The failure of Detroit’s neighborhoods was a personal tragedy for me. I grew up in a vibrant working class neighborhood on the Northeast side of the city. My family home was sold in the 70s after my parents retired from their UAW jobs in the auto industry and moved to Florida. The area gradually deteriorated and was bulldozed.
So it was heartening to watch a segment of 60 Minutes last weekend hosted by Leslie Stahl on how JP Morgan Chase is using data to invest more efficiently, helping entrepreneurs open businesses in parts of Detroit that most need their services. She interviewed Jamie Dimon, the CEO of Chase, who told her that the idea grew out of his interest in changing the way the bank was engaging in philanthropy. He wanted to try and tackle a major national issue, and focused on Detroit first.
Dimon explained that the Chase program (launched in 2014) is currently helping young Detroit entrepreneurs by building a database just for Detroit that identifies neighborhoods in the city ripe for redevelopment. JP Morgan’s program also steers funds to minority businesses that wouldn’t otherwise qualify for them. And now Chase is getting ready to commit half a billion dollars to take what it has learned in Detroit and export it to other cities like Chicago and Washington D.C.
Stahl pointed out that the financial crisis of 2008 decimated fragile economies like Detroit’s and Dimon acknowledged that “we owe back to society.” For a summary of the 60 Minutes interview, visit this link at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/jamie-dimon-jp-morgan-chase-ceo-makes-data-focused-investment-in-detroit-60-minutes-2019-11-10/