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PBI Newsletter, Issue: # 013
May 30th, 2012
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Welcome to the PBI Newsletter, May Edition

Greetings!


On April 9th, about two and a half weeks before our recent inaugural Public Banking in America conference, Marc Armstrong, PBI’s Executive Director, spoke with Zane Grant  victoria_snap4 jpeg, whose 12-year old daughter, Victoria, had become a sensation in Canadian internet circles, with a video of her speech describing the corruption of her country’s monetary system.
In that conversation, Marc invited Zane and Victoria to attend our conference. Then, after meeting with Victoria, Marc offered her a time slot to make her presentation. Now, three weeks after a rousing response from those present, our video of her 6-minute speech has been viewed by over 1,300,000 people on our YouTube and Vimeo channels, as well as a number of other sites -- including Bill Still's "Still Report" -- to which it had been downloaded.  Congratulations Victoria! In this issue, our chairperson, Ellen Brown, examines Victoria’s points and one of the discussions generated by the video.

Without overanalyzing Victoria’s success, it’s worth noting that the case for public banking, when presented without frills or guile, comes across as plain as day. In addition to her presentation, there were a number of stirring and informative sessions at the conference. For those of you who were unable to make it to Philadelphia or watch the proceedings via the live stream, we are posting the presentations as we edit them to
our speakers’ page.

In addition to the videos, there were a number of excellent articles discussing the conference, including
one by Ellen Brown, one by our colleague and OpEd News editor, Josh Mitteldorf, and one by our NY state coordinator, Scott Baker.

On the legislative front, in April, Colorado became the 18th state to introduce legislation regarding a state-owned bank and the 1st state to do so by the initiative process. Yours truly shares his account in this issue.

Finally, as a follow up to our conference, look for some announcements this summer regarding a series of  symposiums across the country scheduled for this fall.
 

Robert Bows
robert.bows@publicbankinginstitute.org
PBI Newsletter Editor
Public Banking Institute
 

Out of the Mouths of Babes:  Video of Twelve-Year Old Money Reformer Tops a Million Hits


Ellen Brownback cover photo 4th ed 2010
Chairman and President

Public Banking Institute

The youtube video of 12 year old Victoria Grant speaking at the Public Banking in America conference last month has gone viral, topping a million hits on various websites. 
 
Monetary reform—the contention that governments, not banks, should create and lend a nation’s money—has rarely even made the news, so this is a first.  Either the times they are a-changin’, or Victoria managed to frame the message in a way that was so simple and clear that even a child could understand it.
 
Basically, her message was that banks create money “out of thin air” and lend it to people and governments at interest.  If governments borrowed from their own banks, they could keep the interest and save a lot of money for the taxpayers.
 
She said her own country of Canada actually did this, from 1939 to 1974.  During that time, the government’s debt was low and sustainable, and it funded all sorts of remarkable things.  Only when the government switched to borrowing privately did it acquire a crippling national debt.
 
Borrowing privately means selling bonds at market rates of interest (which in Canada quickly shot up to 22%), and the money for these bonds is ultimately created by private banks.  For the latter point, Victoria quoted Graham Towers, head of the Bank of Canada for the first twenty years of its history.  He said: 
 
Each and every time a bank makes a loan, new bank credit is created — new deposits — brand new money.  Broadly speaking, all new money comes out of a Bank in the form of loans.  As loans are debts, then under the present system all money is debt. 
 
Towers was asked, “Will you tell me why a government with power to create money, should give that power away to a private monopoly, and then borrow that which parliament can create itself, back at interest, to the point of national bankruptcy?”  He replied, “If Parliament wants to change the form of operating the banking system, then certainly that is within the power of Parliament.” 
 
