PBI Chair Ellen Brown is speaking in several public conferences and events this week and next in San Rafael on Oct 18th at 350Marin.org and Oct 20th at the Bioneers Conference, and in Sonoma, CA on Oct 22nd at Praxis Peace Institute. Discussion will include the latest public banking developments in California and around the country.
In the latest episode of It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown, Thomas Hanna of the Democracy Collaborative talks about how public banking can be a shield from the economic ravages of the expected next crisis. As co-host Walt McRee summarizes the episode:
We live with a monetary system designed to stage recurring crashes which move personal and public assets into the hands of the Oligarchy. American history is filled with examples of financial stratagems enabled by power-center bankers both near and far. Our guest Thomas Hanna of the Democracy Collaborative talks with Ellen about “The Crisis Next Time” and why we need to use the next banker-crash debacle to move our financial controls into the hands of the public. Commentator Bob Bows reviews some shocking American history that makes it clear these financial crises are no accident and how they are destroying democracy. And Anna Callahan of “TheIncorruptibles” outlines how citizens must organize to reclaim the political power needed to protect themselves from the corporate financial powers both locally and nationally.
The public bank effort in Oakland, California continues full steam ahead! Last week, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to accept the completed feasibility study and examine necessary next steps forward.
Adding to the momentum, Alameda County Treasurer Henry Levy stated not only his support for the East Bay Public Bank, but also his desire to take a leadership role in completing the business plan needed to apply for a bank charter through the State of California. For an elected official to make that sort of commitment represents a giant step forward for the East Bay Public Bank project. Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, and Alameda County all contributed funds for the feasibility study.
The Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland (now renamed Public Bank East Bay) wrote a response to the feasibility study, which you can read here.
Creating a public bank — Gov. Phil Murphy’s campaign centerpiece — has been left on the back burner since his election. But a new report supports the argument that it could play a key role in achieving big public-policy goals. John Reitmeyer writes about it in NJ Spotlight:
“The New Jersey Citizen Action Education Fund’s report suggests that New Jersey may be a prime location for a public-bank revival, given the state has many needs that are not being fully met by commercial banking institutions. It cites gaps in small-business lending, retirement savings, infrastructure investment, affordable-housing financing and the availability of low-cost student loans as examples.”
The German Sparkasse, the public banking system that is the backbone of the German economy, will be providing the model and expertise for Greece to create a similar system of regional banks.
As reported in HellasJournal:
“The Economy and Development ministry, in an announcement said the two sides agreed to create a system of regional banks in Greece, including both cooperative banks and financial institutions that will result from the initiative of the country’s regions, with the German Sparkassen offering the necessary know-how.”
The latest episode of It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown addresses what we can do about the dominance of the financial industry over our lives.
“Wall Street Owns the Country”
So what are you going to do about it? Well, you could join with a growing number of your neighbors in supporting creation of regional and state-owned public banks. Nothing stands in the path of all-consuming usury like the presence of a publicly-owned alternative that doesn’t extract the life-blood from an economy. We discuss developments in CA and Los Angeles and get an update on Oakland’s process with a former US Treasury Policy Chief, Paul Pryde. Commentator Bob Bows offers his next book installment on how we can turn money into a public utility, and economist and author Mark Anielski discusses his new book An Economy of Well-Being: Common-sense tools for building wealth and happiness.
Charter Amendment B proposes “the most fundamental change to our economic system that Angelenos have ever had the opportunity to vote on,” says Harold Meyerson, executive editor of the American Prospect, in the LA Times. It’s a change Angelenos should embrace.
“No serious look at L.A.’s housing supply or its small-business climate would give anyone the impression that our existing mega-banks are interested in making the city great again. That will require a dedicated commitment to local investment. One clear way to help that happen is to vote “yes” on Measure B.”
As the corporate establishment rallies its media to push back the grassroots groundswell for public banking, Ellen Brown in Truthdig writes a powerful call to action to free ourselves from Wall Street:
“Wall Street owns the country. That was the opening line of a fiery speech that populist leader Mary Ellen Lease delivered around 1890. Franklin Roosevelt said it again in a letter to Colonel House in 1933, and Sen. Dick Durbin was still saying it in 2009. ‘The banks — hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created — are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill,’ Durbin said in an interview. ‘And they frankly own the place.’”
One of the tenacious organizers with Public Bank LA, Ben Hauck, passionately explains in Medium the imperative behind leaving Wall Street banks to create the revolutionary alternative system that stops banks from syphoning wealth away from our communities.
“Public banking will not only allow us to fully divest from Wall Street banks and their unethical investments, it will provide us with the power to create money through lending. Why do we allow Wall Street banks the near monopoly on money creation, when the power should be in the hands of the people? There is no justification for the stranglehold big banks have over our economies.”