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A New Bank, Alternative Futures, Buffalo

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Episode 18: Patterns of Development podcast show notes

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A National Infrastructure Bank

Last week I alluded to this idea of a national infrastructure bank. This is not a new idea, we’re borrowing from our forefathers. In the history of the united states we’ve commission banks four other times:

1. 1st Bank of the United States. 1791–1811. We’ve won the revolutionary war now we need to build our cities, roads, bridges, and ports. We’re in start-up mode and we need capital!

2. 2nd Bank of the United States. 1816–1836. We’re expanding and we need more.

3. Nation Banking System. 1863. Abraham Lincoln. coming out of the civil war. How do you think we paid for that transcontinental railroad?

4. Reconstruction Financial Corporation. 1932–1957. This is Rosevelt getting us out of the depression, through world war 2.

We need a way, right now, to help solve our infrastructure problems. Ideally, it would be budget neutral. How might we do that?

What does this mean?

To create a bank, you need to get money. Lots of money. This could be public or private money. The people who put their money in first would own stock in the bank. The bank will promise the investors some % return on their money. Then the bank loans out that money a couple of points higher.

Boom you got your bank and you’ve paid back your investors.

The trick here is building a bank that will specifically loan money to states and local municipalities to complete infrastructure projects.

Shout out to a friend of mine, Kevin.

We were just painting a mural and we were talking about this idea. Chartering a bank with a specific purpose. It almost makes too much sense. Loans for infrastructure projects...

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