“ Congratulations from Ethical Markets, Senator Gillibrand!
Hazel Henderson, Editor”
Public Banking Institute News:
Bill introduced in Senate to create Post Office Banks
Postal retail banks would be immediately dramatically helpful to 34 million families in the country. Yesterday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation that would require every US post office to provide basic banking services. This is a service the Post Office offered until the 1950’s.
Having the ability to cash checks and obtain low-cost short term loans at the local post office would free millions of people from the clutches of the unscrupulous, predatory payday lenders to which people routinely pay triple digit fees to borrow money for bills that come due before their next paycheck. If you need a typical payday loan of $375, expect to pay an extra $520 in interest and fees, according to Pew Charitable Trusts. These outrageous charges throw working people into a never-ending quagmire of debt just to keep the lights on.
Nearly a quarter of American households — one in four — are either unbanked or underbanked and rely on payday loans or “alternative” lenders, and the situation overwhelmingly impacts people of color.
In an interview with Daniel Marans in HuffPost, Gillibrand said:
“This is a solution to take on payday lenders, to take on the problems that the unbanked have all across the country. It’s a solution whose time has come. … Literally the only person who is going to be against this is somebody who wants to protect payday lender profits.”
Fed researchers propose issuing Digital Federal Reserve Notes
Researchers at the St. Louis Federal Reserve reviewing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies say that a “Fedcoin” on the cryptocurrency model would not be feasible. What they recommend instead is that the Fed allow individuals to bank at the Fed in digital dollars, just as banks are allowed to do now. This ability would eliminate the risk of bank runs, since the Fed can’t run out of dollars, and would force private banks to raise the interest rates they pay on deposits if they want to keep their depositors. The Fed would be issuing digital dollars, expanding the supply of “legal tender” issued by the government. Currently legal tender is only 5% of the money supply (the 5% that is in paper dollars); the other 95% is issued privately by banks.
Now we just need to make the Fed truly “federal.” The Fed is actually our biggest “public” bank. The problem is — as we all know — it’s not really public. We need to nationalize the Fed, making it a true public utility!
From an article in CCN:
“In an effort to assign Bitcoin one of the above monetary categories, the researchers concluded that Bitcoin actually defied traditional categorization – it’s none of the above …
From the St Louis Fed report:
“We believe that there is a strong case for central bank money in electronic form […] central bank electronic money satisfies the population’s need for virtual money without facing counterparty risk.”
Ellen Brown: Fox in the Henhouse: Why Interest Rates Are Rising
PBI Chair Ellen Brown’s latest article in TruthDig tackles the Fed’s current penchant for raising its benchmark interest rate — and the disastrous effects it’s already having. Ellen says the Fed’s reasons don’t pass the smell test. Instead, it’s another case of follow the money: Who benefits from increasing interest rates? Good guess … the banking sector (and, naturally, the Fed’s seven member Board of Governors).
“Wall Street calls the shots, and Wall Street stands to make a bundle off rising interest rates. … The Federal Reserve calls itself independent, but it is independent only of government. It marches to the drums of the banks that are its private owners. To prevent another Great Recession or Great Depression, Congress needs to amend the Federal Reserve Act, nationalize the Fed and turn it into a public utility, one that is responsive to the needs of the public and the economy.”
Public Bank rally held with coalition of 14 organizations calling for San Francisco Public Bank
On the day of Bank of America’s shareholder meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina, an alliance of 14 organizations including Public Bank SF, Divest SF, Friends of Public Bank of Oakland, Mazaska Talks, California Nurses Association, Code Pink, SEIU and more rallied at a Bank of America financial center in San Francisco and marched to City Hall to call on the SF Municipal Task Force to create a fully functioning Public Bank within the next five years.
From the group’s press release:
[see more photos and video]
“Our organizations represent San Franciscans who want a greener, more LGBTQ friendly, anti-racist, decarcerated, pro-indigenous, and more affordable city. … The organizations cosponsoring today’s protest are concerned that public bank task force members may follow Santa Fe and Los Angeles officials in using exorbitant start-up and operational costs of a public bank as an excuse to continue the city’s relationship with Bank of America and other Big Banks. … [Startup costs] would pay off in the long-run as a public bank can provide lower interest rates than the ones offered by Wall Street banks for public infrastructure projects …”
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