Video spotlight: SF Public Bank PSA

In this new spotlight section, catch up with new videos to share or ones you might have missed. The first one featured is a short Public Service Announcement-type video recently launched by San Francisco Public Bank. Check it out!

More coverage of SF’s recent steps toward a public bank appeared in the SF Weekly as Ida Mojadad writes:

“The resolution clarifies that it doesn’t  commit the city to specifics of a public bank. Still, it’s not often that the Board of Supervisors unanimously co-sponsors legislation and doing so for a publicly-owned bank sends a strong message that San Francisco is serious about the transformation.”

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Philly proceeds with a formal comprehensive study on creating a  Public Bank of Philadelphia

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Hall. Photo by Eric Froehling


It’s official! “The City of Philadelphia is seeking responses to this request for a proposal from consultants to conduct a feasibility study on the City of Philadelphia's ability to establish and operate a municipally owned bank.”

Mike Krauss of the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project says, “This is the result of the steady, careful work of the Philly public bank team (Facebook link) and our team of colleagues.”

SF Supervisors unanimously approve calling for Sacramento to allow a municipal bank in San Fran

SF Public Bank at City Hall

SF Public Bank at City Hall. Photo courtesy SF Public Bank


On Tuesday, Feb 5, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution by Sup. Sandra Lee Fewer that supports state legislation that would authorize local government bank charters. As reported by Tim Redmond in 48 Hills:

“The more cities get on board, the more pressure legislators will face to approve enabling legislation that would clear the way for a San Francisco public bank.

“And the overwhelming support in this city suggests strongly that this is an issue whose time has come.

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Bernard Lietaer, renowned money systems and community currency giant, passes away at 76

Bernard Lietaer, Gwendolyn Hallsmith

Bernard Lietaer, Gwendolyn Hallsmith


Bernard Lietaer, friend and guiding light to the public banking and community currency movements, passed away of colon cancer Feb 4. Lietaer’s close friend and colleague Gwendolyn Hallsmith from Vermonters for a New Economy, with whom he co-authored three books, wrote this recent tribute:

“Those of you who remember back to the days when Vermonters for a New Economy was called the Vermont Monetary Policy Advisory Group will remember Bernard Lietaer, arguably one of the fathers of our little organization. He came to Vermont several times, and spoke at more than one of our early meetings.

“He died this morning of colon cancer. A very sad day for me. He was a dear friend, a mentor, and we co-authored three books and workbooks together. One of them, Community Currency, was translated into 13 languages and used all over the world. Another one, Creating Wealth: Growing Local Economies with Local Currencies, was published in 2011 and gave me the impetus to start to think about how what I had learned writing the book could help us in Vermont.”

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State bank would help solve Alaska’s fiscal problems, prepare for crises

Naknek Lake, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Naknek Lake, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Photo by Paxson Woelber


Alaska lawmakers and advocates continue their work on legislation introduced last year to create the Alaska State Bank. Advocate Charles Duncan writes an excellent opinion piece in Anchorage Daily News challenging the customary assumptions of political leaders to explain how a publicly-owned state bank would give the state the solution for current budget problems and the expected crises to come:

“State income taxes are not the solution to our budgetary problem for the same reasons that cutting the Permanent Fund dividend is a bad idea. Income taxes and PFD cuts suppress the volume of money circulating in Alaska’s economy, do not address the root of our economic problem and do not prepare us for the next financial crisis.”

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Chicago Sun-Times endorses public bank advocate Ameya Pawar for city treasurer

Ameya Pawar, Sun Times endorsement

Chicago Sun-Times endorses Ameya Pawar for city treasurer. Photo courtesy the Sun-Times


Ameya Pawar, a strong advocate for creating a public bank for Chicago has been endorsed  for city treasurer by one of Chicago's two major newspapers, further evidence that the public banking alternative is becoming widely recognized.

The Sun-Times editorial board writes:

“Pawar talks of creating a public bank to support affordable housing, offer low-interest student loans and possibly do business with the marijuana industry. ... Reasonable people might have questions about all these ideas, but they’re fresh and worth exploring.

“We certainly support his overarching goal, which is to give working-class and middle-class Chicagoans more opportunities to prosper while securing strong returns for the city’s investments.”

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Ellen Brown talks public banking, UBI and more on Lee Camp’s Redacted Tonight

PBI Chair Ellen Brown talks with razor-sharp wit Lee Camp about how Germany’s national public development bank, KfW, and FDR's Reconstruction Finance Corporation funded massive infrastructure without taxing the people. They also discuss a universal basic income (UBI), Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), debt, and more.

[Watch the video]

New improved video: Public Banking Made Easy

The animated video we produced last year has been widely applauded and shared. However, the narration by a child’s voice turned out to be perhaps a step too far. We’ve made a new recording with a wonderful confidence-inspiring, conversational voice that we hope will encourage many more of you to share. Check it out and thank you for the feedback!

[Watch the video]

Connecticut legislators propose a new state bank

CT state capitol, Hartford

CT state capitol, Hartford


Connecticut legislators have moved forward with a flurry of legislation aimed at creating a public State Bank of Connecticut. Each co-chair of the banking committee has introduced separate legislation: Rep. Ezequiel Santiago’s version proposes a state-owned bank for community development. Sen. Alex Bergstein’s version proposes the bank be for transportation infrastructure funds and she’s introduced another bill to authorize a study on an expanded regional public bank to include New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

This significant advance follows a Public Banking Institute-led informational meeting that included several CT legislators.

Windy City candidates run on a city-owned Bank of Chicago

Chicago candidates Amara Enyia, Ameya Pawar

Chicago candidates Amara Enyia (Mayor), Ameya Pawar (Treasurer). Photo courtesy Chicago Magazine


Amid headline-grabbing scandals in the Windy City, public banking gets a high-profile article in Chicago Magazine, and a full exam by the watchdog group Better Government Association. Edward McClelland quips in Chicago: “Amara Enyia, who’s running for mayor, and Ameya Pawar, who’s running for city treasurer, want to make Chicago more like … North Dakota.

“One of America’s smallest, most conservative states may seem like a strange model for one of its biggest, most progressive cities. A hundred years ago, though, North Dakota was a pretty radical place. Its hard-pressed wheat farmers got tired of paying 12 percent interest to greedy bankers here in Chicago, so they voted to charter a state-run bank, which offered low-interest loans and sold foreclosed farms back to families who had lost them.”

The Chicago Mag profile describes the articulate, grounded ideas the two candidates are bringing forward. ...

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