Why California residents want public banks

Occupy Oakland encampment

Photo by Paul Sakuma courtesy NextCity


The coalition of California cities now working toward establishing locally-accountable, ethical, publicly-owned banks demonstrates that many people did learn fundamental lessons from the most recent financial crisis. Zoe Sullivan writes in NextCity:

“People came together after Ferguson to think about what we could do to take our money out of this system and keep it in our communities,” says YaVette Holts, [founder and executive director of the Bay Area Organization of Black-Owned Businesses, known as BAOBOB]. … When she learned about the public bank initiative, Holts says it was clearly a natural fit.”

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Wikipedia definition revised and fully updated

Wikipedia Public Bank


Commissioned by the Public Banking Institute, Matt Stannard has substantially revised and augmented the Wikipedia entry for public banks to make it complete, thorough, and up to date. The editors required that he add to what existed, rather than writing an entirely new entry, but you can refer to it now with greater confidence. Check it out for yourself here

Pennsylvania on the move toward public banking goals

PA Public Bank Project

PA Public Bank Project


The hard work for public banks in Pennsylvania is paying off at both state and city levels. The Pennsylvania Public Bank Project sends this report:

“Football fans will understand: time to move the ball to our public banking goal posts in Pennsylvania.

In Philadelphia, our team confirms that the city has set aside funds for a Feasibility Study. This follows an independent research study earlier this year led by Councilman Derek Green.

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Making the case for a national public option

Payday loans

Photo by Tony Webster


Meagan Day in Jacobin makes a case for a state-owned bank, echoing two economic professors, Thomas Herndon and Mark Paul, who call for a national public banking option in Project Syndicate. Both articles are full of important historical perspectives and current statistics.

Day writes:

There are nearly twice as many payday lenders as there are McDonald’s locations in the United States. …”

Herndon and Paul, who wrote a recent Roosevelt Institute report, write:

“[T]he federal government should create a public bank to offer basic financial services to households, including deposit and transaction services, small loans, automobile financing, and mortgages. To ensure banking access in every ZIP code, the new public bank could form a partnership with the USPS, which already maintains office branches across the country. And because 59% of post office branches are located in ZIP codes with one or no bank branches, this would go a long way toward addressing the impact of bank branch closures.”

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#YesOnB update — all hands on deck! How to get involved in the LA revolution

Textbank for PBLA


To succeed on November 6th when Charter Amendment B for public banking will be on the ballot, Los Angeles is building a broad-based, people-powered movement. Wherever you are in the country, you can help: You can sign the Charter Amendment B endorsement form and share it with your friends, especially those in the LA area.

There’s also a need for Political Outreach, Community Outreach, Field Operations support, and Events and Media support.

You can host a text banking party for #YesOnB —> click here.

For other ways to get involved, contact Public Bank LA here.


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Matt Taibbi: Ten years after the crash, we’ve learned nothing

New York Stock Exchange

New York Stock Exchange, Wall Street. Photo by Aditya Vyas


The inimitable Matt Taibbi pens a searing recap of the financial industry’s Ponzi scheme in Rolling Stone: “This wasn’t weather coming at them, but the consequences of years of untrammeled criminal fraud.

“Banks like Lehman had lent billions to fly-by-night mortgage mills like Countrywide and New Century. Those firms in turn sent hordes of loan hustlers into lower-income neighborhoods offering magical deals to anyone who could “fog a mirror,” as former Countrywide executive Michael Winston once put it to me. The targets were frequently minorities and the elderly.”

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Public banks are needed to stop the next financial crisis

BofA foreclosed

Photo by scad_lo courtesy Common Dreams


Public banks will be critical to navigate the next financial crisis. Thomas Hanna explains why in Common Dreams:

“There will be another financial crisis. That much is certain. …When the next crisis hits, the public will once again be called upon to step in and bail out Wall Street. We need to start seriously preparing an alternative response.

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Ellen Brown part of a panel discussion at Bioneers

Bioneers Ellen Brown


PBI Chair Ellen Brown will be presenting at Bioneers 2018 in San Rafael, CA on Saturday Oct 20 along with panelists Gar Alperovitz, Kali Akuno, and Niki Okuk. They join thought leaders and changemakers to discuss pathways forward, toward a more equitable, hopeful future.

For an exclusive discount to attend, just register at this link.

BREAKING: Oakland Finance Committee unanimously recommends the public bank feasibility study be moved forward to the full City Council

City of Oakland Finance Committee

City of Oakland Finance Committee


The City of Oakland's Finance Committee accepted the Public Bank Feasibility Study and staff report, and recommended placing it on the full City Council's agenda so that all Councilors may have an opportunity to discuss the report and options. 

Watch as banking experts, elected officials, and advocates alike give overwhelming support for Oakland’s public bank: VIDEO (note: link takes a bit of time to load).

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Four new articles endorse a public bank for LA #YesOnB

Los Angeles

Photo courtesy Public Bank LA


Los Angeles’ ballot initiative for public banking continues to generate many excellent articles about public banking. Their cogent arguments apply to public banking in general, but as Phoenix Goodman writes in the LA Progressive, “Rarely does the constituency of a city have such profound weight of power in their hands to alter the history of the world.” Read the articles below:

Cory Doctorow in Boing Boing:

“The City of Los Angeles sends the nation-wrecking finance industry more than $100MM/year in the form of fees and penalties for its banking business, supporting the institutions whose racist lending practices, financial engineering and mortgage fraud have wreaked untold harm on the city's residents.”

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