Community Development Innovation Review

February 2009

Expanding the CRA to All Financial Institutions


The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) was enacted in response to the fact that minority and low-income communities were not being fairly and adequately served by banks which have been beneficiaries of the U.S. government’s safety net since the Great Depression. The federal government, by expanding its safety net in 2008 to include investment banks, broker-dealers, and other financial institutions, took the steps necessary to stabilize the global financial markets. The central premise of this article is that in return for access to the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window, investment banks, broker-dealers, and other financial institutions should be required to comply with an updated CRA. Fair access for all Americans to the full range of financial services is essential to restore our faith in the U.S. financial system and the health of our economy.

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Other articles in this issue

CRA Lending During the Subprime Meltdown

A Banker’s Quick Reference Guide to CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act: Good Goals, Flawed Concept

A Principle-Based Redesign of HMDA and CRA Data

Community Reinvestment Emerging from the Housing Crisis

Putting Race Explicitly into the CRA

The CRA as a Means to Provide Public Goods

The Community Reinvestment Act: 30 Years of Wealth Building and What We Must Do to Finish the Job

CRA 2.0: Communities 2.0

What Lessons Does the CRA Offer the Insurance Industry?

A Framework for Revisiting the CRA

A More Modern CRA for Consumers

The Community Reinvestment Act: Past Successes and Future Opportunities

A Tradable Obligation Approach to the Community Reinvestment Act

The Community Reinvestment Act at 30 Years

It’s the Rating, Stupid: A Banker’s Perspective on the CRA

The Community Reinvestment Act: Outstanding, and Needs to Improve

The CRA within a Changing Financial Landscape

The 30th Anniversary of the CRA: Restructuring the CRA to Address the Mortgage Finance Revolution

The Community Reinvestment Act and the Recent Mortgage Crisis