 In other words, said Victoria, “If the Canadian government needs money, they can borrow it directly from the Bank of Canada. The people would then pay fair taxes to repay the Bank of Canada. This tax money would in turn get injected back into the economic infrastructure and the debt would be wiped out.  Canadians would again prosper with real money as the foundation of our economic structure and not debt money. Regarding the debt money owed to the private banks such as the Royal Bank, we would simply have the Bank of Canada print the money owing, hand it over to the private banks, and then clear the debt to the Bank of Canada.”
 
Problem solved; case closed.
 
But critics said, “Not so fast.”  Victoria might be charming, but she was naïve. 
 
One critic was William Watson, writing in the Canadian newspaper The National Post in an article titled “No, Victoria, There Is No Money Monster.”  Interestingly, he did not deny Victoria’s contention that “When you take out a mortgage, the bank creates the money by clicking on a key and generating ‘fake money out of thin air.’”  Watson acknowledged:
 
Well, yes, that’s true of any “fractional-reserve” banking system. Even before they were regulated, even before there was a Bank of Canada, banks understood they didn’t have to keep reserves equal to the total amount of money they’d lent out: They could count on most depositors most of the time not showing up to take out their money all at once. Which means, as any introduction to monetary economics will tell you, banks can indeed “create” money.
 
What he disputed was that the Canadian government’s monster debt was the result of paying high interest rates to banks.  Rather, he said:

We have a big public debt because, starting in the early 1970s and continuing for three full decades, our governments spent more on all sorts of things, including interest, than they collected in taxes. . . . The problem was the idea, still widely popular, from the Greek parliament to the streets of Montreal, that governments needn’t pay their bills.

That contention is countered, however, by the Canadian government’s own Auditor General (the nation's top accountant, who reviews the government’s books).  In 1993, the Auditor General noted in his annual report:

[The] cost of borrowing and its compounding effect have a significant impact on Canada's annual deficits. From Confederation up to 1991-92, the federal government accumulated a net debt of $423 billion. Of this, $37 billion represents the accumulated shortfall in meeting the cost of government programs since Confederation. The remainder, $386 billion, represents the amount the government has borrowed to service the debt created by previous annual shortfalls.

In other words, 91% of the debt consists of compounded interest charges.  Subtract those and the government would have a debt of only C$37 billion, very low and sustainable, just as it was before 1974. 

Mr. Watson’s final argument was that borrowing from the government’s own bank would be inflationary. He wrote:

Victoria’s solution is that instead of paying market rates the government should borrow directly from the Bank of Canada and pay only token rates of interest. Because the government owns the bank, the tax revenues it raises in order to pay that interest would then somehow be injected directly back into the economy. In other words, money literally printed to cover the government’s deficit would be put into circulation. But how is that not inflationary?

Let’s see.  The government can borrow money that ultimately comes from private banks, which admittedly create it out of thin air, and soak the taxpayers for a whopping interest bill; or it can borrow from its own bank, which also creates the money out of thin air, and avoid the interest.

Even a 12 year old can see how this argument is going to come out. 
_______________________________
 
Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.  In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back.  Her websites are http://WebofDebt.com and  http://EllenBrown.com.
 


 

Featured Article:  Who Should Create Money and Credit?


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Dr Shann Turnbull
Research Fellow
The 40 Foundation

Three options are considered in this essay as to who should create money and credit.  The options are: (i) governments, (ii) banks or (iii) individuals and/or firms who create value.

Today, governments define what is legal tender. However, governments create less than five percent of the money used in modern economies.  Banks create more than 95% of the deposits. Customers use bank created deposits as a source of funds to lend to the government by buying its bonds.

The government then taxes its citizens to pay interest on the bonds. This practice is indefensible. It should be the other way around. It should be the government that creates money and lends it to the banks. The government would not then need to tax its citizens and could earn interest from the money lent to the banks.

US Congressman Wright Patman sought to correct the situation by seeking to repeal the Federal Reserve Act as reported at http://www.michaeljournal.org/feddebunked.htm. He was unsuccessful during the 40 years he was a member of the US House of Representatives Committee on Banking and Currency.

