This diary should be focused exclusively on public banking, which is incredibly important.

Here’s why (from the Public Banking Institute website):

With city and state-owned banks, we cut out Wall Street middlemen. Our community’s cash stays home to benefit us! Bank fees are eliminated, interest costs drop, and public bank profits are reinvested into our communities.

Public banks can help us create the communities we want. We want parks, good roads, safe bridges, clean energy, and housing we can afford. We want lower interest rates for local small business loans, local control of our tax dollars, investment in our local communities, and ethical and transparent financial institutions managing our public funds. Public banks can be the financial engine that makes this happen for our communities.


But, while focusing on a very serious subject, it’s also fun watching Rep. Ocasio-Cortez dish out a solid verbal thwacking to her stultifyingly uninformed colleagues:

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Back to why public banking is so important:

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Ellen Brown, writing for Yes!,  brings attention to the public banking movement across the country, and why we need them:

Why Public Banking Is Now Gaining Traction in the U.S.

MAR 17, 2021

Just over two months into the new year, 2021 has already seen a flurry of public banking activity. Sixteen new bills to form publicly owned banks or facilitate their formation were introduced in eight U.S. states in January and February. Two bills for a state-owned bank were introduced in New Mexico, two in Massachusetts, two in New York, one each in Oregon and Hawaii, and Washington state’s Public Bank Bill was reintroduced as a “substitution.” Bills for city-owned banks were introduced in Philadelphia and San Francisco, and bills facilitating the formation of public banks or for a feasibility study were introduced in New York, Oregon (three bills), and Hawaii.

In addition, California is expected to introduce a bill for a state-owned bank later this year, and New Jersey is moving forward with a strong commitment from its governor to implement one. At the federal level, three bills for public banking were also introduced last year: the National Infrastructure Bank Bill (HR 6422), a new Postal Banking Act (S 4614), and the Public Banking Act (HR 8721). (For details on all these bills, see the Public Banking Institute website here.)…

In a September 2020 study for ACRE called “Cancel Wall Street,” Saqib Bhatti and Brittany Alston showed that U.S. state and local governments collectively pay $160 billion annually just in interest in the bond market, which is controlled by big private banks. For comparative purposes, $160 billion would be enough to help 13 million families avoid eviction by covering their annual rent; and $134 billion could make up the revenue shortfall suffered by every city and town in the U.S. because of the pandemic.

Half the cost of infrastructure generally consists of financing, doubling its cost to municipal governments. Local governments are extremely good credit risks; yet private, bank-affiliated rating agencies give them a lower credit score (raising their rates) than private corporations, which are 63 times more likely to default. States are not allowed to go bankrupt, and that is also true for cities in about half the states. State and local governments have a tax base to pay their debts and are not going anywhere, unlike bankrupt corporations, which simply disappear and leave their creditors holding the bag…

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.

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