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A New Capitalism: Frank Altman’s Vision for a Just Economy

Frank Altman
Photo Credit: Flaminia Fanale

In a moment when society is reevaluating the principles that underpin its economic systems, Frank Altman, CEO of Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, emerges as a pioneer challenging the traditional narratives surrounding capitalism. His latest work, “A New Capitalism: Creating a Just Economy That Works for All,” provides a comprehensive exploration of the economic landscape, dissecting historical roots, political influences, cultural nuances, and economic structures. Released under Forbes Books, this publication is more than just a critique; it is a manifesto for capitalism that is not only profitable but fundamentally just.

Analyzing Capitalism Through a Multifaceted Lens

Altman’s unique perspective stems from his extensive experience in community development and reinvestment. As the CEO of Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, Altman has been at the forefront of innovative solutions to bridge capital gaps and empower communities. His analytical prowess, however, is not confined to balance sheets; it extends to a keen understanding of the historical context, political intricacies, and cultural dimensions that shape our economic framework.

The book doesn’t shy away from addressing persistent issues like systemic racism, particularly evident in historical policies such as redlining. Altman delves into the lasting impacts of these policies, highlighting their endurance despite attempts to eradicate them. It’s not merely a recounting of past injustices but a call to action for a more equitable future.

Innovative Approaches to Community Development

Altman’s approach goes beyond theoretical analyses. As a problem-solver at heart, he has actively implemented innovative strategies to leverage capital markets for the greater good. Small businesses, affordable housing, charter schools, community organizations – Altman’s portfolio of successful projects serves as a testament to the idea that capitalism can be a force for positive change.

“Today, we stand at a unique moment of opportunity,” Altman asserts. He sees a shift in American values, a growing consensus that markets should align with principles of diversity, equity, inclusion, excellence, and sustainability. The conventional belief that corporations exist solely to maximize shareholder profits is eroding. Altman envisions a time when a more just form of capitalism is not just a possibility but a reality.

Frank Altman: A Visionary Leader in Community Development

Looking closer at Altman’s career reveals a consistent dedication to community development. As the CEO of Community Reinvestment Fund, USA, Altman played a pivotal role in the development of a secondary market for community and economic development loans. The impact of this initiative is evident in the $2.4 billion in loans that have funded small businesses, community facilities, charter schools, and affordable housing projects across forty-nine states.

Altman’s influence extends beyond the confines of his organization. As a founding member and the first President of the Board of Directors of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition, he spearheaded the creation of a federal tax credit incentivizing private investment in low-income communities. His commitment is further underscored by his involvement with the Center for Community Development Investors at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and his advisory role in the Social Innovation Initiative at Brown University.

A Call to Action

As society grapples with the evolving landscape of capitalism, “A New Capitalism” stands as a beacon of hope and inspiration. Frank Altman’s vision goes beyond critique; it offers tangible solutions and a roadmap for a more just economic future. With his extensive experience, innovative approaches, and commitment to community development, Altman presents a compelling case for a capitalism that works for all – a capitalism that is not just profitable but, more importantly, just.



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