At least 90 percent of the nation’s cities are facing a budget crisis because of the economic shutdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a mid-April report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities. Because municipal governments cannot run deficits, they will have to respond by cutting staff and programs, which will worsen the economic conditions of the cities they serve.
One hundred years ago July 28, a bank in Bismarck, N.D., opened its doors for the very first time. This would have been an unremarkable event, likely lost to history, except for the fact that it was a public bank, owned by all the residents of the state. A century on, the Bank of North Dakota (BND) is still the only publicly owned bank in the continental United States (a second public bank was recently established in American Samoa) — though potentially not for long.