Co-hosted by noted public banking author Ellen Brown and PBI's chair and media guru Walt McRee, each episode of "It's Our Money" offers new perspectives, deeper information, and articulate interviews with thought leaders and activists fighting for a democratic and just economy. Join Walt, Ellen, and guests who connect the dots on public banking, the restoration of the commons, global finance, and more.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead is famously quoted as giving credit for most social and cultural change to small groups of individuals who pioneer new priorities and establish new systems. That certainly describes many individuals around the country who are working on the American public banking frontier with multi-year commitments of time, talent and energy, going through the hoops, chicanes, reversals and exhilarations required for creating entirely new banking institutions dedicated to democratizing control of public money for public benefit. We talk with several of these pioneers about their motivations, process, challenges and concerns – snapshots of 21st Century American democracy – as the movement for public banking picks up speed from coast to coast.
North of the Border, Up Canada Way……
It’s Our Money – Can History Please Not Repeat Itself? – 01.25.17
The earliest days of private banking cartels in America occurred before we were the United States. The pattern of private capital determining government policy is centuries old – but so is the sort of public interest banking emerging in the US now. Ellen’s guest Jim Hogue, an author, broadcaster and historian, recounts how the struggle for control of finance rocked the early American colonies and precipitated a permanent war footing enabled by big finance. Later, cohost Walt McRee talks with Dr. Maurie Cohen about his latest book dealing with the future of consumer society and whether we can create a sustainable post-consumerist economy.
It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown – It Won’t Be Long Now – 12.08.16
It’s not “Doom and Gloom” to focus on the impending changes to our planet being caused by our prevailing economic systems.
It’s Our Money – Who’s the Boss and Are We Being Fired? – 11.21.16
When in the course of human events we lose sight of who’s really in charge, trouble looms. Western civilization has upended the natural order by placing itself above the true power in our world, Mama Nature. But now the arrogance of the Money Tribe has gone too far and we’re losing our lease on our happy home. We hear from some ancient and elderly wisdom sources, first from a Mohawk teacher and linguist and later from one of our own elders, Noam Chomsky. We also talk with Gwen Hallsmith of Global Community Initiatives who just returned from the World Water Summit in Hungary where global capital is salivating over a new investment opportunity bigger than oil: water! Still messing with Mother Nature…
Bemoaning what our government does with our money is an endless lament for many. But when our personal banks get involved with things we find intolerable such as exploitative lending or environmental injury, a new window of responsiveness opens up. That was the realization of this week’s guest Fran Korten, publisher of Yes! Magazine, who began a national “Move Your Money” moment in support of the protests at the Dakota Access Pipeline – she identified the banks who were investing in it, shared it, and then the fun started. We also visit with Paul Glover, creator of the Ithaca dollar, which demonstrates how a complementary community currency can create a breakthrough for local economies by creating a new layer of wealth. Then we get brought up to speed on the progress of citizens in Santa Fe, NM where efforts to create a local public bank have crossed another threshold toward realization. And PBI Senior Advisor Mike Krauss discusses how critical the role of governance is to insuring that new public banks don’t get coopted by the Powers That Be.
It’s Our Money – Local Power to the Rescue – 08.17.16
Improving the quality of life and local economies is a concern best addressed by local citizens. Today we revisit how the remarkable commitment of “Non-partisan” North Dakota citizens wrested state control from monopolist outsiders and produced lasting changes that continue to benefit them a century later. Guest David Morris, a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, talks with Walt about how we need to reclaim the narrative that government can and should work well on our behalf. And Ellen talks with “The World Belongs to Everyone” author Alana Hartzog about how our current method of taxation overlooks a more obvious and fair approach based on land and the Earth itself.
Paradigm Shift: Going Local -- 07.20.16
Globalization has given giant private interests virtually free reign to influence policies and institutions that undermine local interests. This dominant economic paradigm in which private interests trump public interest is being pushed back by emerging forces ranging from new financial technologies, social media and changing populist narratives about the importance of effective public governance. Ellen speaks with global economist, author and futurist Hazel Henderson about these changes, Walt talks with David Morris of the Institute for Local Self Reliance about those changing narratives and Matt Stannard discusses threads of endemic racism that manifest in private bank practices. And we check in with one of our colleagues about why they will be demonstrating at the Philadelphia Democratic Convention about the role of money in our democracy.
