Racial inequalities in the United States, historically very strong, have cost the country's economy $ 16 trillion over the past 20 years, according to a study released Thursday by Citigroup Bank.
“If the United States had narrowed the racial divide for black Americans in terms of wages, housing, education and investment 20 years ago, an additional $ 16 trillion could have been brought to the American economy,” according to this study conducted by the third largest American bank.
“By reducing them today, it would inflate the US gross domestic product by $ 5,000 billion in the next five years,” adds the study.
Citigroup on Thursday pledged to invest $ 1 billion over the next three years to help reduce these wealth inequalities.
A large half of these funds will go to help these Americans to own their homes. Investment in African American businesses must also be increased.
Another objective is to provide better access to the banking system and to credit to communities of color, when the difficulty of obtaining credit at the correct rate for African Americans is often denounced.
This announcement echoes the call launched Friday by an official of the American Central Bank, the Fed, who had asked the world of economics and finance to act against institutional racism.
Referring to “the historical and institutional inequalities of the financial system”, Raphael Bostic, who heads the Atlanta branch of the US Federal Reserve, lamented that the wealth of white households remains 10 times greater than that of black households, appreciably as 100 years ago.
He had put forward “the official policy”, of the years after WWII, which offered “access to mortgage loans according to origins and therefore to decent and affordable housing”, one of the main sources of “ racial disparity of wealth ”which persists.
The high inequalities in the United States, historic and which have been exacerbated by the crisis, have been brought to light recently by the demonstrations which started under the banner “Black Lives Matter” (“Black lives matter”).