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An investment bank to help the US prosper

Stephany Griffith-Jones

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US president-elect Joe Biden wants to massively increase investment in everything from clean energy to healthcare and housing. But his efforts will be hampered because the US lacks vital tools that its major competitors and allies rely on.

To address the challenges America is facing — Covid-19, recession, inequality and climate change — Mr. Biden should create a public investment bank. Without one, the US is trying to respond with one arm tied behind its back.

Well-capitalised, vigorous public financial institutions can work with the private sector to soften the blows during downturns and extend prosperity in upturns. They support infrastructure investment and small and medium enterprises, especially in innovative sectors or serving vulnerable communities.

About the Author

Stephany Griffith-Jones
Financial Markets Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Stephany Griffith-Jones is an economist specialising in international finance and development, with emphasis on reform of the international and national financial system, especially in relation to financial regulation and global governance. She is Financial Markets Director at the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University. Previously she was Professorial Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University. She was Director of International Finance at the Commonwealth Secretariat and worked at UN DESA and ECLAC. She was senior consultant to governments in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Africa and many international agencies, including the World Bank, the IADB, the European Commission, UNDP and UNCTAD. She was a member of the Warwick Commission on financial regulation. She currently is theme leader on finance in the ESRC /DFID growth programme for LICs, especially African ones. She has published over 20 books and many scholarly and journalistic articles. Her books include Time for the Visible Hand, Lessons from the 2008 crisis, edited jointly with José Antonio Ocampo and Joseph Stiglitz.

Publication Information

Type Network Paper
Program -
Posted 01/22/21
Download 408kb pdf