Viewpoint: Give Everyone Government Bank Accounts
By David Dayen
Last summer, a widespread scam convinced thousands of America that the government had created a “secret” bank account for them that could be tapped to pay bills. Would-be customers used Federal Reserve routing numbers over 100,000 times, attempting to execute transactions. “The Federal Reserve provides banking services only for banks,” the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta was compelled to announce in a statement. “Individuals do not have accounts at the Federal Reserve.”
But a new report co-authored by two Treasury Department veterans, “Central Banking for All: A Public Option for Bank Accounts,” argues that Americans should have an account at the Federal Reserve, just as banks do. They believe this would solve a vast array of problems at once, ensuring that everyone is included in the financial system, driving down retail costs for businesses and consumers, and even making recessions less likely.
Photo courtesy of Mandy.