New Economy, New Ways to Do Finance



Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Wall Street is the engine that powers our economy.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Most real economic activity is local.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Corporate banks are too big to fail. We need them to keep our economy going.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Small, responsible banks and credit unions build real wealth in our communities.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine The smart investor insists on high returns.
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine Slow community investments pay back in dollars and quality of life.


Finance begins with a simple idea—individuals or groups sell shares to investors or borrow money from banks, and use the funds to start businesses, buy land, or build houses, factories, or roads. Investors gain a stake in these ventures; if these companies are publicly traded, investors can buy and sell shares on stock exchanges. But as the small U.S. stock exchanges of the late 18th century grew into the vast institution that is now Wall Street, the relationship between trading and the real economy of goods and services fell apart. We’ve witnessed what happens when “owners” of businesses have no accountability for outcomes in the real world. Financiers are rewarded for generating short-term profit, even when the investments turn out to be phony or to cause harm. As mega-finance crumbles, many farsighted individuals are putting their money in enterprises and financial institutions that benefit working Americans and the places they live.


Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine
Stephanie McMillan for YES! Magazine


The YES! Take on Finance in the New Economy

Small Banks, Radical Vision
by Zach Carter
Local banks can change the world, one neighborly investment at a time
My Best Investments are Down the Street
by Judy Wicks
It has become a sadly familiar scene. Hard times force a company to downsize, and some people will have to lose their jobs. Or will they?
Put Your Money Where Your Life Is
by Michael Shuman
Americans want to invest locally. What’s stopping them?
Tips for Community Investment
by Jeff Golden
Support community enterprise, bank on small business, and invest in community loan funds.