Ever wonder how North Dakota seems to be surviving the recession (depression?) as well as it is? Perhaps it’s their “socialist” banking system.
It has no automatic tellers or drive-up windows, doesn’t issue credit cards, and tends only a few thousand checking and savings accounts. Its only location is a glass, steamboat-shaped headquarters near the Missouri River, where the business moved from its original 1919 home in a former auto assembly plant.
The Bank of North Dakota — the only state-owned bank in the United States — might seem to be a relic. It was the brainchild of a failed flax farmer and one-time Socialist Party organizer during World War I.
But now officials in other states are wondering if it is helping North Dakota sail through the national recession.