey argues that, contrary to their historical reputation as predators milking the poor and desperate, pawnshops and check-cashing outlets play a key financial role for disadvantaged groups. Citing the inconsistent and often unenforced state laws currently governing the industry, Fringe Banking challenges policy makers to design regulations that will allow fringe banks to remain profitable without exploiting the customers who depend on them.

The Unbanking Of America

Author : Lisa Servon
ISBN : 0544602315
Genre :
File Size : 20. 93 MB
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An urgent and incisive exposé of our broken banking system--why Americans are fleeing traditional banks in growing numbers What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high-net-worth entrepreneur, and a twenty-something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. The Unbanking of America exposes the ways in which banks have quietly abandoned lower- and middle-class consumers in favor of servicing only the wealthiest. Today nearly half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck, as income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their monthly fees and high overdraft charges, take advantage of these fluctuations rather than help their customers manage them. Lisa Servon delivers provocative dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives--from predatory to responsible--as new players rush in to do what banks once did. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check-cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland, California, listening to the stories of the alternative bankers as well as their consumers. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs who are counting on a permanent "unbanking" of America--and designing systems to transform how nonwealthy Americans can gain the access and agency to their own money that they, especially, need.

The Financial Diaries

Author : Jonathan Morduch
ISBN : 9781400884599
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 72. 27 MB
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What the financial diaries of working-class families reveal about economic stresses, why they happen, and what policies might reduce them Deep within the American Dream lies the belief that hard work and steady saving will ensure a comfortable retirement and a better life for one's children. But in a nation experiencing unprecedented prosperity, even for many families who seem to be doing everything right, this ideal is still out of reach. In The Financial Diaries, Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider draw on the groundbreaking U.S. Financial Diaries, which follow the lives of 235 low- and middle-income families as they navigate through a year. Through the Diaries, Morduch and Schneider challenge popular assumptions about how Americans earn, spend, borrow, and save—and they identify the true causes of distress and inequality for many working Americans. We meet real people, ranging from a casino dealer to a street vendor to a tax preparer, who open up their lives and illustrate a world of financial uncertainty in which even limited financial success requires imaginative—and often costly—coping strategies. Morduch and Schneider detail what families are doing to help themselves and describe new policies and technologies that will improve stability for those who need it most. Combining hard facts with personal stories, The Financial Diaries presents an unparalleled inside look at the economic stresses of today's families and offers powerful, fresh ideas for solving them.

Act Of Congress

Author : Robert G. Kaiser
ISBN : 9780307744517
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 82. 30 MB
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This is an account of how Congress today really works, and doesn't, that follows the dramatic journey of the sweeping financial reform bill enacted in response to the Great Crash of 2008. The founding fathers expected Congress to be the most important branch of government and gave it the most power. When Congress is broken, as its justifiably dismal approval ratings suggest, so is our democracy. Here, the author, whose career at The Washington Post has made him a keen and knowledgeable observer of Congress, takes us behind the sound bites to expose the protocols, players, and politics of the House and Senate, revealing both the triumphs of the system and (more often) its fundamental flaws. This book tells the story of the Dodd-Frank Act, named for the two men who made it possible: Congressman Barney Frank, brilliant and sometimes abrasive, who mastered the details of financial reform, and Senator Chris Dodd, who worked patiently for months to fulfill his vision of a Senate that could still work on a bipartisan basis. Both Frank and Dodd collaborated with the author throughout their legislative efforts and allowed their staffs to share every step of the drafting and deal making that produced the 1,500-page law that transformed America's financial sector. The author explains how lobbying affects a bill, or fails to. We follow staff members more influential than most senators and congressmen. We see how Congress members protect their own turf, often without regard for what might best serve the country, moreeager to court television cameras than legislate on complicated issues about which many of them remain ignorant. In this book the author shows how ferocious partisanship regularly overwhelms all other considerations, though occasionally individual integrity prevails.

How The Other Half Banks

Author : Mehrsa Baradaran
ISBN : 9780674495449
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 21. 89 MB
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The United States has two separate banking systems—one serving the well-to-do and another exploiting everyone else. Deserted by banks and lacking credit, many people are forced to wander through a Wild West of payday lenders and check-cashing services thanks to the effects of deregulation in the 1970s that continue today, Mehrsa Baradaran shows.

The Great Risk Shift

Author : Jacob S. Hacker
ISBN : 9780195335347
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 77. 34 MB
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We are witnessing a massive transfer of economic risk from broad structures of insurance onto the fragile balance sheets of American families. This text explains the causes and consequences of 'The Great Risk Shift' and what can be done to reverse it.

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