REPORT: Money and Banking in the United States: A Guide to the Policy Landscape

New guide to money and banking policy post- 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent era of monetary liberalism.

June 13, 2024
Ariela Weinberger
(202) 412-4270

NEW YORK, NY — The 2023 financial crisis exposed vulnerabilities in the American monetary system, raising critical questions about the role of banks, regulators, and the nature of money itself. Despite reforms since 2008, the system remains prone to bank runs, prompting renewed calls for more substantial changes to money and banking regulations.

Money and Banking in the United States: A Guide to the Policy Landscape,” a new Roosevelt Institute brief, sheds light on the complex history and current debates surrounding money and banking policy in the United States. Author Lev Menand, Corporate Power fellow at Roosevelt, argues that the current system, characterized by reliance on lightly regulated shadow banks, is inherently unstable and failing to serve the public interest. 

“By providing a historical and conceptual framework, the report aims to equip policymakers, academics, and the public with the knowledge needed to navigate these critical debates,” said Menand. “Financial stability, the concentration of wealth and power in the private sector, and access to fair and affordable basic banking services all hinge on what choices public officials make in the coming years to restructure our system.” 

Main Takeaways:

  • One-stop resource for understanding the complexities of money and banking policy today
  • Historical perspective of the US monetary system, dividing it into three distinct periods: the English Model (1791–1836), based on a metallic standard; the American Monetary Settlement, (1863–1980), operating on public utility principles; and  the Global Dollar System (1980–present), embracing monetary liberalism. 
  • Analysis of the current policy landscape, exploring a range of reform proposals, from incremental changes within the existing framework to more structural reforms like public banking and central bank digital currency (CBDC)
  • Examination of how certain cryptocurrencies affect the existing monetary system.

To explore this brief, click here, and to speak with Lev Menand, please reach out to


The Roosevelt Institute is a think tank focusing on corporate and public power, labor and wages, and the economics of race and gender inequality; advancing progressive policies that bring the legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt into the 21st century.