CA bill advances to the floor of the Assembly

Jay Owen Reforming Global Finance, Community Development Solutions, Latest Headlines

The Public Banking Act AB 857 has been sent to the floor of the California Assembly for a full voteCalifornia’s Assembly Bill 857, now called the Public Banking Act, sponsored by the California Public Banking Alliance has made it through three committees, including the “notoriously difficult” Assembly Appropriations Committee. It is now up for a full vote on Assembly floor. Despite heavy opposition from Wall Street’s biggest banks, the bill advanced with “unprecedented” support from over 100 major cities, unions, and grassroots organizations. The Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, became the latest co-author to sign onto the bill, saying:“This measure is long overdue. We need to take the profit out of banking in order to invest in our communities that have been left behind by Wall Street. This approach to public banking allows our local governments to explore forming their own local or regional public banks.”Joint author Assemblymember Miguel Santiago tweeted, “No one works harder to fight Wall Street and pass the Public Banking Act than this incredible coalition. #AB857 #PublicBanksNow.”

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International News: Scotland’s new publicly-owned National Investment Bank expected to open next year
The Scottish National Investment Bank, introduced to the Scottish Parliament in February this year, will be a publicly owned “mission-oriented” bank. According to its website, the bank will be operational in 2020. Initial capitalization is £2 billion over ten years.

The fact sheet for the new bank describes the vision: 
“The Bank will be a cornerstone institution in Scotland’s financial landscape, there to help transform the economy, [and] … its culture, governance, and approach to businesses and individuals will define it as an ethical, inclusive and trusted institution, [holding] to the principles of equality; transparency; diversity; and inclusion.

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Ellen Brown on the BBC on funding the Green New Deal

On the BBC podcast In the Balance hosted by Ed Butler, PBI Chair Ellen Brown recently participated in a debate on whether funding the ambitious Green New Deal introduced by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could realistically be done. Ellen took the position that it could — without squeezing the taxpayers, shooting up the federal debt, or inflating prices — using local and federal public banks (including the Federal Reserve).

[listen to the podcast]

In the last two weeks, Ellen has also given two presentations in Zoom webinars covering the same topic, one for the New Economy Coalition and the other for the Economic Policy Institute’s EARN network. The EARN webinar was given jointly with former PBI chair Walt McRee. Slides for that presentation are available here.