[Editorial Note: this post was originally posted Oct 17, 2011. This post today is a Repost with some minor editorial changes. Apologies, for just "phoning it in" this morning, but it seemed relevant.]
Money is Power.
What better way to take OUR Power back -- than to Take OUR Money Back!
Hit Wall Street Bankers, where it hurts them most -- in their Balance Sheets.
What do they do with OUR Money anyways -- beside bet it, over-leverage it, out-source it -- and just plain sit on it!
When America needs to put Small Business back to work; When America needs rebuild our infrastructure; When America needs generate more Public Revenue ... Wall Street Banks have proven themselves to be more of a Drain on these Needs, than an Public-assisting Asset.
Which leads to one obvious Question: Who Needs them?
Credit Unions are one very valid alternative to the Mega-Banks; They focus on building up local communities, and I recommend them wholeheartedly:
Don’t Just Move Your Money – "Occupy" the Credit Union, by Giles Goat Boy -- Oct 14, 2011
But there is another take-the-power-back alternative making the rounds in a State Legislature, near you -- that is the prospect of Public Banking. North Dakota, has done it, what is everyone else waiting for -- the Next Wall Street Meltdown?
Think "Public Option" -- but for YOUR Money, and you kind of get a sense of the people's yet untapped potential here ...
We CAN make our sweat equity -- work for us ...
The quiet back-water movement towards Public Banking, would if allowed to reach its naturally conclusion -- would do away with Mega-Banks middlemen -- and their stock-market profit-takers.
Think Insurance Junk Policy salesmen, who had to face a Public Option. The benefits to "health care consumers" in such a scenario would be immediate and it would be stunning.
Well, state-owned Public Banking puts hard-working "citizen consumers," back in that dividend-earning driver's seat. It put local small businesses back in the 'front row', when it comes to getting 'capital investments' to help their businesses grow.
California is the latest state to catch on to this powers-that-were-shifting potential:
What a Public Bank Could Mean for California
by Ellen Brown, Yes! Magazine, News Analysis -- TruthOut -- May 17, 2011
California joins eleven other states that have introduced bills to form state-owned banks or to study their feasibility. Eight of these bills were introduced just since January, including in Oregon, Washington State, Massachusetts, Arizona, Maryland, New Mexico, Maine and California. Illinois, Virginia, Hawaii and Louisiana introduced similar bills in 2010.
All of these bills were inspired by the Bank of North Dakota (BND), currently the nation’s only state owned bank. While other states are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, the state of North Dakota continues to report surpluses. On April 20, the BND reported profits for 2010 of $62 million, setting a record for the seventh straight year. The BND’s profits belong to the citizens and are produced without taxation.
The BND partners with local banks in providing much-needed credit for local businesses and homeowners. It also helps with state and local government funding. When North Dakota went over-budget a few years ago, according to the bank’s president Eric Hardmeyer, the BND acted as a rainy day fund for the state. And when a North Dakota town suffered a massive flood, the BND provided emergency credit lines to the city. Having a cheap and readily available credit line with the state’s own bank reduces the need for massive rainy-day funds (which are largely invested in out-of-state banks at very modest interest). [...]
This next coalition seems to be the tip of spear, of this fledgling Public Banking movement; I expect the Wall Street Titans will dump on them like a ton of bricks very soon. Just as soon as Luntz can figure out how to brand it as Socialism -- the redistribution of 1% lifeblood ...
Banking in the Public Interest
Public Banking Institute
State Activity, Resource and Contact Info
Forty-eight states currently have budget shortfalls. The common strategy being dictated in many of these states and in Washington is to call for budget cuts, eliminating important safety nets for the middle-class and those below the poverty line, as well as to repeal legislation guaranteeing collective bargain rights for unions. It’s as if the states and the federal government were corporations with no responsibility to their real stockholders, the citizens of the U.S.
However, 14 states have decided enough is enough; they have introduced legislation for publicly owned banks or derivations, or for studies or task forces to determine how a publicly owned bank would operate in their jurisdiction. Eight of these states have bills that were only recently submitted, in 2011. In one of the 14 states, Massachusetts, the commission is already in force.
[List and Links to the
1420 State Proposals.]
[ Updated Map of Public Banking initiatives: ]
The Public Banking Institute has taken great pains NOT to attack (ie. "compete with") Commercial Banks directly (as they spell out the "Partnership Banks" concept in the first half of this Advantages link.) ... They let the Mega-Banks keep their loot. [This is something that needs to change ... When's the next board meeting?]
The idea [NOW] behind Public Banking is someone needs to "fill the void" of so many state-oriented needs that those 1%-ers Mega-Banks couldn't give a damn about. Those local lending needs are very real, whether Wall Street notices them or not.
Here are some of those common-sense needs the various state Public Banking Resolutions, would be designed to fill:
Banking in the Public Interest
Public Banking Institute
Advantages -- [of Public Banking]
If modeled on the successful Bank of North Dakota, Partnership Banks in other states would:
-- Create new jobs and spur economic growth. Partnership Banks are participation lenders, meaning they partner—never compete—with local banks to drive lending through local banks to small businesses. If Washington State had a fully-operational Partnership Bank capitalized at $100 million during the Great Recession, it would have supported $2.6 billion in new lending and helped to create 8,212 new small business jobs. A proposed Oregon bank could help community banks expand lending by $1.3 billion and help small business create 5,391 new Oregon jobs in its first three to five years. All of this would be accomplished at a profit, which Partnership Banks should share with the state.
-- Generate new revenues for states directly, through annual bank dividend payments, and indirectly by creating jobs and spurring local economic growth. [...] based on BND’s 2009 dividend payment to North Dakota’s General Fund.
-- Lower debt costs for local governments. Like the Bank of North Dakota [BND], Partnership Banks can get access to low-cost funds from the regional Federal Home Loan Banks. The banks can pass savings on to local governments when they buy debt for infrastructure investments. [...]
-- Strengthen local banks even out credit cycles, and preserve real competition in local credit markets. There have been no bank failures in North Dakota during the financial crisis. BND’s charter is clear that its goal is to “be helpful to and to assist in the development of [North Dakota banks]... and not, in any manner, to destroy or to be harmful to existing financial institutions.” By purchasing local bank stock, partnering with them on large loans and providing other support, Partnership Banks would strengthen small banks in an era when federal policy encourages bank consolidation.
-- Build up small businesses. Surveys by the Main Street Alliance in Oregon and Washington show at least 75 percent support among small business owners. In markets increasingly dominated by large corporations and the banks that fund them, Partnership Banks would increase lending capabilities at the smaller banks that provide the majority of small business loans in America.
If Wall Street continues with its parasitic behavior towards the American People, refusing to acknowledge, and assist with our pressing human needs
-- well then the American People will have little recourse, but to redirect "our inherit power" -- our lifeblood -- to "more symbiotic" public-oriented Agencies and Services who will.
Our sheer survival, will ultimately demand it. Who needs Parasites, anyways? As their 'Hosts', we should be very glad to be rid of them, if that day ever comes.
Let the "Free Market" decide -- just give us the "Public Option" so that we emphatically say NO to the Wall Street-Banking's unending gambling greed.
Money is Power. It is long past time we started exercising it.
If Wall Street won't listen to us marching on the streets -- maybe they'll listen to the sound of all our Bank accounts closing, and their Ledgers unbalancing, eh?