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Bankers without Boundaries Talk Series: End Poverty, Make Trillions

BwB Managing Director Jennifer Faust and Arindam Basu, Global Head for Sustainable Finance, hosted the latest BwB Talk Series, where we bring innovative leaders in impact, finance, and the environment to speak with our network around the world. The BwB Talk Series helps generate new ideas for our network by bringing experts to share their deep knowledge of sustainability topics.

Last week, the team enjoyed an iterative and informative talk from Mike Scala and Darryl Finkton Jr, who are from the End Poverty, Make Trillions fund and have drafted a plan that aims to end poverty whilst also making money in the process. The plan suggests that a universal basic income at the federal poverty guidelines (UBI@FPG) will end financial poverty.

Some of the key takeaways from this talk were:

  • Poverty costs the United States trillions of dollars every year. Currently, the return has been relatively inconsequential in making a drastic change for the amount it costs governments. End Poverty, Make Trillions suggests that if a UBI@FPG were provided to every American and then taxed back that income for those already well above the federal poverty guidelines (FPG), the cost for eradicating poverty would potentially save the US billions a year. The idea is that when someone starts working, they will begin to pay the universal basic income back in taxes. Over time, it is estimated that UBI@FPG would generate trillions in return whilst potentially lifting 34 million Americans out of poverty.

  • The current system for helping those below the FPG is insufficient. Social programs provide benefits rather than direct cash. This structure prevents people from making financial decisions for themselves and also disincentives the poor from earning more when they are close to their benefit thresholds. End Poverty, Make Trillions would remove these benefits and instead give people the agency and empowerment to help themselves and decide what to do with their capital. BwB raised that a market-based solution may be needed to show people how to manage the money they receive.

  • The aim is that once the fund has been proven to provide solutions to ending poverty in the US, it will also be able to be applied globally. Investment injected into ending poverty will also ultimately help towards solutions for the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals as poverty has direct impacts on various sectors, including food security, healthcare, education and climate change. The first communities to be affected by climate change, for example, are those in poverty.

Keep up to date with our BwB Talk Series on our LinkedIn and Twitter. The BwB Talk Series is held periodically through the BwB network and brings together innovative thought leaders to speak with stakeholders around climate and finance issues. The BwB Talk Series supports collaborative and iterative conversations with people worldwide. Please direct any questions or requests for additional information to or your usual BwB contact.


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