Public Banking – “Banking in the Public Interest”

By Greg Wendt

An excellent article was just written called “Reviving Main Street – A Call for Public Banks” highlighting the opportunity states across America have to restore a healthy economy – simply by creating a state bank.

Surprisingly, North Dakota is the only state in the union which has created its own bank.

The article highlights work of thought leader Ellen Brown , and the Public Banking Institute which educates policymakers about the opportunities from the straightforward process of forming a state owned bank.

Her site shares that:

Public Banks are…

  • Viable solutions to the present economic crises in US states.
  • Potentially available to any-sized government or community able to meet the requirements for setting up a bank.
  • Owned by the people of a state or community.
  • Economically sustainable, because they operate transparently according to applicable banking regulations
  • Able to offset pressures for tax increases with returned credit income to the community.
  • Ready sources of affordable credit for local governments, eliminating the need for large “rainy day” funds.
  • Required to promote the public interest, as defined in their charters.
  • Constitutional, as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court

…and are not

  • Operated by politicians; rather, they are run by professional bankers.
  • Boondoggles for bank executives; rather, their employees are salaried public servants (paid by the state, with a transparent pay structure) who would likely not earn bonuses, commissions or fees for generating loans.
  • Speculative ventures that maximize profits in the short term,  without regard to the long-term interests of the public.

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