Heading for the Exits – 07.06.16
Ellen Brown talks to Stephen Lendman about the financial and economic causes of the Brexit vote. Matt Stannard discusses the North Carolina legislature's use of infrastructure funding as a club to enforce onerous immigration policies. Also: What Wall Street and hedge fund vultures have done to Puerto Rico.
It’s About Control – 06.22.16
Mayer Rothschild is famously quoted as saying “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!” – and so it is. When we look at the distribution of capital, we see that those who control the franchise of creating money through loans and debt rule our world. Ellen speaks with one of the planet’s oldest serving statesmen, Canada’s Paul Hellyer, about the nature of this controlling franchise and about the alternatives still available. Walt McRee speaks with Lisa Cody, a researcher for the Service Employees International Union, who did a landmark study of the outrageous costs Los Angeles has paid private financiers as part of our ongoing series What Wall Street Costs America, and Matt Stannard comments on the increasingly popular idea of providing a basic income to people as one way of balancing the scales against the controlling interests.
The Little Bank that Could, Part Two -- 06.08.16
We continue our conversation with the preeminent historian of the Bank of North Dakota, Dr. Rozanne Enerson Junker, about the founding factors and functional dimensions of America’s only state-owned public bank. Ellen discusses block-chain technology with co-host Walt McRee while this week’s What Wall Street Costs America examines the impact of predatory banking costs on the city of Detroit -- Matt Stannard talks with Tom Stevens of “Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.”
The Little Bank that Could, and Did, and Does – 05.25.16
The Bank of North Dakota started a century ago with the simple goal of service to citizen victims of the Wall Street monopoly. It now inspires the hopes of citizens nationwide, as they struggle to wrest their financial freedom from the same financial masters. Ellen talks with Dr. Rozanne Enerson Junker, who got her doctorate studying how this upstart institution took on the big banks and turned a challenged economy into a financial powerhouse of service to its owners, the people of North Dakota. Walt McRee talks with Tom Tresser about a new collaborative book called “Chicago is Not Broke – Funding the City We Deserve” -- there’s more money laying around than most citizens know. And Matt Stannard discusses What Wall Street Costs America with a focus on Detroit and Harrison, NJ – yet more victims of the global banking cartels that keep America under the thumb of debt servitude.
Pursuing Populist Politics – 05.11.16
Almost 100 years ago, populist politics marched across America in reaction to the same sort of monetary monopoly that is depriving this century’s citizens of their hard-earned assets and wealth. That deprivation has mobilized an angry, fed-up backlash of folks willing to support any candidate who will talk straight and promise real change. Several candidates are rising to the challenge. Ellen talks with Tim Canova, a law professor and Fed expert facing off against Congressional Democratic insider Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in South Florida – out West, a State House Representative candidate Pamela Powers-Hannley runs on a platform calling for a public bank to stave off the deteriorating state economy and using inspiration from 100-years ago; and Matt Stannard talks with the award-winning author David Dayen whose new book Chain of Title reveals how a few plucky citizens pushed back against the Goliath of Wall Street mortgage fraud.
The Cancer Stage of Capitalism – 04.27.16
Economies are life forces – interdependent systems built upon the facts of life and living. “Life capital” as Ellen’s noted guest Dr. John McMurtry says, is at the heart of true economic reckoning, and money is merely one derivative. McMurtry describes Capitalism as being in a cancerous stage in which it’s being devoured from within by metastasizing greed and self-interest, devouring all living materials in its path. Similarly, we look at the new What Wall Street Costs America project and get specific about how that cancer reality looks in Jefferson County, AL, which declared bankruptcy after buying into toxic interest rates swaps from Wall Street salesmen. One thing though – we also talk about the antidote for that cancer: public banks!
You’ve Been Strip Mined! – 04.13.16
You’ve Been Strip Mined! That’s how Ellen’s guest Les Leopold describes what has happened to the constructive role of capital, such as investment in research and development, expansion and improvement of services and industries. He calls it “economic strip-mining” in which capital speculators like hedge funds strip the equity of companies, countries and consumers to feed their insatiable desire for short term profits - outcomes be damned. We also introduce the new national project and campaign called “What Wall Street Costs America” – the start of a national conversation revealing the massive extraction of public dollars by Wall Street interests. And Matt Stannard reviews presidential politics and bank reform on the Public Banking Report.