If governments created all the money required in an economy in coins and notes there would be no sovereign debt problem. Governments like any body else cannot go broke if they do not borrow money. Governments could also create the money required for their expenses. To control inflation, governments would then need to tax back money not productively invested.

There are some bankers and treasury officials who deny that banks create money out of nothing. It can be a neglected or hidden topic in some economics courses. A customer borrowing money initiates bank credit creation. This can occur when a customer signs a credit card to pay a supplier for goods or services. The bank then makes a bookkeeping entry to create a deposit in the bank account of the supplier. 

Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith[1] wrote: “The process by which banks create money is so simple that the mind is repelled.  Where something so important is involved a deeper mystery seems only decent.”

When banks create money they keep their books balanced. They create both an asset and liability of equal value. The asset is the obligation by its customer to repay the bank for the value of the goods or services purchased. The liability of the bank is the value of the deposit created for the supplier.

Note that no money is transferred in the form of notes or coins. Instead two equal and opposite book entries are created.  The customer promises to pay the bank the value of the deposit created by the bank to pay the supplier.  The bank charges its customer transaction fees and interest on the credit created and may pay little or no interest on the deposit created.

It is by this means that banks make profits on their ability to create credit. Their profit margins would be squeezed if they could only lend notes and coins lent to them by the government. But the banking industry has proved to be too powerful. The US Congress has been incapable of making banks dependent on the government rather than the government being dependent on banks. Bankers have captured democratic interests.

The problem is global[2].  A former Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King[3] noted that: “Of all the many ways of organizing banking, the worst is the one we have today”

However, cell phone technology could disrupt the power relationship of the banking system[4].  This is because banks have become dependent upon their computer systems.  Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are also dependent upon computer systems that can make book entries just like banking computers. In addition Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) in cell phones can store units of value and become a purse. But besides storing value, cell phones can transmit and receive value directly through Bluetooth or other type of wireless connections. Cell phones are widely used in developing countries with few land lines and fewer banks to bypass the banking system.
Cell phone technology now exists for local communities to store, pay and receive various units of account. This provides a way for local communities to determine their own unit value to finance the production and exchange of goods and services. In other words, payments can be made and received in a local unit of value without involving the banking system. Traders and investors would create credit instead of either banks or government.

This is how the Australian economy financed trade in the 18th century before banks existed or precious metals were discovered locally.  A customer would write an “I Owe You” (IOU) to pay for loaf of bread and the baker would co-sign the IOU to pay suppliers. The IOU would circulate like a currency note collecting new co-signers to increase its creditability as paper money.

This would not work with digital money. So local credit creation would require someone to insure the integrity of what is accepted as money. Credit insurance would be required and this would require the payment of an insurance fee. In this way locally created money would carry a cost described as “demurrage”.

Cost carrying money was introduced by non-government organizations in Germany in the 1920’s and took off with the Great Depression in a number of European countries and spread to the US[5]. Cost carrying money competed with official money so successfully that the authorities banned it. However, it has now been re-introduced into Germany by Christian Gelleri[6].

History provides compelling evidence of how privately issued demurrage currencies can obtain the creditability and acceptance. They became highly competitive with what has become fiat funny money not anchored in anything real and established as a monopoly by governments to be legal tender. Cell phone technology now makes demurrage money not just practical but more convenient.

However, the demurrage money created last century, and currently in Germany, is based on legal tender that is not related to anything real, let alone the natural environment. This means that economic values and market forces used to allocate resources are in no way connected to the natural world. This can explain how and why climate change was described as  “The biggest market failure the World has ever seen”[7].

Since the dawn of history money was anchored in produce like grain, salt, tobacco, tea or precious metals. All commodities incurred costs from losses in quality, storage, and insurance. So cost-carrying/demurrage money has been the norm for thousands of years. However modern money is no longer anchored in any thing real so has no carrying cost.   This creates an unlevel playing field for investors. Money can become more attractive to hold that most other real assets that depreciate over time.

