Build a bank for the poor

Reporter: Vested staff

This week’s Vested Suggested features stories that the team at Vested is reading and thinking about to begin the week.

Market forces: Speaking to Quartz last week, Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus said there should be two distinct financial systems. The one we have should continue to serve the interests of the rich. But a new one should be constructed to exclusively serve the interests of the poor.

“This is not about inclusion; it’s about having a separate kind of banking institution to address the people at the very bottom,” he said. “Today, there’s only one kind of financial institution, which are banks for the rich. You are asking the banks for the rich to lend to the poor. The very system is designed in a completely different way. This machine doesn’t work for them. The way to really address the problem of the rejected people from the financial system is to create a new financial system.” Yunus earned a Nobel Prize in 2006 for pioneering the concepts of microcredit and microfinance through his company, Grameen Bank, in Bangladesh.

Much — probably a strong majority — of the mainstream media coverage about universal basic income dismisses the concept as ridiculous without truly offering up ideas that aren’t. Well, Yunus has one, and it deserves serious consideration as a policy solution that would provide genuine economic opportunities to those who need them the most.

‘Weinstein Clause’: Vested’s Emma Clarke wrote about how the #MeToo era is impacting corporate transactions. “In certain negotiations, buyers are given the ability to retract some of the money spent on the transaction if inappropriate behavior comes to light and has a negative impact on business. The clause doesn’t discriminate against private or public company deals, and oftentimes involves putting as much as 10 percent of the total value of a transaction in escrow for potential social issues.”

On the employment situation: Unemployment fell to 3.7% in September, and either very good or very bad things — or maybe both — are supposed to be happening to the economy. But instead, nothing dramatic is happening. Why?

Point A to point B: When it comes to how automakers seem to be intent on reinventing themselves as technology companies that specialize in moving people around, the word “pivot” is an understatement.

“In the auto industry, executives must confront entrenched corporate cultures and limited budgets in a business that is low margin and highly vulnerable to downturns in the economy,” reported The Wall Street Journal. “They must sustain profits in the traditional, capital-draining business of cranking out millions of cars each year, as they simultaneously try to invest in costly future technologies—financial constraints not faced by tech rivals.”

The Brexit budget: The United Kingdom is preparing the release of its last budget as a part of the European Union, and Prime Minister Theresa May has said austerity is coming to an end. Here’s everything you need to know. Officials will release it next Monday, at 15:30 GMT.

Beef: While the United States’ trade war with China is having an obviously negative impact, its posture towards Beijing is about more than just trade. “America is undergoing a deep shift in its thinking about China on right and left alike. There is a new consensus that China has a deliberate strategy to push America back and impose its will abroad, and that there needs to be a strong American response.”

ICYMI: There is a very big lottery. Here’s what to do if you’re the winner.

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