BREAKING: Oakland Finance Committee unanimously recommends the public bank feasibility study be moved forward to the full City Council

City of Oakland Finance Committee

City of Oakland Finance Committee


The City of Oakland's Finance Committee accepted the Public Bank Feasibility Study and staff report, and recommended placing it on the full City Council's agenda so that all Councilors may have an opportunity to discuss the report and options. 

Watch as banking experts, elected officials, and advocates alike give overwhelming support for Oakland’s public bank: VIDEO (note: link takes a bit of time to load).

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Four new articles endorse a public bank for LA #YesOnB

Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Public Bank LA


Los Angeles’ ballot initiative for public banking continues to generate many excellent articles about public banking. Their cogent arguments apply to public banking in general, but as Phoenix Goodman writes in the LA Progressive, “Rarely does the constituency of a city have such profound weight of power in their hands to alter the history of the world.” Read the articles below:

Cory Doctorow in Boing Boing:

“The City of Los Angeles sends the nation-wrecking finance industry more than $100MM/year in the form of fees and penalties for its banking business, supporting the institutions whose racist lending practices, financial engineering and mortgage fraud have wreaked untold harm on the city's residents.”

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Report from the nation's capitol: D.C. feasibility study soon to be released

D.C. Public Banking Center


Ruth Caplan with the DC Public Banking Center writes of the fantastic organizing energy happening now around public banking in D.C.:

“This year has been the coming out party for the DC public bank campaign. The DC Council’s FY18 budget included $200,000 to conduct a feasibility study for a DC public bank. Now the study is soon to be released. ...”

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Critical: Oakland Public Bank needs your support. Here's how to help...



Our allies at the Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland gave us this update. Call to action next Monday and Tuesday:

The public banking feasibility study commissioned by the City of Oakland was released to the City Council and the public last week. Unfortunately, the study does not address many key issues related to public banking. Thus, the City staff, the City Council, and the public aren’t getting the full picture of the strengths a public bank will provide. 

At this point, a massive outpouring of public support is critical. Here's what you can do:

Come to City Hall! We need as many constituents and advocates as possible to attend the City Council's finance committee meeting on Tuesday, September 11 at 9:30am PT. Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland will have PBO t-shirts available and signs to hold up. More details here

Come to the FPBO planning meeting on Monday, Sept. 10 at 5:30pm - 7:00pm PT at Xolo, a restaurant at 1916 Telegraph Ave, Oakland. More details here

Call City Council, especially the finance committee members. Find phone numbers here. (Asterisked names are finance committee members.)

Tweet, post, email, call any way you can. Enlist your friends and neighbors to call as well. Check PBI's Facebook and Twitter for memes, tweets, and posts to share in the next few days. 

Here's the message: say that you support establishing the Public Bank of Oakland and you want to see the business plan RFP issued as soon as possible

[Read full update here]

Why public banks are suddenly popular

Public banks suddenly popular

Photo courtesy The New Republic


Sarah Jones writes in The New Republic:

The appeal of public banks extends beyond consumer protection to sound fiscal policy. The argument, as articulated by Demos in a 2011 report, says banks can offer lower debt costs to city and state governments, fund public infrastructure projects, and encourage entrepreneurship by providing loans to small businesses at lower interest rates and with lower fees.”

[Read the full article]

Lessons learned from North America’s largest public bank

Parkland Institute report

Photo courtesy Parkland Institute


Mark Anielski and Bob Ascah of the Parkland Institute post a new report from Canada:

“Alberta Treasury Branches (ATB) has grown into North America’s largest public bank, seven times larger in terms of assets (loans) than its peer, the Bank of North Dakota. … This report traces the origins and history of this government-owned institution and draws out important lessons from this experience. We then consider the role of public banks within the framework of the role of money and banking in a modern economy. Drawing from this, we put forth a number of policy recommendations that we feel should be considered of strategic value to Alberta’s financial and economic future.”

[Read the full report]

David Dayen: What if banks were publicly owned?

Public banks over private banks

Photo courtesy Huffington Post


David Dayen writes in Huffington Post how Los Angeles is leading an important charge toward public ownership of the banking engines of our economy.

Dayen explains:

"The term “public bank” may confuse some into thinking that Los Angeles is about to create a bunch of branch offices where residents can open a free checking account. The idea is much more ambitious. Public bank enthusiasts want to finance local improvements in housing, infrastructure, and community development by employing the money citizens already pay to state and local governments for services. To them, it’s about democratizing the financial system." ...


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Economist Michael Hudson calls for Public Banks

Escaping the crush of debt

Image courtesy The Unz Review


In a recent interview posted on The Unz Review entitled “The ‘Next’ Financial Crisis and Public Banking As the Response,” economist Michael Hudson concludes:

“This is so obvious that what is needed is a bank whose business plan is not exploitation of consumers, not fraud, and isn’t gambling. That basically is the case for public ownership.”

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Ellen Brown speaking at five California events

California Vision 2020


PBI Chair Ellen Brown, along with Josh Androsky and David Jette from Public Bank LA, presented a panel discussion at Left Coast Forum Aug 26 on the advantages of a public bank and LA’s historic opportunity to vote in support of creating one this November with Charter Amendment B. Watch the live-stream here (we were without mics, so volume is a bit low).

Ellen will also be presenting at four more conferences in California this fall:

New report calls for public banks to provide household financial services

Roosevelt Institute report


In a new Roosevelt Institute report co-published with the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University, Thomas Herndon and Mark Paul argue for the public provision of household financial services. They write:

“To foster a more inclusive and accessible economy and society for all communities in the U.S., the public provision of banking goods and services by the government is an important— and bold—option to consider.” ...

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