Compounding interest can make the rich richer while its owners make no contribution to society. This explains why the financial sector has grown out of proportion to real world activities it is suppose to service like agriculture, manufacturing, building and the supply and distribution of goods and non-financial services. Demurrage money reduces the size of the financial sector, wealth inequality, and inequities.

In considering who should create money and credit the basis of its creation needs also to be considered. The above discussion identified the need for any alternative currency to have a demurrage charge and be connected with the natural environment. There are many possibilities to consider for making a connection. The most promising is the retail value of renewable energy measured in Kilo-Watt-Hours (green kWh). Such a unit of value could provide investors confidence that long term contracts defined in green kWh would not diminish in value over time.  They might well increase their relative purchasing power to reverse inflation.

No central bank would be required to maintain the value of green money. Nor would the amount of money and credit be limited to the production of green kWh. Traders and investors would create as much credit as they could find insurance. Their invoices and contracts would be defined by reference to local green kWh. In this way relative prices would be defined by a local renewable service of nature. Resource allocation by market forces would then be firmly connected to the local environmental capacity to sustain society with renewable power.

As reported by Goherty & Zitoli[8] power consumption per person correlates closely for many countries with the United Nations Human Development index. By anchoring economic values in a renewable service of the local environment, market forces are created to distribute the footprint of humanity on the planet according to its carrying capacity. By defining economic values in terms of green money, renewable energy becomes more competitive with burning carbon[9]. This in turn reduces the need for carbon taxing and/or trading.

In reviewing the three options of who should create money and credit in society, the most counterproductive is the current system in which private banks are the dominant source. Credit creation by a non-politically controlled unit of government provides a more logical and efficient alternative that the current system. But of course it depends upon how it is established in practice. Any national authority that creates credit, like a central bank, could represent a specialized form of central planning.  This has not had a good press. It would deny regional differences in the demand for credit and money or recognize the carrying capacity of the natural environment.

There are ways in which decentralized banking could be introduced on a national basis. Decentralization creates resiliency and political independence. The idea of the volume of money and credit being determined on a local basis by those who create value has appeal. 
Green money could become a global unit of account but with a local unit of value. The need for establishing a local unit of value has been compelling argued by Jane Jacobs[10] in a way not considered by Mundell[11]. So while it might be appropriate for local merchants and investors to create money and credit there could also be need for some government oversight and/or involvement.  The Green Money Working Group[12], that includes the author, is currently considering the most appropriate arrangements.


[1] Galbraith, J.K. 1975, Money: Whence It Came, Where It Went, p. 18, Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
[2] Refer to Turnbull, S. 2010, “Mysteries of the financial system” available at http://www.ethicalmarkets.com/2009/04/19/mysteries-of-the-financial-system/
[3] King, M. (2010) ‘Banking: From Bagehot to Basel, and Back Again’, The Second Bagehot Lecture, Buttonwood Gathering, New York City, October 25, p. 18, available at http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/speeches/2010/speech455.pdf
[4] Turnbull, S. 2010, ‘How might cell phone money change the financial system?’ The Capco Institute Journal of Financial Transformation, 30:33-42, November, available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract_id=1602323. Refer also to how some bankers consider Google and Apple as a competitive threat. Reported by Hughes, D. 2012, ‘NAB replaces 40-year-old technology system’, Australian Financial Review, March 15, p.6, available at: http://afr.com/p/business/companies/nab_replaces_year_old_tech_system_z5jwxpRJEobl6VqgXJooML.
[5] Fisher, I. 1933, Stamp Scrip, Adelphi & Co. New York, available at: http://www.appropriate-economics.org/ebooks/fisher/contents.html.
[6] Gelleri, C. 2009, ‘Chiemgauer Regiomoney: Theory and practice of a local currency’, International Journal of Community Currency Research, vol 13, pp. 61-75, available at http://www.ijccr.net/IJCCR/2009_(13)_files/IJCCRvol13(2009)pp61-75Gelleri.pdf.
[7] Stern, N. 2006, The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review, Cabinet Office, HM Treasury, London, available at: http://www.sternreview.org.uk
[8] Gogerty, N. & Zitoli, J. 2011, ‘Deko: An Energy Backed Currency Proposal’, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1802166.
[9] Turnbull, S. 2010, ‘Money, Renewable Energy and Climate Change’, Financiële Studievereniging Rotterdam, (FSR Forum), 12:2, pp.1417, 19-22, 24, 25, 28-29, February, Erasmus University, Rotterdam. Working paper (2008) available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1304083.
[10] Jacobs, J. 1985, Cities and Wealth of Nations: Principles of Economic Life, Vintage Books: New York.
[11] Mundell, R.J., 1961, ‘A theory of optimal currency areas’, The American Economic Review, 51(4): 657-666 available at: http://www.sonoma.edu/users/e/eyler/426/mundell1.pdf.
[12] Details of the Green Money Working Group (GMWG) are posted at www.gmwg.org.

