Black money projects are killing the economy: interview with Ellen Brown

171121_ellen_interview_1026.jpgSarah Westhall, host of the national radio show "Business Game Changers," recently interviewed PBI Chair Ellen Brown on her show to discuss the shape of our economy.

Ellen Brown: 

“Every 20 or 30 years we have changed the monetary system. We can and we will change it again. That’s what the Federal Reserve did in 2008 ... they started just lending free money to the banks, which they hadn’t done before, and called it Quantitative Easing. ... 

"If [the Chinese] have some bad loans, they just write them off. Because nobody’s hurt — nobody actually put up the money. The money was just created as an accounting entry, so you can write off those accounting entries if you need to, to save your economy. You don’t need to force austerity on people who didn’t do it, who weren’t liable for it, who weren’t at fault. We pretend like money is actually owed to someone, but it’s not. It was created as credit on the books — it can be written off.

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PBI Welcomes Daniel Hicks

171114_daniel_hicks_1026.jpgPBI is pleased to introduce a new member of our national leadership with the appointment of Daniel Hicks as Director of Media Relations. Daniels’s role with PBI will be to build deeper ties with the media and produce new materials that expand the understanding of Public Banking and its relevance to the national media discussion.  

Daniel is a journalist, economist, TV producer, world traveler and dual faculty member at the University of Miami. He managed network coverage from Los Angeles for NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and other network channels and graduated from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. His list of travel experiences is dizzying.

Such deep media experience should be valuable to PBI’s mission ...

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PBI makes detailed presentation to Washington State Task Force as WA moves forward


View from Johnny's Dock, Tacoma, WA


As the winter rains fell in the Pacific Northwest, PBI Board Members Nichoe Lichen and Ellen Brown met in Tacoma last Thursday, Nov 9 with the State of Washington's Infrastructure and Public Depository Bank Task Force to present PBI’s evaluation of the nuts and bolts for establishing a Public Bank for the State of Washington. 

Ellen and Nichoe were impressed by the expertise and commitment of those Washington legislators and bank representatives serving on the task force and how much progress they had made. Perhaps it will it be the State of Washington that enables the first Public Bank in the US in 98 years!

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New Facebook Page launched! Send us your #YesPublicBanks group photos



We are thrilled to launch our new Facebook page to help connect with, educate, and inspire more people on the value of a Public Bank. 

To celebrate and highlight all the amazing work being done around the country, we call on our Public Bank supporters to send us photos!

The next time your Public Banking group gets together, please gather for a fun group photo in front of an iconic scene in your city and hold up a sign or small banner that says #YesPublicBanks

Send them to

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American Banker: “Public banking: The other winner in 2017 elections”

171114_states_working_public_bank_1026.jpgPhil Murphy’s win in NJ has caught the attention of the banking industry. Banking financial services magazine American Banker contacted PBI the day after the election to ask us  how we were seeing the success. The resulting article by Laura Alix provides a balanced and overall positive assessment and highlights that the Murphy win “is being seen as a much-needed shot in the arm for the broader public-bank movement.” 

Once community banks understand how a Public Bank can partner with them to overcome regulatory and capital burdens, PBI believes Public Banks are likely to gain many more banker allies.

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NJ Spotlight: Can Gov.-Elect Murphy Make a Go of His Public Bank?

171114_bank_lettering_1026.jpgLocal news outlet NJ Spotlight points out that few people in New Jersey had even heard of Gov-elect Phil Murphy before he jumped into the governor’s race, and the same could be said about one of Murphy’s core proposals: a plan to launch a state-run Public Bank. 

Now that he has won, Murphy has a chance to “set off a national revival for state banks, an idea that had its heyday nearly 200 years ago but has been rediscovered amid an era of corporate greed and rising income inequality."

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Phil Murphy wins in NJ! Public Banking is on the ballot and wins!

171107_2_phil_murphy_1026.jpgBREAKING: Phil Murphy wins New Jersey's governor's race. But it's not only a win for Murphy, it's also a win for Public Banks. As John Nichols of The Nation put it today, "Public banking is on the ballot today—not as the sort of statewide referendum issue ... but in the form of a candidate who knows a thing or two about banking."

Phil Murphy describes Public Banking as “the type of big thinking we need to get back on track.” He wants to do even more with a NJ state bank than the successful model of the Bank of North Dakota. “This is money that belongs to the taxpayers of New Jersey, so it should be invested in them.”

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CA Treasurer Chiang recommends feasibility study on a CA Public Bank to address cannabis banking


Photo by Beverly Yuen Thompson


California State Treasurer John Chiang today released a report containing his Cannabis Working Group's recommendations for how the state can help address the banking needs of the soon-to-be-legal CA pot industry. One of his four main recommendations is:

Conducting a feasibility study on creation of a state-owned bank to provide financial services to the cannabis industry. The study should include costs, benefits, risks, and legal and regulatory issues including capitalization, deposit insurance and access to interbank transfer systems.

Chiang's recommendation is important because it allows the state to move forward on a feasibility study quickly without needing the legislature to approve it.

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CA Treasurer Chiang unveils recommendations on cannabis banking after year-long study: livestream Tues Nov 7


Photo by Beverly Yuen Thompson


The banking needs of the cannabis industry have been a pressing concern of CA state and city leaders as they deal with a rapidly growing state industry shut out of national banks and forced to operate businesses only in cash. Leaders are seriously inquiring how state or city Public Banks could potentially meet these needs. On Tuesday, Nov 7 at 10:00 am PST, CA State Treasurer John Chiang will hold a press conference in Sacramento to release a report on the steps California can take to address the lack of banking services that makes an entire industry resort to duffel bags full of dollars as standard business operations.

Federal law making marijuana illegal creates a legal grey zone for states who have legalized it. Because of the need to process payments and interact with the rest of the financial system, banks must have an account with one of the nation's 12 regional Federal Reserve banks, which default to follow national law. Will the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco take a different approach from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, for instance? It's not a settled question, but it's a battle worth fighting. 

[Watch press conference livestream]

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The Public Bank option — safer, local, and half the cost in NJ, in every state


Bank of North Dakota


Ellen Brown, PBI Chair, explains the value of a Public Bank on the heels of a new UK poll that reports the majority of politicians do not know where money comes from, and on the eve of the New Jersey Governor's race election day where Phil Murphy — one of the rare politicians who does know — has a double-digit lead. Murphy has made a NJ Public Bank a centerpiece of his platform. Green Party candidate Seth Kaper-Dale also strongly supports creating a state bank for NJ.  

Ellen Brown:

“For those few politicians who are aware of the banks’ magic money tree, the axiom that the people should own the banks — or at least some of them — is a no-brainer. … If Phil Murphy wins the New Jersey governorship and succeeds in establishing a New Jersey state-owned bank, expect a wave of public banks to follow, as more and more elected officials come to understand how banking works and to see the obvious benefits of establishing their own. 

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