Cash Scrapped – 03.30.16
Kiss your cash goodbye! The word is that things would be more convenient, crooks would be confounded and diseases might be thwarted if we’d just get rid of filthy currency as the most essential form of personal financial liquidity. Currently circulating in the corridors of world financial powers, it may appear as an enlightened technical step forward to eliminate cash, but is it also a stalking horse for yet another way global bank interests can separate you from your assets? Ellen speaks with renowned author and media figure Stephen Lendman about why this idea is appearing now and what’s happening behind the scenes that’s moving it forward. Also behind the scenes is a huge and stark reality about municipal debt to Wall Street that the Public Banking Institute is targeting in its new project called What Wall Street Costs America. Co-host Walt McRee speaks with PBI’s Matt Stannard on this groundbreaking campaign.
Purloining Profits from the Public – 03.16.16
When legislators here and abroad gave power to private bank interests to supply the money for their national economies, it was a thickly-veiled ruse that set the stage for complete debt subjection of all public interests. Our notional national debt levels are the proof. So it is with great interest that we delve back into a continuing legal struggle over the Bank of Canada’s chartered responsibilities for interest-free public investment. We remind you of some simple truths from 12-year old Victoria Grant about the Bank of Canada and Ellen’s guest, Dr. J. Ryan Collins, discusses the policy that foisted a change on B of C’s virtuous history. And Matt Stannard reviews the benefits that reside even in failed legal challenges of this sort.
Is George Orwell Smiling? – 02.17.16
Perhaps he’s just smirking, as the merged worlds of global finance and transnational government play out their collaborations of control and deception in the name of a new world order they control. Ellen speaks this week with noted historian, economic researcher and journalist William Engdahl about some backstory facts that belie popular news story narratives from mainstream reporters and government authorities. “War is Peace” is just one of those. Later, we revisit another powerful narrative deception rolling our way in the form of the Trans Pacific Partnership as we look at some of its deceptive and unbelievable features with anti-TPP activist Kevin Zeese. And Matt Stannard brings it all home with his insightful observations about how these factors play out in our global climate reality.
What’s It Going to Take? – 02.03.16
People all over the world who just want a fair chance to thrive in their local economies are confronted with the seemingly indomitable, supra-governmental power of global private financial interests. But this hasn’t stopped them from trying – and some are making good progress. Ellen talks with public banking protagonists in Ireland and England about their homeland efforts in the face of deeply entrenched money powers while co-host Walt McRee talks with PA Project Founder Mike Krauss about a breakthrough in their efforts in Philadelphia. And Matt Stannard discusses our universal sense of fiscal vulnerabilities on the Public Banking Report.
Sacred vs Mundane? – 01.20.16
Would replacing our commodity-based economic model with one that prioritizes human-interest qualify to be called “Sacred Economics?” That’s the name of a book by Ellen’s guest this week, Charles Eisenstein, a highly popular radical re-thinker of the nature of human economy. Eisenstein observes some of the inherent flaws in our economic thinking and reminds us that we are the ones in a position to create new priorities. And co-host Walt McRee speaks with Santa Fe public banking leader Nichoe Lichen of Banking on New Mexico, which this past week saw release of a very positive city feasibility study that supports creating a new city-owned public bank.
Can Inequality Drive Systemic Change? – 01.06.16
After finally realizing that our economic system is designed to keep us away from the fruits of our labors, citizens will hopefully rise up and start working to manifest the sort of sustainable changes that are truly possible if we work together. Ellen speaks with noted author and co-Founder of the Labor Institute, Les Leopold, about how the market mechanics of inequality have succeeded over the past 40 years and what we can do collectively to bring about real change. She also discusses her latest article about the looming crisis that could be triggered by the new practice of bailing-in depositor money to save failing banks. And Matt Stannard delivers some words about money from the mouths of historical figures.
Looking Back – Watching Out – 12.23.15
This past year saw the crossing of financial boundaries and traditions around the world as economic and political events continue to make the monetary horizon an ever-changing realm. Digitized dollars and cash-less societies, global banks overruling national democracies and growing populist demands for economic fairness all help shape a view forward suggesting turmoil and perhaps real trouble for dominant bank institutions -- and hence our own prospects. Ellen speaks with Wolfram Morales of the German Sparkassen savings banks that have taken it on themselves to help preserve the success of local banks around the world. And co-host Walt McRee joins Ellen and public banking commentator Matt Stannard for a retrospective on the year’s financial stories that they thought significant.
