Are bankers essential workers?

In a new paper published in the journal Catalyst, UMass economists Gerald Epstein and Esra Nur Uğurlu argue that if the crises we face today are to be effectively addressed, public banks “must play a major role in financing their solutions.” The authors write:

“In this way, bankers and financiers make themselves essential workers the same way the local shake-down artist extracts protection money: pay up, or watch your store burn to the ground. … We need to design effective ways to help workers, communities and the public at large to take more control over this critical financial system and use it as a tool for social, environmental and political transformation.”

[Read the article]
[PDF]

Take part in the authors’ public banking survey!
Epstein and Uğurlu are conducting a survey. They write:

“We aim to acquire a better understanding of some of the issues surrounding the public banking movement in the US. More specifically, we aim to understand the drivers of this movement and identify some of the challenges that public banking organizations are facing.”

[Take the survey]