In a financialized world dominated by a powerful, unaccountable, and self-interested financial class, there will be no just or green transformation without first reclaiming financial capacity in the public, not private, interest. But it would be a grave mistake to assume that resurgent public banks, by virtue of being publicly-owned, will necessarily function in the public interest. Public banks can and do go wrong. For public banks to work in the public interest, they must be made to do so.
Alternatives are assessed by the extent to which they enable the fulfillment of social aspirations for an equal and just existence free from exploitation and oppression. They reveal the contours of different and better possible forms of social development; the nature and varieties of neoliberalism; and the forms alternatives must take.