Addressing A Digital Divide - 12.09.15
Digital currency is destined to change almost everything about our money systems and management. The traditional gatekeepers of credit, and the types of credit issued, are also changing. This week Ellen talks with Scott Smith, an author, financial innovator and presidential candidate who achieved great success in the old mechanics of money but sees a brighter path ahead with simple changes that can do away with income tax and the national debt. Co-host Walt McRee speaks with the CEO of a community-dedicated credit union choosing to leave the business because of harassment from the federal agency that oversees them. And Matt Stannard takes a retrospective look at the past year in public banking news.
Is Your Money Better Off in a Mattress? – 11.25.15
As European central banks employ negative interest rates (you pay the bank to keep your money) as well as all-digital currencies that give bankers virtually complete control over your access to it, this question is not silly. What are the bankers really up to? Ellen speaks with co-host Walt McRee about these developments and then talks with evolutionary economist and world-renowned futurist Hazel Henderson about how far afield economics has gone from its practical obligations to serve public interest. Matt Stannard discusses banker logic and negative interest, and common logic about the need for a basic income for everyone.
Flush the TPP ..... One More Time - 11.11.15
What Democracy? - 10.28.15
Too Big to Last – 10.14.15
End of the Line – 09.30.15
It’s Nature’s Way of Telling You – 09.16.15
If Capitalism is so great, then why….. – 09.02.15
The Centrality of Central Banks – 08.19.15
Revolting - 08.05.15
We’re All Greeks Now! - 07.22.15
Greece-y Mess - 07.08.15
Mad as Hell - 06.24.15
Monetary Reform: Trending - 06.03.15
System Failure - 05.20.15
When trains derail and bridges fall, oil pipelines burst, water dries up and people live without homes, one might reasonably conclude that the fundamentals of civic systems are not being met. But these chronic occurrences are also signs of a different type of systemic failure – a failure of public and spiritual priorities caused by the dominant paradigm of profits over people. This week Ellen speaks with the distinguished philosopher, ethicist and author John B. Cobb about how system failure is inevitable if priorities are corrupt. And co-host Walt McRee talks with Joe Guinan about the launching of a new collaborative effort to create Next Systems to replace the failing performance of money-centric ones. Finally, Public Banking Reporter Matt Stannard reflects on his world as a happy, but troubled, Amtrak traveler.
Connecting the Dots - 05.06.15
At what point are you willing to challenge your own notions of what’s really going on? Can you even imagine that the mavens of the Money Power would threaten human survival to serve themselves for even bigger personal profits? Ellen’s guest, researcher Dane Wigington, has a trove of data to suggest that they would. And they do so in the form of geoengineering, a covert tool allegedly being used to control natural systems for private profit. We also hear commentary from Matt Stannard about the economics of the Baltimore uprising and from Marc Armstrong about America’s only publicly-owned depository bank, the Bank of North Dakota, which just issued its latest annual report -- it’s another record-setting winner!
Next! - 04.22.15
In the world of monetary reformists, there’s a clear understanding that things not only shouldn’t continue as they are, they can’t continue as they are – that systemic failure is upon us as current social and political outcomes tear at the fabric of civil life. Ellen speaks with Gar Alperovitz, one of America’s most venerable reformist thinkers and policy experts, about his new “The Next System Project” to help design and precipitate what should happen next. Also, maybe the national debt is unnecessary after all – author Scott Baker talks with co-host Walt McRee about his new book “America is Not Broke,” and Matt Stannard reports on the financial travesties imposed by Wall Street on American cities.
They Own You - 04.08.15
Many of us aren’t shocked by the recent Princeton study that declares we’re clients of an Oligarchy, not citizens of a Democracy. After a bracing audio clip by George Carlin, Ellen traces how the seeds of American Oligarchy were planted centuries ago by our financially-enforced subservience to the money elite. These seeds have now become a thick forest of obfuscation about the nature of money and our ability to create and control it -- Ellen talks with author and professor Carl Herman about how to break through the mythology of money. And co-host Walt McRee talks with Ira Dember of CommonomicsUSA about their initiative to create a monetary awakening for America’s mayors.
World Water Wars - 03.25.15
Dangerous stressors are converging around the growing demands for water the world over. Corporations and private capital are positioning themselves to take control as environmental changes turn humanity’s most essential element into just another commodity for profiteers. Why aren’t affordable alternatives being pursued? Might this even be intentional? The usual culprits behind the monetary curtain are all here ready to let you drink, if you pay them. Ellen speaks with Roger Landry on possible reasons.