Although Coloradans have been campaigning for public banks at the state and city levels since at least 2011, the movement has now taken off in full force. On January 31, the group Be the Change-USA sponsored a public banking conference with more than 120 attendees, moderated by Denver city officials and community bankers, and featuring speakers such as Ellen Brown, Mike Krauss, Gwen Hallsmith, and Nomi Prins.
Many people fear that secretive trade talks with corporate lobbyists may prohibit public rights to control common assets.Read more
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.
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
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
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
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.
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