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Public Banking for Development

State-owned banks and development: Dispelling mainstream myths

Thirty years of neoliberal restructuring have side-lined alternative financing practices, and propagated mainstream myths about state-owned banks. This paper examines these neoliberal claims, arguing instead that public financing remains a crucial part of progressive, sustainable and democratic strategies for investments in long-term development and infrastructure. Drawing on past and present case studies, as well as theoretical literature on finance, the paper points to the potential to revive – and improve – state-owned banking as a viable option for financing public services. Keep reading...

Reclaiming Turkey's state-owned banks

Progressive public banking is essential for sustainable development. Turkey’s experience illustrates this point, where state-owned banks have been at the centre of national developmental strategies and public infrastructure building since the early 20th century. This study builds an historical and qualitative perspective on this public banking model, drawing on extensive interviews with more than 50 key actors. We conclude that it allows diverging from private, profit-maximizing imperatives with clear advantages: a focus on extra-market financial coordination; support in times of financial crisis; access to finance; the provision of a savers’ safe haven; and improved efficiency. However, there is an urgent need to develop and discuss popular and political strategies to reclaim their most progressive mandates and to innovate well beyond their present limitations. Keep reading... 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013 - 10:45