Organized Money: How Progressives Can Leverage the Financial System to Work for Them, Not Against Them

Organized Money: How Progressives Can Leverage the Financial System to Work for Them, Not Against Them

by Keith Mestrich, Mark A. Pinsky


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Two leading figures from the world of finance show how progressives can take their money away from conservative financial institutions and put it to good, lasting social use

The U.S. financial system may be working for some people, but it isn’t working for most of us who care about progressive causes. In fact, our financial system taps your money to pay for a conservative agenda. It’s a heads-they-win, tails-you-lose game when the fees you pay to use your credit card finance fossil fuels even when you buy green products. Conservative “money muscle” shapes our culture, society, politics, and public policy.

In this bold call to action, two leaders from the world of progressive finance propose a strategy to challenge this conservative dominance of the financial sector: organized progressive money. It’s a $10 trillion plan for a full- service, market-scale progressive financial system. Mestrich and Pinsky explain how progressives can take control with financial institutions of their own and products that align with progressive values.

Organized Money warns that until progressives organize their money, they will lose again and again while conservatives will keep winning. It’s a crucial message for the next progressive era, starting with the make-or-break 2020 election cycle, where American voters will be presented with a choice between conservative market fundamentalism that leaves them out or inclusive restorative capitalism that is good for people as well as profits.

Written in clear, engaging prose for non- financial readers and finance leaders alike, Organized Money is required reading for everyone ready to confront the excesses of conservative power and influence.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781620975046
Publisher: New Press, The
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,188,457
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Keith Mestrich is the president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, the nation’s leading socially responsible bank. With twenty-five years of experience working in the labor movement and nonprofit organizations, Keith is a leader in the effort to build wealth for a purpose, not just for a profit. He is the co-author, with Mark Pinsky, of Organized Money: How Progressives Can Leverage the Financial System to Work for Them, Not Against Them (The New Press). Mark A. Pinsky led the $150 billion community development financial institution (CDFI) industry from 1995 to 2016. With a track record of aligning capital with social, economic, environmental, and political justice, he was the strategic leader for the industry’s growth from $2 billion to $140 billion. He is the author and editor of several books and speaks regularly on finance and society. He lives in Philadelphia, where he runs Five/Four Advisors, a strategic advisory firm.

Table of Contents

Preface: The Problem 1

It's a "heads they win, tails you lose" game. What are your odds?

1 You and Your Money 17

If you don't know how the financial system works, it probably doesn't work for you.

2 Market Fundamentalism 31

The financial system must be working for someone. Who?

3 Missing the Opportunity 55

If you want to see how far off track we are, follow the money going to Opportunity Zones.

4 What Is Money Muscle? 65

When you make yourself indispensable, you're powerful.

5 Progress in Mainstream Money 81

This is not the first time progressives have seen signs of change in conventional finance, so what's different now?

6 The Public-Purpose Economy 113

If you want to build a progressive financial system, you need a vision of the purpose it will serve.

7 Pumping Progressive Money Muscle 125

Is progressive money muscle even a thing?

8 Progressive Finance in the United States 141

We have a 250-year history of inclusive and progressive finance that is central to our economic and social gains. It is hidden in plain sight. It is surging now.

9 The Foundation of a Progressive Finance Network 161

In practice, progressive financial institutions have many of the building blocks they need to begin assembling an infrastructure that works for them.

10 Whose Wealth Is It Anyway? 179

Progressives have more wealth than most people know. Where is it? What is it doing?

11 Organizing Progressive Money for Power and Influence 199

Progressives have never lacked ideas and vision. Organizing our money is an unprecedented strategy to power progressive gains.

Conclusion: Take a Shot! 233

We need to create the financial system Alexander Hamilton intended.

Authors' Note 245

Abbreviations 249

Selected Resources 255

Notes 261

Index 279

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