A national network of public banks

Jay Owen Transforming Finance, Latest Headlines

“Ethical Markets advocates this shift to public banking!

~Hazel Henderson, Editor“


Video spotlight: Nationalizing the Fed  

Journalist Laura Flanders interviews Nomi Prins, author and former Goldman Sachs director, and Thomas Hanna, author and public ownership researcher, to ask, “If you were going to storm a central symbol of power and corruption today, where would you go and what would you do once you got there? Would it be the Fed?”

In their responses, excerpted in Truthout, Prins and Hanna describe how nationalizing the Fed as a public bank would enable our financial system to work for the real economy of Main Street.

Prins: The thing with the public bank.… It actually has been shown to adhere to the public good, the public demand to actual, real economic growth at the foundational level of our economy that allows people to have jobs, to move about, to be involved in research and development projects, and to build a stronger country. … If you look at something like North Dakota, which is the only state that has a public bank, … [t]hey’re able to effectively work their economy in a very positive manner.… The Federal Reserve, of course, doesn’t have that necessity. They talk about bailing out the private banks as somehow being good for the public, but they’re not giving the money or requiring that money go in any sort of extra meaningful way to the public. It’s not even true.

Hanna: Well, I think the Bank of North Dakota shows that it plays a role in the banking ecosystem in that state. The Bank of North Dakota essentially works with local banks, with credit unions, community banks. It backstops them. … I think we need to make structures, and integrated structures of public banks at different levels, integrated with local banks. Maybe if we, in the next crisis, took over one of the large Wall Street banks, that could support a network of regional public banks at the state level.

[read more] [watch the interview]

Young public bank advocate may upset 22-year incumbent in Seattle’s King County Council race

In a tightly contested race for Metropolitan King County Council, public bank advocate Girmay Zahilay is giving 22-year incumbent Larry Gossett the toughest election of his career. The Seattle Times reports that Zahilay “wants King County to create a public bank, pointing to a just-passed California law that lets cities and counties set up public banks to lend money at lower interest rates for things like affordable housing and infrastructure projects.”

Zahilay is an immigrant, product of South Seattle public housing, and an Ivy League-educated lawyer, and his campaign won 52% of the primary vote to Gossett’s 39%. Gossett has never gotten less than 80% of the vote in a general election.

[read the article]