How To Build A Green Community Bank
If we were to ask ourselves the real reason why our nation’s economy is in such a shambles, what would that reason be?
The obvious answer would be money and the fact that even though we are the wealthiest nation in the world, nobody has any money. That’s right, even though there are all kinds of people who do have money and an awful lot of these people have all kinds of money and even though there are all kinds of people who have some money and many people who have very little money, the fact of the matter is nobody really has any money at all. As this is surely the case today in our America, this obvious answer, is then, not the answer at all. So if money is not the answer, what is?
As far as I’m concerned the real answer to this question is threefold.
1. The first part of this answer is that we do not have a mechanism in place that allows for the intelligent disbursement of money.
2. The second part of this answer is that we do not have a mechanism in place that allows us to properly invest this money.
3. The third part of this answer is, of course, we do not have a mechanism in place that allows us to earn the money that is supposed to be invested and disbursed.
Even though we have literally thousands of new technologies ready to come on line and even though these technologies will clearly benefit the growth of virtually every industrial sector within our remarkably diverse economy, that diversity is not manifesting itself in any manner whatsoever. As it is not, it is imperative that we put a tangible face on the three answers to the above question.
As the first part of this answer is to create an intelligent mechanism that allows for money disbursement, that mechanism is The Local Community Bank.
As the second part of this answer is to create a mechanism that allows for investment of this money, that mechanism is also The Local Community Bank.
As the third part of this answer is to create a mechanism that allows that money to be earned, that mechanism is as well, The Local Community Bank.
No matter what it is that we as a nation are trying to figure out, until we figure out the role of The Local Community Bank, all the money in the world is useless as that money has virtually no where to go. As this is clearly the case today, a model of the perfect The Local Community Bank should probably be brought forward and as I have a tendency to think of such complex things, this essay will be about how in fact, the notion of The Local Community Bank might be structured and indeed brought forward.
To put this essay into context with everyday American life in everyday America, I think it would be appropriate to give the bank I‘m suggesting a name. As that name should reflect the continued and on going educational, industrial and economic evolution of the community that will utilize the services of this bank, it should as well reflect the historic character of the community this bank operates in. As this is the case, let me start this essay.
The Green Community Industrial Bank of Riverside, Illinois –
“Serving Our Community, Serving Our Nation”
A community bank historically has been a place in which members of the community have gone to do basic banking functions. Within those basic functions, one will deposit money into a checking account, a savings account and some sort of investment account set aside for retirement or for education or for a vacation and so forth. While these are all more or less traditional functions of a community bank, today in 2012, none of these functions have any bearing on the fact that nobody has any money. Community banks exist, some are doing better than others, some are successfully competing with national bank chains, some with international mega banks but by and large, none of our traditional community banks are doing very well anywhere in America.
When we look at the reasons why these community banks aren’t doing well, the most obvious reason they are not is that none of them feel comfortable lending money. As they do not, the whole concept of using community money to make more community money has more or less either flown out the window, or, much more likely, that money has been dumped out the window along with the bath water of ancient industrial factories that once employed millions and millions of Americans from a previous, and, of course once remarkably prosperous, industrial and economic age. While the above statement is 100% accurate and as community banks across America are extraordinarily cautious, the underlying fundamentals of this cautionary reasoning must be addressed and until these fundamentals are addressed, we might as well forget about any form of traditional economic recovery. But, as we are not in any manner whatsoever looking at traditional solutions to extraordinary financial challenges, it’s probably best to throw tradition out the window along with the money that has also flown out the window at least for awhile or at least for the sake of this essay.
Building modern community banking models, re-instituting traditional banking services, re-establishing the community bank as a true mirror of and financial anchor for thriving 21st century technologies? If indeed a community bank is to ever again get into the business of loaning money, that money loaned should reflect the community’s collective knowledge of how new technologies serve to not only expand the growth of the local grocery store, but in turn, expand that community’s capacity to invest in the companies nationwide as well as locally that produce the technologies that grow local economies and create diversified pools of educated labor forces.
To put this into perspective, let me begin with a description of a relatively simple home improvement procedure.
Installing Rain Gutters.
" An Essay on Community Wide Rainwater Industrial Mismanagement"
Most houses in America have, at one point in time or another, been rained upon. No, I’m not being funny here, I’m being serious and I’m being serious to drive home a profoundly serious point. As this is the case, rain gutters have, over the course of time, collected and channeled rainwater away from rooftops and homes. Very basic, very simple and very much expected, the gutter is the gutter just as rain is rain and just as the person installing the gutter and the person cleaning the gutter are in fact called gutter installers and gutter cleaners and the person selling the rain gutter is a gutter salesperson. This goes on virtually every day in America, has been going on for literally centuries and in every bit the manner in which all of this has become a tradition, with the advent of so many new technologies, this historic and common sense collection of rain water industrial processes have become an absolutely useless waste of time, investment capital and, much more to the point, these processes have become what I choose to call " An Essay on Community Wide Rainwater Industrial Mismanagement".
