Chicago is in trouble. According to Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis blog, there is a $1.1 billion "budget hole" in the Chicago public school system. A "derivative time bomb" of as much as $263 million, just triggered on the Chicago Board of Education, means that Chicago Public Schools may be out of money in 30 days. "On March 9, Moody's dropped Chicago School bonds two notches to Baa3, that last rank above junk," according to the site's blogger, Mike "Mish" Shedlock, who adds: "On March 20, Fitch downgraded Chicago Board of Education Rating to BBB-, also one step above junk." If the district cannot renegotiate the swap, or pass further bonds for the funds (and both events seem difficult to implement), a "termination event" would trigger, forcing the Board to pay the negative valuation on the swap, which it simply cannot afford to do. The District supposedly has just enough to pay the termination fees, but would be left "virtually broke."Read more
Maine public banking advocate Randall Parr continues his productive output answering critics of public banks. Will local banks with state deposits suffer losses if those deposits are redeposited into a state-owned bank? What would be the impact of a public bank on the state's economic health? On its poverty rate? Would creating a state-owned bank be costly? How would it be funded? Parr offers practical, documented answers to these questions in the piece we are reprinting below.Read more
Longtime public banking writer and leader of the New York public banking movement Scott Baker has published America is Not Broke! Four Multi-Trillion Dollar Paths to a Thriving America, a book his publishers call "a potent economic antidote for all that currently ails the US economy."Read more
LD 24 would create a Maine State Bank. as well as allow the creation of county and city-run banks. LD 14 provides that the Maine State Bank would come into existence on July 1, 2017, provided that it had capital of $20,000,000. The bill further provides for a quarterly examination of the Bank by the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation, as well as a state audit every two years.
Although the frontal façade of this essay is “policy analysis of how public finance can solve poverty,” this is really an attempt to explain, at a fairly (but not completely) personal level, why I do what I do.Read more
German public bank Landeskreditbank Baden-Württemberg, or L-Bank, is suing the European Central Bank to avoid coming under EU supervision and regulation, which would increase L-Bank's costs and fees. L-Bank argues that higher costs tied to ECB supervision would undermine its ability to support local families and businesses.Read more
Public Banking Activists Should Take Note of Seattle Council's Resolution Opposing TPP Fast-Track Authority
On Monday, March 30, the Seattle City Council adopted a resolution opposing Trade Promotion Authority, or "fast track" authority, of the President of the United States to implement U.S. agreement to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP, a regional trade pact between the U.S. and 11 other nations.
Arguments have emerged from all sections of the banking spectrum concerning the causes of community banks' decline. Many observers argue that Dodd Frank's regulations disproportionately impact community banks. But there is no consensus on this. In this morning's American Banker, banking industry consultant and investor J.V. Rizzi takes the opposite view. "There are many things to dislike about the Dodd-Frank Act," he writes. "Causing the demise of community banks, however, is not one of them." Rizzi correctly points out that "the number of community banks with assets under $100 million dropped from 13,000 in 1995 to 2,625 in 2010--before Dodd-Frank was enacted. The number of small community banks had dropped under 1,900 by 2014."Read more
Public Banking Institute founder Ellen Brown was recently a guest on the Global Research News Hour podcast, where she discussed "The Student Debt Time Bomb." As producers of the podcast point out, at "the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2014, student loan debt stood at a colossal $1.16 trillion dollars. According to CNN, this debt applies to 40 million Americans."Read more