Is the Trans-Pacific Partnership a Danger to Public Banks?

Many people fear that secretive trade talks with corporate lobbyists may prohibit public rights to control common assets. Read more

New Mexico One Step Closer to a Public Bank

In September 2014, a well-attended public banking conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which the Public Banking Institute helped to organize, ended with a call to action for the city to explore the feasibility of a public bank. Speakers at the conference included Mayor Javier Gonzales, Richard Wolff, Ellen Brown, Gwen Hallsmith, Thomas Keidel, Alan Webber, Mike Krauss, and Craig Barnes. Now, the city is moving forward. Read more

Public Banking: It's About the Movement, About the Demand

Alexis Goldstein's excellent coverage of the culmination of Vermont's struggle for a public bank raises a vital point about being in a movement. In Vermont, advocates didn't get (haven't yet gotten) the holy grail of a bonafide public bank. But the compromise they facilitated still constituted a win over big Wall Street banks. Read more

Toronto to Host Public Banking Seminar at City Hall Saturday, January 24

While public banking advocates in the United States have been busy in New Mexico, Washington, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Vermont, and several other states, activists north of the border are doing their work as well. This Saturday, they will hold a free public seminar in Toronto to discuss money, economic justice, and the public bank solution. Read more

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

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