Joe Nocera in New York Times writes about a Starbucks idea to encourage contributions from customers (it’s also kicking in $5 million and costs) to funnel into community development banks that make microloans to small businesses.

It is a helluva note that the financial titans can’t be bothered to pony up to aid the nation’s well-being. Recognizing the potential of this populist message, Republicans are busy breeding resentment to those speaking up in criticism (Koch acolyte Mike Masterson’s adoption of the smelly, unemployed hippy meme in the D-G today about Occupy protests was one of his most uninformed yet and that’s going some). Meanwhile, real action:


Starbucks and the Starbucks Foundation will pay for the marketing costs, the wristbands and every other cost associated with the new program — which will be called Create Jobs for USA — out of its own coffers.

Here is the most beautiful part about the whole arrangement. The donations to Create Jobs for USA will not be loaned to the CDFIs. They will be turned into capital — equity that can be leveraged. Pinsky and others told me that that equity can be leveraged 7 to 1, meaning that if 10 million Starbucks customers donate $5, that will support $350 million worth of lending. That’s real money.