To fund a Green New Deal, “We need to set up public banks and democratize the Federal Reserve.”

San Francisco Federal Reserve

San Francisco Federal Reserve. Photo by Alex Bierwagen.


“The Green New Deal won’t get far if it’s left hostage to the whims of private finance,” Johanna Bozuwa and Thomas M. Hanna of Democracy Collaborative proclaim in the latest issue of Jacobin magazine. They continue, “Asserting public control over the financial system is … essential if we want to prevent catastrophic climate change.

Along with a large-scale expansion of public and cooperative banking, the authors say the Fed needs to be democratized:

“A truly publicly owned, transparent, and democratically accountable central bank would change that — and could become a powerful weapon in the fight against climate change. As Fed expert William Greider puts it, we need to ‘create a new public institution that truly understands that its obligation is to society, not money markets.’ Congressional action to reform the Fed could ‘harness the Fed’s money creation and lending powers to help finance major public objectives.’”

PBI Chair Ellen Brown notes in her latest Truthdig article that former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has been proposing a similar public bank-driven proposal for a Green New Deal in Europe for several years through the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25). In Varoufakis' proposal, “the European Investment Bank (EIB) issues [€500bn in] bonds [each year] with the European Central Bank standing by, ready to purchase as many of them as necessary in the secondary markets.”

Brown adds that, in the U.S., “A network of public banks, including a central bank operated as a public utility, could similarly fund a U.S. Green New Deal—without raising taxes, driving up the federal debt or inflating prices.”

[Read the full Jacobin article]

[Read the full Truthdig article]

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