Does Detroit Need Its Own Wall Street?
I've heard a lot of intriguing ideas about reshaping our communities over the years, but one that's always stayed with me has been the notion of attracting investment into local businesses through a community stock exchange. I can't remember where I first heard the concept, but it's seemed to make sense to me from the very moment I heard it, and I always wondered why more people didn't at least explore the idea -- especially in places like Detroit.
There are assorted iterations of the concept, but my on-going fascination with TEDx (shout out to TEDxDetroit at Wayne State, too) recently led me to a video clip featuring a cat named Michael Shuman, who is the director for research and economic development for the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Shuman's the author of a book called The Small Mart Revolution, which came out two years ago. He's also an economist, an attorney and a devout advocate for the advantages of small and localized businesses amid increasing globalization.
In the clip, he gives one of the best explanations I've heard yet of how local stock exchanges can work. Shuman's take seems simple enough: Investing in local businesses will make for much the national stimulus we so desperately need, and local stock exchanges are an ideal vehicle to help get us there. Since I can't possibly do the man's ideas justice in this short space, I'll just let you check out his speech below and make your own assessment. (You can also read this piece he wrote on topic if you feel like downloading the pdf.)
After you vet the ideas Shuman puts forward, let me know what you think: Could an idea like a localized stock exchange, on a city or state level, say, work to revive Detroit?