#     #     #
 
Dr Shann Turnbull is a Research Fellow of The 40 Foundation, e-mail sturnbull@mba1963.hbs.edu. This essay is based on his 2011 article: ‘Options for reforming the financial system’, The IUP Journal of Governance and Public Policy, 6(3): 7-34, available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1322210.


In This Issue
• Out of the Mouth of Babes: Video of Twelve-Year Old Money Reformer Tops a Million Hits
• Featured Article:  Who Should Create Money and Credit?
• Public Banking in the News (sidebar)
• CANARD ALERT (sidebar)
Dateline Colorado:  Bankers Mobilize to Delay State Bank (sidebar)
 

Upcoming Conference

istc_advert jpegThe current economic crisis has renewed interest in the need for global monetary reform. Only after the fundamental causes of systemic economic failures are eliminated will evolution towards a sustainable and socially just global economy become feasible.

Speakers include Ellen Brown, Hazel Henderson, Michael Hudson, Margrit Kennedy, and Shann Turnbull of the New Economics Foundation, one of the co-organizers of the conference (see his article below). 

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Take Public Banking into the Mainstream -- Join the Founders Circle

How often have you been offered the opportunity to become a founding member of a movement? The Founders Circle is the opportunity to bring public banking into mainstream America.  Join while you can!

Until we line up some grants and major donations, which are our priorities for this summer, we need your financial support.  We need to raise at least $15,000 to fund travel to at least 5 Symposiums this Fall (D.C., Vermont, Chicago, Seattle, and AZ).  We also need about $3,500 to finish the conference videos and to add slides.  Please donate now by joining the Founders Circle or by becoming a 2012 Sustaining Member.  Joining the Founders Circle is a one-time opportuntiy.  Thank you for considering providing PBI with your financial support!
 


Public Banking in the News

Oped News, "Pennsylvania: Broke, Unless You Count the $91 Billion," Mike Krauss, May 29, 2012

Market Oracle, "
The Disease is our Monetary System," Rudy Avizius, May 29, 2012

Salon, “
Cooperative Banking has Arrived,” Ellen Brown, May 24, 2012

Huffington Post, “
The Revolution Will Not Be Televised:  Quiet Drama in Philadelphia,” Ellen Brown, May 22, 2012
 
Huffington Post, “
The Rise of the New Economy Movement,” Gar Alperovitz, May 22, 2012

Huffington Post, “
Below the Fold:  Suicide, Satire, Plagiarism, and a 12-year-old girl,” Richard Zombeck, May 21, 2012
 
Toronto News, “
How a Speech on Banking by 12-year-old Victoria Grant Went Viral,” Leslie Scrivener, May 18, 2012

