Wall Street beware, the public banking movement is coming

Jay Owen Transforming Finance


Truthout: Wall Street beware, The public banking movement is coming for you

The public banking movement rallying across the country is growing stronger by the week. Truthout is the latest publication to call attention to its influence and the surge of demands for public control of the public’s banking system. Robert R. Raymond writes,

“Spurred by the need for an alternative to the for-profit, extractive model of finance exemplified by Wall Street, there is a budding movement in the United States that is working to reimagine banking as an institution that truly serves the public. … Growing largely out of the need for more democratic ownership over capital, the aim of this budding movement is to create a robust public banking infrastructure across the nation that is rooted in the principles of economic, environmental, racial and social justice.”

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Public banks and the Green New Deal featured in Fast Company

Fast Company magazine devotes a long read to public banking and how it has rapidly “gone from a fringe idea … to a viable policy route that cities from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., are considering.”

Writer Eillie Anzilotti turns to PBI Chair Ellen Brown to describe how public banking, including a national public bank, would be a necessary feature of a Green New Deal. Ellen explains:

“It would be very difficult to come up with the money for a Green New Deal without a public banking system. … We need to harness the power of the Federal Reserve to do something other than bail out big private banks.

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Redefining money

Money should be designed for the many not the few, argues Mary Mellor in her new book Money, Myths, Truths and Alternatives.

In an article in The Conversation, Mellor previews her book’s themes:

“The myths about money have led us to look at public spending and taxation the wrong way around. … It is no longer necessary to mint coins like Alexander, money can be created by keystrokes. There is no reason why this should be monopolized by the banking sector to create new public money as debt. … The answer must be to subject both forms of money creation – bank and state – to democratic accountability.

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Abell Foundation: Baltimore should study a public bank to improve financial equity

A new report issued this month by the Abell Foundation concludes that public banking is “a formula that has worked and can work … for Baltimore.”

Sean H. Vanatta, author of the study, is a visiting assistant professor at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. His in-depth report examines the current state of market failure and disinvestment in Baltimore by Wall Street banks, and illuminates the nationwide movement to “invigorate finance with public purpose,” highlighting PBI’s work.

Vanatta writes:

“Across the city, large commercial banks are closing branches, shutting down critical points of financial access for individuals and small businesses and contributing to ongoing patterns of financial exclusion in the city’s marginalized communities. Financialization has repackaged redlining. … In Baltimore, two banks, headquartered outside the state of Maryland, control half of the local banking market. … In Baltimore County, [post-2010] closings amounted to 25 percent of bank branches. The closings tended to occur in lower-income and non-white neighborhoods.”

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