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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New public banking videos to share

Public Bank LA video thumb


Josh Androsky and David Jette of Public Bank LA created this clever video for Left Coast Forum.

We’ve also just posted this little video using our #PublicBank4PublicGood meme.

Great for sharing! Thank you for your help.

#YesOnB campaign for Los Angeles’s Public Bank gets into full swing

Public Bank LA campaign launch

Public Bank LA campaign launch for Charter Amendment B


November's Public Banking ballot initiative Charter Amendment B will allow the citizens of Los Angeles to vote on the first step to creating a city-owned bank. Public Bank LA, along with an overflowing room of community groups and advocates, launched their action campaign July 28 for creating public support for the ballot measure. Chair Ellen Brown and Suzanne O’Keeffe from Public Banking Institute were there in support. ...

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PBI presenting in LA Aug 26: Left Coast Forum and NYC’s Left Forum highlight public banking

PBI at Left Coast Forum


PBI Chair Ellen Brown along with David Jette and Josh Androsky from Public Bank LA will be presenting on Public Banking and the Los Angeles Public Bank ballot measure Charter Amendment B at Left Coast Forum in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 26 at 1:30 - 3:00 pm PDT. RSVP at our Facebook event here. More information here.

Public banking was also a discussion topic at the Left Forum in New York City in June, where a panel moderated by Gar Alperovitz brought together many innovative thinkers. ...

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More candidates from NY, WI and CO endorse public banking

Public Bank LA at Aug 2 event with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in LA

The Public Bank LA team on stage with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Aug 2. Photo courtesy Public Bank LA


Candidates all over the country are now seeing the advantage of Public Banks and using the issue to define their campaign platforms. The latest is Denver mayoral candidate Kayvan Khalatbari. In a detailed article written by Chris Walker in Westworld, Khalatbari says:

“It's a way to keep our money here as opposed to holding it in these large Wall Street banks that we pay egregious interest and financial fees to. ...”

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As finance capital pushes back, Public Banking must build and take power

Illustration public bank

Illistration by Christine Walker


Matt Stannard, Policy Director at Commonomics USA, in his latest article in, weighs in with his perspective of the substantial challenges ahead in LA, as advocates launch their campaign for a Public Bank of Los Angeles.

“The only thing that will stop [risk-averse public officials] from delaying or killing the vision of public banking is the sheer numerical and moral force of activists, in the thousands. Nothing less will guarantee that Los Angeles gets its public bank. If there is not unyielding public demand, there will be no public bank.”

Illustrating the need for public support were recent developments in the District of Columbia. ... 

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Ellen Brown: Trump takes on the Fed

Federal Reserve

Photo courtesy Truthdig.


In her latest article on Truthdig, PBI Chair Ellen Brown writes:

“The president has criticized Federal Reserve policy for undermining his attempts to build the economy. The best way to make the central bank serve the needs of the economy is to make it a public utility.” …

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It’s time for a Public Bank in DC

DC Wells Fargo rally

Jeremiah Lowery of Sierra Club DC speaks at a rally last year urging the DC government to cut ties with Wells Fargo. Photo courtesy of DC ReInvest coalition.


Washington DC has had three of four public meetings about Public Banking — the fourth one will be held tonight July 25th (see meeting details here.) Kim Lehmkuhl, an activist with DSA and DC ReInvest, writes in a powerful opinion piece in The DC Line that key District decision-makers have been diverting the focus away from the benefits of Public Banks, including servicing unmet local banking needs, saving District funds, and avoiding the existential risk posed by our current banking system as another financial crisis looms.

“Ten years ago, generations of black wealth were wiped out when whole communities lost their homes to aggressively marketed subprime mortgages. Today, illegal modern-day redlining continues apace. Affordable housing has essentially disappeared from the marketplace, as global capital preservation strategy drives needless luxury development, and private equity securitizes our rent payments. Resulting housing precarity drives displacement, and a homelessness crisis subjects DC residents to utterly inhumane living conditions.

“Wall Street financial institutions have proved over and over they can’t help but pursue ever-wilder speculation schemes, no matter the cost to our communities. The big banks are most certainly not interested in what the public actually needs to survive. …

“The [public] bank would become a powerful tool not just for meeting vulnerable residents’ most critical material needs, but also for advancing important public values and policy goals that otherwise get short shrift in the face of persistent market failures (or funding shortfalls from an antagonistic federal government).”

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Chasing derivatives: Is the problem with money really one of politics?

9 Biggest Banks' Derivative Exposure

9 Biggest Banks' Derivative Exposure, photo courtesy Demonocracy


Longtime Public Bank advocate Frank Sanitate writes an opinion article in the Santa Barbara News-Press that peels back the curtain shrouding the obscure, unregulated quadrillion-dollar derivatives market and asks what are the big four banks — foundations of our financial world — really doing with the money.

“U.S. banks held $172 trillion in derivatives at the end of 2017. This amount is 11 times the value of all the assets all the U.S. banks own. …

“Playing in derivatives is no longer investing, but trading. In other words, banks are not lending money to create goods or services, but trading it with each other to try to win from each other. If they win their bets, it adds nothing to the real economy, or to depositors — only to bigger profits for the bank owners — $5 billion in the 4th quarter of 2017. Trading is non-productive money. It adds no goods or services to the economy.

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Shareable: The Bank of North Dakota: Reliable financing for the common good


Photo by Neonbrand


Sharable, the award-winning news hub for the sharing / public commons movement, features the remarkable example of the Bank of North Dakota in their new book Sharing Cities: Activating the Urban Commons, and in a related article by Leila Collins. The lessons of the BND continue to demonstrate how valuable a Public Bank can be to a community.

Collins explains:

“BND has been profitable since at least 1971 (the furthest back records are available) and has grown to $4 billion in assets. The state's government and economy has benefited substantially from BND's long-lived and consistent success. BND has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the state treasury over its lifetime ($300 million between 1998 and 2008 alone). BND has helped North Dakota maintain a low unemployment rate, large state government budget surpluses, a robust network of community banks, and high credit availability even during economic crises.

“BND is no anomaly. Public banks have a long history of success in other countries such as Costa Rica and Germany.”

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