Wed. May 22nd, 2024

The bank crisis is the latest argument to expand Postal Service banking

April 20, 2023


Mark Dimondstein is the president of the 200,000-member American Postal Workers Union (APWU).

The recent bank crisis set off by the failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank has exposed a reality about how U.S. banking really works. The system’s very existence — for example, insuring deposits, loan guarantees and setting interest rates — depends entirely on the federal government.

Since the government is already in the business of supporting the banking system, the people ought to demand a system that is designed to better serve the public interest and the common good. Any debate about the future of banking in the United States should first take a page from the history of postal banking.

During its 55-year existence, beginning in 1910 by an act of Congress, the U.S. Postal Savings System became one of the largest depository institutions in the country. It served as a safe harbor during the Great Depression and provided simple and reliable basic banking services, especially in rural communities.

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