Can History Teach Banks to Make Changes?


Wilkins also emphasized the economic risk of having a debt, just like in Mississippi. “The racial subjugation of nearly half of the state’s population is” an endless economic dead weight bound to diminish the fiscal allure of state securities by moral issues, “he wrote. Wilkins alleged that, by economic opportunities, Barring Black Mississippians, the state would have to spend more towards welfare, policing, and other sectors that could be used to promote economic growth that would protect bondholders’ investments.

Behind these statements was a strategy to transfer large capital holders who played a key role in the municipal bond market, to assist investment and commercial banks, pension funds and insurers in a campaign that capitalized from Jim Crow South Used to demand cuts.

Thus, before Donald Barnes, an executive vice president of Children Securities, wrote a letter Village in 1965. George Wallace questioned Alabama’s credibility, with civil rights activists seeking to harness the power of finance in aid of the movement. CHILD SECURITIES ‘decision to boycott Alabama Rev. Dr. That came after Martin Luther King Jr. called for a boycott of the state, and dockworkers along the West Coast refused to handle Alabama-made products.

The lessons are two-fold. First, it led to a social movement to separate the banks from the South. Trade was not a central agent of change in the fight for racial, economic, and social justice, but in some cases it was an effective tool.

The second lesson is that joining businesses worked against industry peers, such as an analyst at Moody’s who stated in 1965 that it “does not sympathize with the civil rights movement.” Financiers of Children’s Securities decided to stand with the NAACP and against Alabama, but also against their syndicate partners, many of whom the Boston banker publicly announced and called on the “ill-conceived and immature” decision Did not agree to take action. Opposition to Alabama’s actions. Children’s Securities fought on several fronts, including an area that turned profits ahead of social issues.

These efforts in common with contemporary social movements have formulas. In April, more than 140 racial justice leaders Published an open letter Including all assets and supporting greater visibility into corporate political spending, large asset managers called for using their shareholder voting power to advance racial equity.

“You have shared unique power to shape corporate behavior and to change the business-general practices that sustain white supremacy at the foundation of our economy,” he wrote.



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