SF Chronicle editorial agrees: San Fran should have a Public Bank

“Ethical Markets supports public banking and, for full disclosure, I serve on the Advisory Board of the Public Banking Institute.

~Hazel Henderson, Editor”


Public Banking Institute

Public Banking Institute News: May 10, 2018

San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Chronicle editorial agrees: San Francisco should have a Public Bank to leverage the power of its own money

San Francisco’s Municipal Bank Feasibility Task Force comes under pressure to provide a truly ethical and full-powered alternative — a Public Bank — in an article by Zac Townsend in the San Francisco Chronicle. He calls on the public to take a stand:

“There already are indications from presentations and conversations that the task force is backpedaling from a public bank structure and instead considering half measures, such as a revolving loan fund. Such a fund — instead of a public bank — wouldn’t begin to leverage the power of San Francisco’s public funds. It would just leave them at big banks. …

“San Francisco has an obligation to manage public funds to prioritize environmental responsibility, fair labor practices, and affordable housing, among other principles. …

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International News: Irish Public Banks on the horizon!

Ireland is well underway in its examination of Public Banking. The departments of Finance and Rural and Community Development have been working with Public Banking advocates Irish Rural Link and the international development wing of the Sparkassen German Public Banking group, Savings Bank Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC). The report is likely to be published in the coming weeks.

In Germany, Sparkassen are public bodies under municipal trusteeship. They make up the largest banking group and are the market leader in Germany. In an article in The Journal, Harald Felzen, European project manager for SPFIC explained:

“The salary agreements with Sparkassen staff are basically identically equal to the civil servant agreements. Bonuses for staff are not common practice.”

[read the full article]


Territorial Bank of American Samoa

The heartfelt story of American Samoa’s Public Bank success

The journey to eventual success for American Samoa’s new Public Bank was a long and painstaking one to which any Public Banking advocate can relate. Three and a half years of work brought about a triumph on Oct 3, 2016, when the Territorial Bank of American Samoa opened its doors for business. But the Federal Reserve put the bank in limbo for almost 2 years before they provided the new Public Bank a routing number allowing them access to the U.S payment system — a step that usually takes a couple of weeks according to a new article in the Washington Post.

American Samoa Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said in 2016:

“Today is a day our people will remember for a very, very long time, not because we dared to challenge the status quo or that we endeavored to find a banking solution for our people, our businesses and our economy, but more so because the leaders of our Territory have come together to find a common solution and an answer to the crippling challenges affecting the quality of life of the people of American Samoa.”

Now that TBAS is off and running, Washington Post’s Andrew Van Dam says the next one won’t be far behind:

After TBAS, it appears unlikely the United States will have to wait another century to get its next public bank. The post-recession anti-bank backlash continues, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and others have pushed for public banks to help revive marginal rural and urban areas.”

Last year, Rob Blackwell at American Banker covered in detail how American Samoa came to the Public Bank solution …

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