© 2024 FriesenPress, Inc. All rights reserved.

Democratizing Finance cover

  • Paperback Edition
    • 978-1-5255-3663-2
    • 8.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 508 pages
  • Hardcover Edition
    • 978-1-5255-3662-5
    • 8.0 x 10.0 inches
    • Black & White interior
    • 508 pages
  • Keywords
    • Community Development,
    • Credit unions and banks,
    • Inequality,
    • Financial democracy,
    • Clinton,
    • CDFI,
    • Progressive populism

Publish with FriesenPress

Learn how you can publish your book with the world’s only 100% employee-owned publishing services provider.

Get our Guide

Democratizing Finance
Origins of the Community Development Financial Institutions Movement
by Clifford N. Rosenthal

Decades before Occupy Wall Street challenged the American financial system, activists began organizing alternatives to provide capital to “unbankable” communities and the poor. With roots in the civil rights, anti-poverty, and other progressive movements, they brought little training in finance. They formed nonprofit loan funds, credit unions, and even a new bank—organizations that by 1992 became known as “community development financial institutions,” or CDFIs. By melding their vision with that of President Clinton, CDFIs grew from church basements and kitchen tables to number more than 1,000 institutions with billions of dollars of capital. They have helped transform community development by providing credit and financial services across the United States, from inner cities to Native American reservations. Democratizing Finance traces the roots of community development finance over two centuries, a history that runs from Benjamin Franklin, through an ill-starred bank for African American veterans of the Civil War, the birth of the credit union movement, and the War on Poverty. Drawn from hundreds of interviews with CDFI leaders, presidential archives, and congressional testimony, Democratizing Finance provides an insider view of an extraordinary public policy success. Democratizing Finance is a unique resource for practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and social investors.

This book is a master work on the history of community development finance.... Too few people know of the amazing accomplishments of the affordable housing, community development and community development finance fields. Clifford Rosenthal is changing that. From the Foreword by David Erickson Director, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Clifford Rosenthal has written a thorough, insightful and, yes, fascinating history and analysis of what we now know as the CDFI field....This book is a huge contribution to the field of community development finance. I highly recommend it to anyone who really wants to understand what the field is all about. Michael Swack, Director and Professor, Center for Impact Finance Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Clifford N. Rosenthal photo

Clifford Rosenthal cofounded and for two decades served in the leadership of the CDFI movement. As president of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and later as the first director of the Office of Financial Empowerment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, he devoted his career to bringing financial services to low-income and minority communities. His first career was as a Russian historian and translator.


Clifford N. Rosenthal
Foreword by
David Erickson

What People are Saying

Other eBook Editions

This book is also available in eBook format from these sites.