The Northeast-Midwest Institute, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit nonpartisan public policy organization formed in 1976, published an instructive 100-page report in September 2019 that details how the 18 states of the Northeast and Midwest “should create, structure, and regulate a state bank to best achieve its goals and address the problems facing the state.” The paper describes the major models of public banking around the world and in the United States and explains how the issues faced by states in the region can be solved through the creation of a state bank.

The research is thorough and simply explained, presented in a style that demystifies and legitimizes public banking. The paper serves as a foundation document for public bank advocates and legislators in that region of the country and can be used as a template for other regions to create similar regionally-focused reports. It’s an excellent resource, which can be read here or on the PBI website under the Research / Legislation > Studies & Reports tab.

“A state bank should also generate growth through its directly developmental aims. A state bank would have a ‘public purpose’. This purpose would make the bank prioritize investments that benefit society as a whole, rather than pursuing private profits of the bank. This focus on societal benefits should translate into economic development, as the bank chooses investment opportunities that promise to create greater societal benefits. This developmental focus should mean increases in GDP, income, and employment throughout the state.”

[Read the paper]