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Featured Article filed under Banking | Written by Olivia LaVecchia | No Comments | Updated on Aug 20, 2014

Federal Study Confirms “Too Big To Fail” Gives Megabanks a Hidden Funding Advantage

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/federal-study-confirms-too-big-fail-megabanks-hidden-funding-advantage/

When the country’s giant banks were teetering on the verge of collapse during 2008’s financial crisis, the U.S. government stepped in to bail them out. The banks were, in a phrase that has since become infamous, “Too Big To Fail.” Would the government do it again? And does the expectation that it would step in give megabanks an unfair competitive advantage over local community banks? Those are the questions at the heart of an eagerly awaited report released at the end of July by the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan federal department. In a conclusion that highlights the need for more regulatory action to reduce concentration in the banking system, the G.A.O. found that the answers to both questions are “yes.” Continue reading

Logo: Local Bites Podcast
Resource filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on May 2, 2014

Stacy Mitchell on Local Bites Podcast (Audio)

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/stacy-mitchell-local-bites-podcast-audio/

ILSR’s Stacy Mitchell is interviewed on the Local Bites Podcast. She lays out the evidence against the growing consolidation of economic power in the hands of a few global corporations and exposes the policy decisions that have led us down this path. She highlights several promising initiatives from the growing localization movement, and outlines the key components of a ‘localist policy agenda’. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 16, 2014

Understanding the Small Business Credit Crunch

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/understanding-small-business-credit-crunch/

Even as their big competitors are awash in capital, many locally owned businesses are struggling to secure the financing they need to grow. A new ILSR analysis has found that, since 2000, bank lending to large businesses is up 36 percent, while small business loan volume has fallen 14 percent and “micro” business loans — those under $100,000 — have plummeted 33 percent. To shed light on this problem and help inform policy discussions, ILSR has published an overview of the small business lending landscape. Continue reading

Graph: Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012
Resource filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Apr 15, 2014

Change in Volume of Bank Loans to Businesses, by Loan Size, 2000-2012

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/change-volume-bank-loans-businesses-loan-size-2000-2012/

Since 2000, the overall volume of business lending per capita at banks has grown by 26 percent, but this expansion has entirely benefited large businesses. Small business loan volume at banks is down 14 percent and micro business loan volume is down 33 percent. Continue reading

Towards a Localist Policy Agenda
Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 5, 2013

Towards a Localist Policy Agenda

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/localist-policy-agenda/

To regenerate local businesses, we’ll need more than Buy Local campaigns; we’ll need to change public policy, which now favors big business. In this presentation, Stacy Mitchell looks at seven key policy areas to focus on. Continue reading

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Featured Article, Resource filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 14 Comments | Updated on Dec 1, 2012

Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/ted/

In this TEDx talk, delivered on October 20, 2012 at TEDxDirigo‘s Villages conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine,  conference, ILSR Senior Researcher Stacy Mitchell argues for a new phase in the local economy movement. She notes that there’s been a resurgence of support for small farms, local businesses, and community banks, but argues: “As remarkable… Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Banking | Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Nov 27, 2012

Free Checking is Rare at Big Banks, Common at Small

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/free-checking-rare-big-banks-common-small/

While just 24 percent of big banks offer totally free checking, more than 60 percent of credit unions and small banks do, according to a new report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The report also found that credit unions and small banks have lower fees on average and do a better job of disclosing fees to prospective customers. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 22, 2012

Six Small Business Issues at Stake in this Election

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/small-business-issues-stake-election/

Here’s a look at six small business issues at stake in next month’s federal and state elections, including bank reform, corporate tax advantages, getting corporate money out of politics, capping credit card fees, and creating preferences for local businesses in government purchasing. Continue reading

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Featured Article filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 6 Comments | Updated on Oct 17, 2012

Too Big to Lend

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/big-lend/

A critical function of our banking system is financing small businesses. But big banks are doing a rotten job of it. At the nation’s largest banks, small business lending has plunged 33% since 2009. Trying to cajole or compel them to do more won’t make much difference because the problem is largely inherent to their scale. Continue reading

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Resource filed under Banking, Independent Business | Written by Stacy Mitchell | 2 Comments | Updated on Oct 17, 2012

Small Business Lending: Local Banks vs. Big Banks

The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://www.ilsr.org/small-business-lending-charts/

Although they control only 21% of U.S. bank assets, small and mid-sized banks provide 54% of small business loans. Continue reading