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The Unbanking of America: How the New Middle Class Survives

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The Unbanking Of America: How The New Middle Class Survives

An urgent, absorbing expos why Americans are fleeing our broken banking system in growing numbers, and how alternatives are rushing in to do what banks once did

What do an undocumented immigrant in the South Bronx, a high" net" worth entrepreneur, and a twenty"'something graduate student have in common? All three are victims of our dysfunctional mainstream bank and credit system. Today nearly half of all Americans live from paycheck to paycheck, and income volatility has doubled over the past thirty years. Banks, with their high monthly fees and overdraft charges, are gouging their low- and middle-income customers, while serving only the wealthiest Americans.
Lisa Servon delivers a stunning indictment of America's banks, together with eye-opening dispatches from inside a range of banking alternatives that have sprung up to fill the void. She works as a teller at RiteCheck, a check" cashing business in the South Bronx, and as a payday lender in Oakland. She looks closely at the workings of a tanda, an informal lending club. And she delivers fascinating, hopeful portraits of the entrepreneurs reacting to the unbanking of America by designing systems to creatively serve many of us. Banks were once essential pillars of our lives; now we can no longer count on them to do right by us.

"Required reading for fans of muckraking authors like Barbara Ehrenreich, this fascinating look at the future of money management insists that the 'unbanked' are a sector deserving of respect and solid options." Publishers Weekly, starred review

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Lisa Servon

Lisa Servon

No of Pages
272
Publisher
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN-13
9780544602311
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None
Book Format
Hardcover
Published Date
Jan 10, 2017

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About Lisa Servon

Lisa Servon is Professor of City Planning at the University of Pennsylvania and former dean at The New School. She is the author of Bridging the Digital Divide: Technology, Community, and Public Policy(Blackwell 2002), Bootstrap Capital: Microenterprises and the American Poor(Brookings 1999), Gender and Planning: A Reader (With Susan Fainstein, Rutgers University Press 2005), and Otra Vida es Posible: Practicas Economicas Alternativas Durante la Crisis (With Manuel Castells, Joana Conill, Amalia Cardenas and Sviatlana Hlebik. UOC Press 2012).

She has contributed to the New Yorker, the Atlantic, and The Wall Street Journal and has appeared on PBS News HourMarketplace Money and Radio Times and her research is featured in the forthcoming documentary Spent: Looking for Change. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, and a dog named Friday.

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