Forbes, “
The Victoria Grant Video: The Early Phase of a Viral Video Against Banking,” Haydn Shaughnessy, May 17, 2012
 
The Real News Network, “
Two Billion Dollar Tip of Banking Iceberg,” Paul Jay interview of Prof. Gerald Epstein/UMass Amherst, May 14, 2012
 
Oped News, “
Social Security Checks Garnished for Student Debt,” Ellen Brown, May 11, 2012
 
LA Review of Books, “
Dream of a Different World,”  Lea Aschkenas interview of Margaret Randall, May 10, 2012
 
NOW Magazine, “
Bank of Toronto?,” Paul Weinberg, May 9, 2012
 
Oped News, "
Economic Liberty from Philadelphia," Scott Baker, May 4, 2012
 
Minot Daily News, “
State Bank Might Not Fit All But Works for N.D.,” Jill Schramm, May 3, 2012

KBZK.com, “
Occupy Bozeman talks to public about alternatives to ‘big banks,’” April 29, 2012

Oped News, "
A Cure-all for the Financial Ills of our time?," Josh Mitteldorf, April 29, 2012


Euroasia Review, "Reforming The US Financial And Tax System – OpEd," Michael Hudson, November 23, 2011

CityBeat, “
Banking on a Big Change,” Eli Johnson, November 16, 2011

Huffington Post, “
The Lost Profession of Banking,” John Fullerton, September 29, 2011


 

 

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CANARD ALERT

If nations printed their own money instead of issuing bonds to pay their debts and/or fund programs, the results would be inflationary.

ca·nard. noun. A deliberately misleading fabrication.

Under the current system in the U.S., the federal government issues bonds to receive currency that it uses, in turn, to pay its debts and/or to fund programs. The results have been inflationary, with the nation’s legal tender (Federal Reserve Notes) worth pennies on the dollar relative to when they were first issued by the Federal Reserve in 1913.

incredible shrinking dollar jpeg

republicbroadcasting.org

This inflation is caused by the interest charged on the bonds, which is never created. Thus increasingly greater amounts of bonds must be issued, each with its corresponding interest, to pay the mounting interest on the debt. This geometric progression of debt is not only inflationary, but results in ever greater percentages of assets in the possession of the bondholders.

US Natl deb jpeg

If the federal government was able to issue debt free currency to pay for its debts and/or fund programs, and it did so in proportion to the value of the goods and services generated by its labor force, there would be no inflation and the value of, in this case, sovereign currency would be stable.

Robert Bows
PBI Newsletter Editor
Public Banking Institute


 
Dateline North Dakota:
 
Avg_Comm_bank_loan_to_asset_ratio jpeg


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Dateline Colorado:  Bankers Mobilize to Delay State Bank
 
Robert Bows
PBI Newsletter Editor
Public Banking Institute


In April, Colorado became the 18th state since 2010 in which legislation concerning public banking has been introduced, and the first state in which the initiative process is being used to accomplish this. 

Immediately, the Colorado Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers of Colorado petitioned the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado to block the two initiatives, which moved through the vetting process of the General Assembly’s legislative council and the Secretary of State’s title board.

These initiatives were drafted and filed by former members of the Main Street Partnership Bank stakeholders group, who judged the legislative process corrupted by the allegiance of both Democratic and Republican legislators to the private banking lobby, which has “persuaded” them to refrain from bringing bills that would have created a state bank and would have enabled cities, counties, and other political subdivisions to start their own banks, provided they meet minimum capitalization requirements.

The advantages of the initiative strategy became apparent when the banks were forced to come out of Denver’s “Capitol Hill” woodwork, where they lobby with impunity, and into the open, where they must bring legal action to defend their raids on public assets.

Ostensibly, in petitioning the state supreme court, the banks are revisiting minor procedural points that have already been rejected by the title board, while their underlying intent, obviously, is to delay and disrupt any and all attempts to bring about a public debate on their longstanding practices which have bankrupted cities, counties, and states, as well as the nation itself, while continuing to maintain the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression.

