PBI Chair Ellen Brown delves into the mounting student debt crisis in her latest article series. Student debt has risen an astronomical 164 percent over the past 25 years, but median wages have gone up a mere 1.6 percent. She writes:
"Slavery by debt has continued to this day, and it is particularly evident in the plight of students. ...
The availability of federally guaranteed loans allowed colleges and universities to raise their prices to whatever the market would bear. By the mid-1970s, tuition was rising much faster than inflation. But costs remain manageable until the late 1990s, when the federal student loan business was turned over to private banks and investors with aggressive collection practices, converting federally guaranteed student loans from a public service into a private investor boondoggle."
Governor-elect Phil Murphy has wasted no time in moving forward on his signature campaign pledge to create a Public Bank. He has chosen Assemblywoman Marlene Caride to be the next commissioner of Banking and Insurance.
“This, to me, is a wonderful idea,” Caride said. “It will help to support our small businesses. It’ll help our college students obtain loans at a lower interest level. And it’ll help us to fund small infrastructure projects in this state.”
San Francisco's Board of Supervisors released a new report last week that puts SF strongly in the running for the first city in the nation to launch a Public Bank. As the San Francisco Examiner explains, Supervisors Malia Cohen and Sandra Fewer are advancing the idea of establishing a municipal bank, which would end The City’s use of profit-driven large national commercial banks for banking services.
As Wall Street financial institutions come under increasing fire for their continued stream of fraud scandals and perpetual investments in dirty fuel, Public Banks are rapidly gaining traction as an ethical and profitable solution. “Within a few years, the municipal bank should be able to generate sufficient revenue to be able to cover its costs and serve as the primary financial institution for The City,” the report said.
The report also confirmed San Francisco has the legal authority to establish a Public Bank.Read more
Reporting from Seattle, Ellen Brown, Nichoe Lichen, Ann Tulintseff at our annual Board Meeting Nov 11 & 12th 2017.
A major shift in 2017! Here's an update from PBI’s Board:
2017 saw a major shift in public banking. After years of educational outreach and tireless work by PBI (including past board members who have broken off to form their own groups), elected officials across the country are now holding serious discussions about what it would take to set up their own public banks. Newsletter readers have had a front seat in watching all this unfold.
At last year’s retreat, the PBI board set the goal of seeing five public banks well on their way to being chartered by 2020. This year, PBI focused its budget toward getting that done. In late 2016, we received some generous donations to help make this all happen. Contributions have been down in 2017, but energy has been way up! We’re hoping you will continue your much appreciated support. You can make a year-end contribution at http://www.publicbankinginstitute.org/donate.Read more
Irrepressible host of Redacted Tonight, Lee Camp, reached out to former PBI chair Walt McRee to explain how Public Banking is a way we the people can divorce the future of our financial security from the recklessness of Wall Street fraud:
“You might have noticed that the wealth in this country continues to get sucked to the top ... the Big Banks are bigger than ever before, and they’re using your money to gamble on the stock market. Meanwhile, Bitcoin has shot through the roof. For all these reasons, I wanted to get an expert of banks and money in here to explain things.”
Starting a Public Bank — even when fully convinced of its ultimate value — can seem an overwhelming task when faced with the legal and legislative issues that present themselves.
Two legal memorandums — one for the City of San Francisco and one for the City of Santa Fe — have been completed recently that will be very helpful all across the country to those who are working to establish Public Banks.Read more
Ann Tulintseff is an electrical engineer with 25 years experience in the aerospace industry. An early Board member of PBI, Ann believes that monetary reform and public banking are fundamental to achieving economic and political justice as well as real democracy and world peace. Inspired by Ellen Brown's book, Web of Debt, Ann authored a book review entitled, "The government is in debt to private banks that pretend to have money," published in March, 2009.
In addition to monetary reform, Ann also has interests in alternative medicine, diet, and the "electric universe." Ann has Ph.D., E.E., S.M., and S.B. degrees in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, with her studies in the fields of antennas, electromagnetic wave theory, and applied mathematics.
As has happened in several eco-minded cities, Boulder’s City Council passed a resolution about a year ago to consider severing ties with JP Morgan Chase in support of the Standing Rock Sioux and allies who protested the Dakota Access Pipeline. After several months of exploration, staff reported to the Council in October that it did not appear there were any banks both capable of handing the city’s significant banking needs and able to meet the city’s standards on fossil fuels and other ethical matters.
In response, a coalition of 23 different groups — among them: Earth Guardians, Elephant Journal, 350 Colorado, Kids Against Fracking and Rainforest Action Network — co-signed a letter to the council that argues there is, in fact, an option to maximize both objectives: a Public Bank.Read more
International News: Former governor of the Bank of Spain says public entity should create money, instead of private banks
Positive Money, the monetary reform group based in the UK, posts that Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, former governor of Bank of Spain, is now recommending money creation by public entity instead of by private banks. He references the advances in technology that would allow safe public issuing
He came to the Spanish Lower House on Nov 7, 2017 and said the following:
“In the latest years, some analysts have emerged who are evaluating the possibility to change current money creation system by private banks and to substitute it with another one which would let every citizen deposit their money at central banks.
The excitement surrounding the inclusion of public banking in political campaigns is now shifting gears into the nitty-gritty process of educating and encouraging legislators and candidates to move forward.
This week Ellen and Walt discuss some of these races and the issues that propel them, we talk with a NJ State legislator about whether the new governor there will be able to pursue his state bank agenda, and we uncover another new gubernatorial candidacy that may also drive for a public bank.
Ellen’s guest Stephen Lendman returns to the show to reflect on the larger political and civic issues affected by our private banking regime.