Banks that support communities
Marketplace • November 18, 2010
Gardner wants his state government to start up a kind of mini-Federal Reserve, a state-owned bank that can act as a rich uncle to retail banks that want to lend to worthy borrowers.
Gardner: It’s a state-run bank, but it’s a banker’s bank. They have very little interface with the actual public. So, they provide the needs of community banks, and they set their policies to get the most money into the community.
The one example of a state-run bank is here: It’s called the Bank of North Dakota. Bremer’s CEO sees it as a partner and calls this pint-sized Fed a “tremendous resource.” Many public officials are fans as well. The Bank of North Dakota gives its profits not to charity but to the state. Over the last decade, $300 million went to North Dakota’s treasury. That’s one reason that Oregon and other states are looking at setting up state banks of their own.
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