During this economic contraction, in which approximately $3 trillion was removed from our country’s money supply by banks refusing to maintain credit markets, Colorado has suffered like the rest of the states (except North Dakota), with growing joblessness, reduced services, and massive foreclosures.

Another former member of the Main Street Partnership Bank stakeholders group has brought forth a third initiative that would require lenders to prove their right to foreclose on property. The two bankers associations are, shamelessly, also petitioning the state supreme court to block this initiative.
 
You have to admire the chutzpah of the banks trying frame to the foreclosure debacle as fair. Essentially, the banks are trying to tell us that what they have done in MERS is legal (despite having forced a questionable settlement on the 50 states’ Attorneys General), while ignoring basic property law and potentially destroying the chain of title to 70 million mortgages.

In addition to drawing the bankers out from the protected cover of the halls of the state capitol and into the spotlight of judicial review, we’re looking forward, following what we expect to be a favorable verdicts, to bringing the initiative process forward and these issues to the attention of hundreds of thousands of Colorado voters, who eventually will have their votes accurately recorded and duly implemented.

 

 
MTA_tours jpeg

 

June 1-17: Move to Amend Barnstorming Tour in Texas and Arizona

 

Public banking is all about a democratic economy.  But with corporations having the same rights as people, a democratic economy will not be complete without amending the U.S. Constitution.  Move to Amend is barnstorming across the country, and is coming to a town near you! Catch a talk in your area, and learn how you can get involved in the campaign to end corporate personhood and demand real democracy!
 

 

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PBI may also be reached at:

 

Public Banking Institute

PO Box 2195

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More about the Public Banking Institute


The Public Banking Institute (PBI) was formed in January 2011 as an educational non-profit organization.  Its mission is to further the understanding, explore the possibilities, and facilitate the implementation of public banking at all levels -- local, regional, state, and national.  

PBI’s vision is to establish a distributed network of state and local publicly-owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system. This network will act in the public interest, using its counter-cyclical credit-generating capacity to stabilize potential credit crises, maintain the floor against threats of asset devaluations, build infrastructure, and fund expansion of critical industrial productive capacity.  Most important, public banking will create jobs, by partnering with local banks to fund local business, advancing credit for public infrastructure, and augmenting government revenues.

PBI’s mission includes analyzing U.S. and global financial events to facilitate public banking, sharing best practices and lessons learned from research and initiatives in the U.S. and globally, using PBI’s online resources, website, webinars, blog, and in-person conferences.  PBI’s activities include:

•Publication of research involving the U.S. private banking system, past and current;

•Evaluation of existing and historical public banking models, in the U.S. and abroad;

•Publication of research regarding the legal requirements, structure, and daily operations of existing and proposed public banking and financing systems;

•Publication of a semi-annual legislative guide and presentations to aide local public banking initiatives; and

•Organization of public forums that enable state and local public banking efforts.

_____________
For more information on how BND operates, and how it partners with community banks instead of competing with them:

•  “Public Banking in America” Legislative Guide, Spring 2011, pp. 17-23. Ed Sather and bankers from several states explore the North Dakota model. 

• Bank of North Dakota, banknd.nd.gov

• Public Banking Institute, 
publicbankinginstitute.org

 

March, 2011 Newsletter
April, 2011 Newsletter
May "Read the Bills (1 of 2)"
May "Read the Bills (2 of 2)"
May "The Fed Speaks" Special Edition
June, 2011 Newsletter
July, 2011 Newsletter
August, 2011 Newsletter
September, 2011, Newsletter
October, 2011, Newsletter
November, 2011, Newsletter
February, 2012, Special Edition
March, 2012, Newsletter

 
PO Box 2195 • Sonoma, CA  95476
Email: publicbanking@gmail.com




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