In the USA, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, costing hundreds of billions of dollars has been put to bed. But with an interesting twist.
In response to public sentiment that the funding went to bailout large, prosperous banks who are simply resuming their profitable ways while shutting down access to credit, the Treasury Department and the Obama Administration developed a program back in February to invest some of the money quite differently – in community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and credit unions that serve low-income and minority communities.
As a result, almost $70 million is now being invested by the US Treasury as long-term, low-cost, equity-like debt in community development credit unions, and a further $500 million in community development banks.
Relief for communities, not just banks. Let’s hope the idea is taken up here in the UK too. Anyone for quantitative easing directed through cooperative and mutual financial institutions?