Ellen Brown: How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt Without Hurting Bondholders

171017_puerto_rico_bondholders_1026.jpgChair Ellen Brown sheds her timely perspective and out-of-the-box thinking onto the Puerto Rican crisis, recently published in TruthDig

[President Trump] was just pointing out the obvious. As economist Michael Hudson says, “Debts that can’t be paid won’t be paid.” Puerto Rico is bankrupt, its economy destroyed. In fact it is currently in bankruptcy proceedings with its creditors. Which suggests it’s time for some more out-of-the-box thinking. ...

Puerto Rico’s debt is only $73 billion, one third the Italian debt. The Fed has stopped its quantitative easing program, but in its last round (called “QE3”), it was buying $85 billion per month in securities. At that rate, it would have to fire up the digital printing presses for only one additional month to rescue the suffering Puerto Ricans without hurting bondholders at all. It could then just leave the bonds on its books, declaring a moratorium at least until Puerto Rico got back on its feet, and better yet, indefinitely. ...

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WATCH: Oakland forum highlights how Public Banks fund renewable energy

September 25, Friends of Public Bank of Oakland organized a public forum to hear Wolfram Morales of the German Sparkasse (East German Savings Bank Association) explain how Public Banking works in his country to fund renewable energy development. The East Bay Times as well as Oakland North covered the event and connected it to how Public Banks here could do the same thing in the US that Sparkasse do in Germany: offer low-interest rates to companies providing solar and wind resources, driving development.

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Related Bank News Investigation: JP Morgan Chase paid $8.2 billion fine with phony mortgages it didn’t own

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Illustration by Tim Robinson courtesy The Nation.

David Dayen posts a powerful cover-story investigation in The Nation detailing a blistering NY lawsuit that presents evidence that Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon knowingly implemented a grand scam on the US Government to pay off the government-mandated settlement for JPMorgan’s fraud that helped trigger the 2008 financial crash. 

As part of the National Mortgage Settlement, JPMorgan Chase claimed credit for forgiving the mortgages of tens of thousands of homeowners. The scam? Years earlier JP Morgan had sold many of those toxic mortgage properties — often for pennies on the dollar — to third party investors. 

“If the allegations are true, JPMorgan screwed everybody.” —former congressman Brad Miller

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Los Angeles Public Bank effort gains more steam

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From left: Paul Stanton; Senior Policy Deputy, Anna Hovasapian LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian; Marc Armstrong, Commonomics USA; Ellen Brown, PBI; Wolfram Morales, Sparkasse (East German Savings Bank Association); David Jette, Public Bank LA

Strong steps taken by LA City Council toward a Public Bank for Los Angeles have drawn a good deal of media attention, including coverage by the local CBS affiliate. The Ad Hoc Committee on Comprehensive Job Creation Plan began to debate the issue last Wednesday, Oct 4.

Following the successful Sept 29 meeting that took place between interested Councilmembers, legislative directors and Public Banking experts, Ellen Brown was invited to attend the Ad Hoc Committee and explain how a Bank of Los Angeles can be feasible, profitable and beneficial for the city's residents.

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Richmond considers whether to chip in for Bay Area Public Bank study

171010_Richmond_1026.jpgLast Tuesday Oct 3, Richmond city council discussed whether they wanted to join the Oakland Public Bank feasibility study and chip in their own funds, adding to the $75,000 committed by Oakland and $25,000 from Berkeley.

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Ellen Brown: How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation

171010_dollars_1026.jpgPBI Chair Ellen Brown writes in her latest article posted in Truthout

The policy of guaranteeing every citizen a universal basic income is gaining support around the world, as automation increasingly makes jobs obsolete. But can it be funded without raising taxes or triggering hyperinflation? In a panel I was on at the NexusEarth cryptocurrency conference in Aspen September 21-23rd, most participants said no. This is my rebuttal.

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Public Banking advances in Los Angeles as receptive City Officials meet with Public Bank Team

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Paul Stanton; Ellen Brown, PBI; Wolfram Morales, Sparkasse (East German Savings Bank Association); LA City Councilman Paul Kerkorian; Marc Armstrong, President, Commonomics USA; David Jette, Public Bank LA; Trinity Tran, Public Bank LA

Developments for the creation of locally oriented municipal Public Banks are gaining traction in tandem with state Public Bank initiatives. Santa Fe, Oakland and Los Angeles, among other cities, have taken important steps in exploring the feasibility of a local Public Bank owned by their cities and operating in the interest of their communities.

On Friday, September 29th, a gathering of international Public Banking experts met with interested Councilmembers, legislative directors and the Head of the Budget and Finance Committee at Los Angeles City Hall for a very fruitful discussion on how a Bank of Los Angeles can be feasible, profitable and beneficial for the city's residents. 

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Public Banking gets high profile focus for “visionary pragmatism” from The Nation

171003_The_nation_article.jpgInfluential magazine The Nation describes the rise of the Public Banking movement as an excellent example of combining visionary politics with pragmatic action.

“There’s a movement on the rise to weaken the power of corporate banks and replace them with financial institutions that are owned and managed by cities and committed to putting public interest above profit. It’s a movement to create public banks.”

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Sante Fe Task Force members discuss technical details of creating a Public Bank

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September 27th: City of Santa Fe Public Bank Task Force Members: Bradley Fluetsch, City Finance Department, Darla Brewer, (Governance), Elaine Sullivan (Governance), David Buchholtz (Task Force Chair), Randolph Hibbin, (Legal, Regulations), Bob Mang (Capitalization), Kelly Huddleston (Legal). Wayne Miller and Judy Cormier were absent.

Santa Fe’s all volunteer public bank task force is hard at work gathering key information needed to take the next steps. The public present at these meetings appreciates that the stakes are much higher once it moves beyond the abstract. 

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New Podcasts: The coming revolution in banking, "crypto-chango," and how to hide public debt from public view

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In the latest It's Our Money podcasts, Ellen and Walt cover important ground that sheds light on changes to the world of money that are around the next corner: 

Crypto-Chango and Truth in Accounting 
- Airing Wednesday Sept 27

Ellen Brown reflects on the true nature of money at the Nexus Conference in Aspen, bringing to a renown body of monetary and financial experts the notion that cryptocurrency systems reflect the reality that money is not a fixed inventory of assets but a fluid and fungible source of mutual credit. 

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