2018: The Year of the Public Bank!

Public Banking Institute

Public Banking Institute News: January 2, 2018


As the new year dawns, people around the country are waking up to the power of a Public Bank. Tireless work from PBI-affiliated grassroots Public Banking advocates around the country has brought this issue to the forefront at both state and city levels. Next City just described Public Banking as the #1 best urban trend of 2017, a trend we know will only magnify in 2018.

The Public Banking Institute has been featured in Nonprofit Quarterly as a key engine behind this growing national awareness. It notes, “as frustration with the financial services industry mounts, the public banking idea is gaining increasingly widespread support.”

Prepare for a year of intense action as we present legislatures with answers, expound on the many reasons for Public Banks, and organize strong public community support. We will be redoing our website, producing short sharable videos, and updating all social media channels. Be sure you are connected to our current new Facebook page, revamped Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo for all the work to come. We will need your support this year more than ever!



San Francisco Bank is a great idea, city budget analyst concludes

A new article in 48 Hills shines a light on the positive report issued in late November by the San Francisco Supervisors:

“‘A public bank would be better equipped to meet the city’s business needs and public policy goals,’ concludes the City’s budget and legislative analyst.

The idea is both well-established and profoundly radical. Today, San Francisco’s short-term deposits are in Bank of America, which holds about $130 million that’s used for payroll and other expenses. That giant North Carolina-based operation charges the city $780,000 a year in fees, the budget analyst reports.

Most of the city’s money – some $8.3 billion — is in fairly liquid investments, primarily US Treasury notes.

There is, in other words, plenty of cash to capitalize a municipal bank.”

[read the full article]


How do Public Banks work in Germany? Check out this video.

Public Banks make up 43 percent of banks in the economic powerhouse of Germany. If you add in local cooperative banks, a whopping 70 percent of banking in Germany is not-for-profit. Commercial banks such as Deutsche Bank account for a measly 12.5 percent of banking there.

So how do the Public Banks in Germany keep their economy humming? Check out the latest video about Sparkasse.

[watch video]



Ellen Brown: Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young

PBI Chair Ellen Brown delves into the mounting student debt crisis in her latest article series. Student debt has risen an astronomical 164 percent over the past 25 years, but median wages have gone up a mere 1.6 percent. She writes:

“Slavery by debt has continued to this day, and it is particularly evident in the plight of students. …

The availability of federally guaranteed loans allowed colleges and universities to raise their prices to whatever the market would bear. By the mid-1970s, tuition was rising much faster than inflation. But costs remained manageable until the late 1990s, when the federal student loan business was turned over to private banks and investors with aggressive collection practices, converting federally guaranteed student loans from a public service into a private investor boondoggle.”

[read the full article]