None the less, community banks throughout America are being seriously under capitalized due exclusively to the fact that nobody in the town will go to the bank and ask for a loan to start up a company that will bring 21st century rainwater management technologies into the community and into the local economy via serious and in depth community based rainwater management conversation. Even though a small handful of people in the town might be aware of the fact that far more advanced rainwater management technologies do exist, the fact that the vast majority of the people who live in any given American town do not is the issue. As a forward thinking community bank, or, much more than likely, perhaps only one employee in the entire bank might recognize this fact, the bank as a whole will only be able to capitalize on the growth of new rainwater management technologies if its’ own investment bankers, and, indeed its entire employee pool are educated in the vast array of companies that indeed do manufacture these technologies across America. As these rainwater technologies are designed to improve the overall environmental conditions of the homes they are installed in, they are as well designed to improve the overall environmental conditions of the land the house is built upon. As the land the house sits upon is of course connected to the land of the entire community, residential rainwater technologies are of course tied to municipal rainwater technologies.
Having stated all of the above, how then, does the community bank get involved with the funding of both private sector residential and commercial sector rainwater management technologies and companies while also getting involved in the development of municipal rainwater management?
The Holistic Structuring Of True Green Municipal Bonds
A municipal bond is a municipal bond for a reason. That bond assures the community at large not only rainwater management will improve, but in the process of doing so, all local business sectors having anything at all to do with the manufacturing, sale and installation and continued maintenance of rainwater technologies will improve as well.
As one can see here, there is no rocket science to this scenario, green oriented rainwater management technologies really do exist and there is a substantial need in virtually every American community for such technology to become fully integrated into all aspects of a communities holistic public utility infrastructure. Yet before any such infrastructure can be put into place, there is quite obviously a substantial need to teach green rainwater management rocket science to the entire community before this scenario can be actualized, just as there is a tremendous need to regulate the application of these green rocket science rainwater systems. As regulation appears to be something that an awful lot of Americans don’t want, those same Americans are the ones that meet friends at the community bank every Saturday morning to talk about the ideas they read about in home improvement magazines and wish they could some day afford. Unfortunately in our America today, this ultimate love hate relationship between progress and tradition has been falsely expressed for far too long as a war between government and the people. Whereas once the entire community saw quite clearly the need to collectively improve the whole municipal infrastructure of the community, in today's remarkably awkward, if not altogether socially dysfunctional mindset, the advanced notion of technologically managing rainwater, which of course, has been managed both environmentally and economically by civilizations for literally thousands of years, has simply escaped the "economic mind fullness" of the banker, of the tradesman, of the homeowner and gardener, of the industrialist and of the municipality in which all of these otherwise ordinary and mind full Americans live in.
While people across America would love to have these technologies installed on their homes in every bit the same manner that they would love to have these technologies installed into the earth surrounding their homes, the collective lack of holistic rainwater management mind fullness breeds hatred for and contempt of new green technologies. As this hatred is not about the technology but about the fact that they live in communities that do not foster progressive, community wide architectural and economic development education, this hatred is really not hatred, but instead a collective frustration over the fact that no form of regulation exists that if it did exist, would clearly enable these technologies to be applied to the whole economic and environmental blueprint of the community.
As the notion of The Local Community Bank does actually include the larger notion that The Local Community Bank is aware of the fact that an advanced residential rainwater management system could easily cost a homeowner thousands of dollars, the failure of a community bank to lend the homeowner such money is then a significantly larger portrait of collective educational failure for the community as a whole. As I have described just one potentially quite lucrative, green lending concept here, there are indeed thousands more, all of which, when introduced properly, holistically engage the entire community in the larger dialog of house by house and neighborhood by neighborhood revitalization of virtually every home and every green industry that has the clear potential of making that home the economic magnet that attracts 21st century green industrial factories, service sector industries and retail industries back into the communities across America that have been abandoned by the 20th century industries that simply died.
The Holistic Structuring Of True Green Municipal Building Codes.
At the core of the entire community banking scenario I have described above is what I consistently write about on my blog. Having said this, the establishment of comprehensive mixed energy use national building codes that allow a mechanism of continued architectural and construction trade industrial dialogue to flourish will be the only rescue of our nation’s hopelessly stalled 21st century mixed energy use industrial economy. There is no more pressing issue than that of reconstituting our nation’s entirely collapsed housing, commercial and light industrial real estate sector. As community banks are crucial to the success of this endeavor, they are because they represent the only common sense link to global investment capital seeking the strategic fulfillment of the progressive investor's "Grand Green Global Industrial Investment". Unfortunately, today in our America, as every wealthy investor has the grand green dream, as every down home investor has the grand green dream, as every banker has in fact, the grand green dream of being the ultimate financial manager of both immense and modest investment portfolios, our American rain gutters just continue to rust.
Without clearly defined, federally regulated industrial parameters that every American can look to as the benchmark for local growth of advanced rainwater management technologies, virtually anyone with any sense that perhaps rainwater can become a substantially new area of industrial investment, remains out of work, pathetically under financed, and, quite sadly, undereducated. Establishing true green, regionally adjusted national building codes is then, the only way for local, scientifically advanced thinking hardware store owners, grocers and local bankers to meet and greet nationwide manufacturers of rainwater management technologies who may just find a very real investment opportunity in opening a new factory in a town whose old factories died decades ago from an ancient industrial draught.
Thanks for your time.
Mike Patrick Dahlke
Please, take the time to visit some of my other essays.
Solyndra, Brilliant Technology Lost in The Abyss of Poorly Structured Federal Energy Policy.
Our Next American Public Utility Infrastructure Model