Isaiah J. Poole & Devin Case-Ruchala

Isaiah J. Poole is editorial director of The Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative. Devin Case-Ruchala is a fellow at The Next System Project and author of its Community Reinvestment Act working paper.

Recent Articles

What Banks Owe America

A proposed overhaul of the Community Reinvestment Act could redefine the banking sector’s obligations to the communities that they serve.

The last time the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was in the news, conservative critics of financial regulation blamed the law for the 2008 financial crisis, complaining that Wall Street’s reckless behavior didn’t cause the crash; it was all that mandated lending to poor people . So ten years later it is scarcely surprisingly that the law is under attack again. Activists in the low- and moderate-income communities that the law is supposed to benefit seek to hold banks to a higher standard that includes investments by financial institutions that build wealth and power for marginalized residents, rather than simply extracting profits from them. The new goal for Wall Street lobbyists and anti-regulation ideologues remains essentially unchanged from what it has been since the law was passed 41 years ago: eliminate the mandate that banks commit to recycling depositors’ money back into local communities. This regulatory battle is playing out at the Office of the...