WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Dēmos, a think tank aligned with grassroots organizations committed to racial justice, released the following statement in response to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs oversight hearing on Wall Street banks:
“Wednesday’s hearing was yet another example of a distressing reality: Banks wield unchecked power, dodging accountability, and boldly opposing any regulation that dares to hold them responsible.
Banks wield unchecked power, dodging accountability and boldly opposing any regulation that dares to hold them responsible.
And they continue prioritizing shareholder gains over everyday working families' welfare.
“The six largest U.S. banks currently hold over $10 trillion in combined assets. Despite their pivotal role in providing essential services to people’s lives and a healthy economy, their practices raise serious concerns regarding equity and accountability.
“Addressing this systemic injustice is imperative. Establishing a national public banking infrastructure emerges as a transformative solution—a means to reshape our financial systems and institutions for community empowerment.
Establishing a national public banking infrastructure [is] a transformative solution—a means to reshape our financial systems and institutions for community empowerment.
With their commitment to local priorities and transparent investment strategies, public banks offer a solution. They can be champions of equity, directing resources towards community needs, such as affordable housing and renewable energy, and bolstering local economies. Their governance, built on accountability to the public, stands in stark contrast to the profit-driven, extractive motives of private banks.
“The call for systemic change is clear: it's time to reshape banking, to make it work for and be accountable to the communities it serves.