How The Other Half Banks: A Talk by Mehrsa Baradaran
Feb 23, 2017
In an age of corporate megabanks with trillions of dollars in assets, it is easy to forget that America’s banking system was originally created as a public service. Banks have always relied on credit from the federal government, provided on favorable terms so that they could issue low-interest loans. But as banks grew in size and political influence, they shed their social contract with the American people, demanding to be treated as a private industry free from any public-serving responsibility. They abandoned less profitable, low-income customers in favor of wealthier clients and high-yield investments. Fringe lenders stepped in to fill the void. This two-tier banking system has become even more unequal since the 2008 financial crisis.
Baradaran proposes a solution: reenlisting the U.S. Post Office in its historic function of providing bank services. The post office played an important but largely forgotten role in the creation of American democracy, and it could be deployed again to level the field of financial opportunity.
Mehrsa Baradaran joined the Georgia Law faculty in the fall of 2012. She currently serves as a J. Alton Hosch Associate Professor teaching Contracts and Banking Law. She came to UGA from Brigham Young University, where she taught banking regulation, property and administrative law. During her time there, she was named the 1L Professor of the Year by the Student Bar Association.Previously, Baradaran was an Academic Research Fellow at the New York University School of Law and practiced law in the financial institutions group at Davis, Polk & Wardwell in New York City.
Co-sponsored with the Women’s Law Association, the Tax Law & Financial Regulation Students Association, the American Constitution Society, and the Harvard Law and Policy Review. Non-pizza lunch will be served.