Breaking: Washington State introduces bill to create infrastructure state bank

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Just in: Washington State introduces a new bill to create a state bank for infrastructure

Long-standing public bank advocate WA State Senator Bob Hasegawa introduced a bill this week, SB 5949, that would create a public state investment trust and a commission to oversee it. A public hearing happening today, Feb 21, is considering Hasegawa’s proposed amendment that would allow municipalities and other political subdivisions to cooperatively own the trust.

This bill introduction follows a positive interim report issued in December by University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, which concluded that: “Improvements can be achieved by creating a state-chartered public cooperative bank.”

Stay tuned: more details to come on this developing story.


Chicago, Illinois

Underserved communities increasingly support public banking to rectify Wall Street abuses

People from all hues of the political spectrum are recognizing that having local transparent control over the creation of credit through a publicly-owned bank not only saves money, but also gives communities the keys to the most important engine running an economy. Advocates see that this engine could be directed effectively to serve those whom Wall Street has continually exploited. A new report by the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) calls for a public bank in Chicago to serve the people who live there, instead of the financial elite.

A related article by Saquib Bhatti, Co-Executive Director of ACRE, in In These Times explains:

“[Mayor Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel’s] version of turning Chicago into a ‘world-class city’ typically meant passing policies to attract wealthy, white professionals and big, multinational corporations to the city—at the expense of the city’s communities of color. … Chicago should be governed for the people who live here. … Establish a public bank and declare our independence from the big banks on Wall Street. A public bank could help Chicago and city agencies … save more than a billion dollars a year on financial fees and interest payments. …”

[read more]


Venezuelan flag

Ellen Brown: Is Venezuela being targeted for its public banking revolution?

Commentators speculate that oil is the underlying reason for the current coup attempt orchestrated against Venezuela by the Trump administration, but PBI Chair Ellen Brown adds another possible motive — an intent to kill Venezuela’s public banking revolution. Ellen writes in her latest Truthdig article:

“Rather than bailing out the culprits, as was done in the U.S., in 2009 the government nationalized seven Venezuelan banks, accounting for around 12 percent of the nation’s bank deposits. … Chávez’s government arrested at least 16 bankers and issued more than 40 corruption-related arrest warrants for others who had fled the country. By the end of March 2011, only 37 banks were left, down from 59 at the end of November 2009. State-owned institutions took a larger role, holding 35 percent of assets as of March 2011, while foreign institutions held just 13.2 percent of assets.

“Over the howls of the media, in 2010 Chávez took the bold step of passing legislation defining the banking industry as one of ‘public service.’

[read more]


Rampion offshore windfarm, United Kingdom

Latest It’s Our Money podcast talks with AOC / Green New Deal consultant Bob Hockett

In this week’s It’s Our Money podcast, PBI Chair Ellen Brown talks with renowned expert on monetary systems Bob Hockett. He has become a leading voice for the emerging Green New Deal in his advisory role for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Co-host Walt McRee describes the episode:

Affording the Future We Must Pursue

Time is running out for many of our stressed social, economic and environmental systems. We need to make big changes to address our biggest challenges quickly. But can we afford to fix issues like unsustainable debt, crumbling infrastructures, environmental deterioration and the political tyranny of special interests? In this edition, we feature a full-length conversation between Ellen and Professor Bob Hockett, a leading voice for the emerging Green New Deal and a consultant to the political players working it through Congress. Bob is a renowned expert on monetary systems and consultant for the Fed, IMF and other authorities. This is a far-ranging conversation not to be missed.

[listen to the podcast]


Video Spotlight

Government debt explained

Video spotlight: Government debt and money creation explained (in French)

In one of Ellen Brown’s favorite videos, some rough but clever animation is used to illustrate how all the money in circulation originally comes from loans from commercial banks. In French with English subtitles.


[watch the video]


Together, we can make 2019 the year public banks win!

Thank you again for your determination and support. Your financial support will help fund our 2019 Campaign for Public Banks to create the BIG PUSH we need now to get public banks established. You can sign on to support and contribute below.


**Thank you to everyone who’s working so hard to make Public Banks a reality! Please consider suggesting to your elected officials that they sign up for our PBI newsletter so that they can keep up to date.**



Public Banking Made Easy

New improved PBI video: Public Banking Made Easy

The animated video we produced last year has been widely applauded and shared. However, the narration by a child’s voice turned out to be perhaps a step too far. We’ve made a new recording with a wonderful confidence-inspiring, conversational voice that we hope will encourage many more of you to share. Check it out and thank you for the feedback!

[watch the video]


Coming Public Banking Events

Olympia, WA | Feb 21, 8:00am PT | Public hearing Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Economic Development & Trade
Capitol, 416 Sid Snyder Ave SW, Olympia, WA 98504. Hearing regarding SB 5949 – Establishing the Washington investment trust. Hearing is on the Proposed Substitute: Allows for cooperative ownership opportunity for municipalities and other political subdivisions with the approval of the governing council or commission  More info here.

Concord, NH | Feb 21, 10:30am; 2:00pm ET | NH Commerce Subcommittee Work Session; Executive Session
Legislative Office Building, Room 304; Room 302, 33 N State St, Concord, NH 03301. Subcommittee work session on HB 367 to create a state bank of New Hampshire in the morning, followed by an Executive session in the afternoon. More info here.

San Francisco, CA | Feb 28, 7:00 – 9:00pm PT | Progressive Democrats of America Forum on Public Banking
Park Branch of the San Francisco Public Library, 1833 Page St, San Francisco, CA 94117. More details to come.

San Jose, CA | Mar 9, 1:00 – 2:30pm PT | South Bay Public Banking Action Team Meeting
Law Office of Richard Hobbs, 1376 N 4th St, San Jose, California 95112. Hosted by the South Bay Progressive Alliance. This Action Team focuses on promoting and implementing public banking, community economics and sustainable fiscal policies for social and environmental justice. Facebook event here.

Please send us notice of Public Banking events in your area, and we’ll help spread the word!
Email [email protected]