#YesOnB: Why Los Angeles should start a public bank

Los Angeles skyline

Photo by Al Seib courtesy the LA Times


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.”

Meyerson highlights the value a public bank could bring:

“North Dakota, which since 1919 has had a state-owned bank that is used to make loans to businesses and farms.

No out-of-state loans, no crazy debt swaps, no bets on Tesla futures — just solid investments in North Dakota’s economy. As a result of its public bank, North Dakota has the highest lending per capita of any state. Just as important, the state bank turned a profit for every one of the past 14 years, a claim Wall Street’s giants can’t make.

“Public Bank LA also pointed to the example set by Germany, where more than 400 municipal savings banks, staffed by professionals but under the control of local governments, have significantly bolstered that nation’s economy. …

“Newness has been California’s stock in trade since its founding, and when accompanied by talent and judgment, innovation has produced many of the state’s signature enterprises.”

[Read the full article]

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