EU Showdown: Greece Takes on the Vampire Squid

Greece and the troika (the International Monetary Fund, the EU, and the European Central Bank) are in a dangerous game of chicken. The Greeks have been threatened with a “Cyprus-Style prolonged bank holiday” if they “vote wrong.” But they have been bullied for too long and are saying “no more.” A return to the polls was triggered in December, when the Parliament rejected Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ pro-austerity candidate for president. In a general election, now set for January 25th, the EU-skeptic, anti-austerity, leftist Syriza party is likely to prevail. Syriza captured a 3% lead in the polls following mass public discontent over the harsh austerity measures Athens was forced to accept in return for a €240 billion bailout. Austerity has plunged the economy into conditions worse than in the Great Depression. As Professor Bill Black observes, the question is not why the Greek people are rising up to reject the barbarous measures but what took them so long. Read more

Ferguson, Alienation, and City Budgets: Fleece the Poor, or Democratize Finance?

The elephant in the room is almost always an economic elephant. The unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following both the shooting of Michael Brown and the failure of a grand jury to indict the police officer who shot him was, in a large part, contextualized by Ferguson's model of city financing. Now it seems city officials are unwilling to learn from history. While the city's policy of generating a substantial portion of its revenue from petty fines contributed to alienation and unrest in the city even before the shooting of Brown, Ferguson is doubling down on using tickets and fines to generate municipal revenue. Read more

Seattle's Groundbreaking City Council is Considering Another Groundbreaking Idea: A Public Bank

As a direct result of Wall Street mismanagement and federal complacency, communities have lost the ability to finance local, sustainable growth and public services. This is a direct threat to democracy, because the chief conduit of democracy in American society is the ability of cities and towns to facilitate public participation, health, security, and civic life.  Seattle is at the forefront of cities taking back democracy. Seattle’s city council knows that the antecedents of democracy are material -- the ability to provide services, the ability to absorb the impact of economic shifts, the ability to make citizens feel invested in their communities. Read more

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Amara Enyia Calls for Public Bank

31 year-old Amara Enyia holds a J.D. and PhD, has served as a lawyer, a public policy fellow in the Chicago city government, a municipal development consultant, and is currently executive director of the Austin Chamber of Commerce on Chicago's West Side. And she's not only a supporter of public banking, but is making public banks a foundation of her energetic campaign to be the next Mayor of Chicago.  Read more

Public Banking and Corporate News: When Big Media Struggles to Understand Local Economic Autonomy

Public banks are, above all, tools of local control. The Bank of North Dakota allows that state to bypass Wall Street and finance local and state-wide projects without fear of paying exploitative interest rates, or of losing those interest payments to outside shareholders who wouldn’t re-invest them in local endeavors.  Read more

WSJ Reports: BND Outperforms Wall Street

by Ellen Brown While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state’s bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry.  So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article: Read more

PBI Philadelphia Conference "Public Banks for Public Works" Coming Up Tomorrow!

Join us in Philadelphia for PBI's National Conference West, tomorrow - Saturday, October 18th!  It promises to be a great lineup of speakers focused on solutions - exploring how to move public banking in Pennsylvania forward! Read more

Santa Fe Mayor Exploring the Potential Of Public Banking

"We have to become innovators.  We have to think outside the box.  We have to look for non-traditional ways of meeting the critical needs of our community." - Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales   Read more

Inspired in Santa Fe

Looking out at hundreds of faces this morning, all interested in the questions being asked in Santa Fe as they consider a public bank for the city, I couldn't help but feel that the time has come. The time has come to rethink banking, to re-evaluate this core function of our economic system. Even though the U.S. Constitution guarantees the people, through Congress, the right to coin money, we have delegated that function to the private sector, for profit, for too long. Read more

The Santa Fe Symposium Is Underway!

The Santa Fe Symposium is underway!  Great turnout - and over half the attendees to this morning's public banking panel session are from outside of New Mexico!  People attending from Seattle, San Francisco, North Carolina, Florida, Arizona, and Wisconsin to name just a few!  The energy in Santa Fe is very high!  Join us online for the live stream....   Read more

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