Another think tank calls for public ownership of banks as a response to the next crisis

Public Banking idea

The Public Banking idea's time has come. Photo by Diego Ph.

 

The People’s Policy Project, a small-donation funded think tank, describes our current economy as one facing an almost inevitable financial crash in the relatively near future and argues “policymakers should be urgently planning for the possibility.”

Their recent article by Peter Gowan refers to the Democracy Collaborative report (featured in our previous newsletter) and explains that by drawing the plans now, the public is prepared to reassert public control over the financial system when the next collapse happens.

“The lessons of 2008 have not resulted in the end of risky financialization, speculation on the housing market, or gigantic banks reliant on broad-ranging guarantees backed up by the federal government. In fact, the opposite is true. …

“The recent history of banking nationalization is extensive and global. …

Different publicly-owned banks could serve different purposes and specializations …"

Gowen continues:

“… [the Democracy Collaborative report] suggests, for instance, banks focussing on renewable energy and green transition projects, a postal bank focussing on basic services for under-banked populations, a bank charged with supporting local bond-financed infrastructure projects (such as social housing) and a bank tasked with financing and assisting conversions of private firms to worker, community and public ownership.

“[The report] proposes that banks should be allowed managerial autonomy on a day-to-day basis, but that democratic accountability, efficiency, and transparency, as well as public participation through multi-stakeholder boards and other democratic mechanisms should be enshrined in the new system.

This proposal is welcome, and progressive policymakers would be well-advised to consider and develop it ….”

[Read the full article]

[Read the report]

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