Round 4 of COVID-19 Legislation: A National Investment Authority?

As the first three legislative packages addressing the COVID-19 crisis are being implemented, attention now turns to Phase 4. Here, much focus is on funding and supporting infrastructure development, growth and planning. Will this be the moment that the U.S. seriously considers the idea of a National Investment Authority? Two scholars (Robert C. Hockett and Saule T. Omarova) outlined, analyzed, and advocated this idea three years ago, in “White Paper: A National Investment Authority” (Feb. 2018, originally March 2017) and Omarova updates that analysis today for the COVID-19 world, in “Why We Need A National Investment Authority.” In a 2017 review of Hockett and Omarova’s white paper, Shu-Yi Oei (one of the organizers of this tracker site) presciently recommended the article to readers, identifying its two important contributions: “First, a policy proposal for the creation of a National Investment Authority (NIA), a hybrid, public-private entity that directs private financial capital to fund long-term infrastructure and development projects; and second, a theoretical re-envisioning of what public goods are and how to provide them.” If you didn’t read it then, you should now.