Frequently Asked Questions
Benefits For Cities and Municipalities Of a Public Bank
Planning for a Public Bank
How safe are deposits in TBTF banks?
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The first thing you notice about Reading, Pennsylvania, the small city that lies an hour and a half north of Philadelphia, is its many parks and muscular civic buildings. Mount Penn anchors the east of the city with a steeply landscaped park and a historic district of graceful homes. The Blue Mountains rise in the distance.
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She was the founding vice president of the Rainbow Coalition, Founder of Philadelphia's first Black-owned bank, and considered "a trailblazer in African-American commerce," Emma C. Chappell may be the most historically prominent person in the contemporary public banking movement. Now she helps launch a new effort as a transitional adviser to Pennsylvania governor-elect Tom Wolf.
Chappell, the renowned pioneer of United Bank of Philadelphia and Board Advisor to the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project, has been selected to serve Governor-elect Wolf's transition review team focused on banking. She joins other statewide banking notables to assist the new Governor in addressing the status of the state banking industry and identifying opportunities for his new banking department management.
Working since 2013 with the Pennsylvania Project, a non-profit, non-partisan effort to create publicly-owned partnership banks across the state, Chappell has helped introduce state and local bankers and municipal leaders to the strengths of publicly-owned banks in addressing chronic funding shortages within municipalities. Public banks can provide new sources of funding for public objectives from existing community assets and sidestep the high costs of dealing with Wall Street banks,potentially saving hundreds of millions of dollars in public money while stimulating local businesses and expanding public services.
Chappell became the first female vice president of a major bank in Pennsylvania in 1977 at Continental Bank, and is featured on the web site "Black Entrepreneurs," which discusses her efforts to raise capital within the African-American community to finance United Bank in the 1990s.
Chappell has also taken several turns on the national political stage as treasurer of the Reverend Jesse Jackson's 1984 Presidential campaign and as founder of Operation PUSH, an organization dedicated to financial equity for minority groups.
Ms. Chappell is a life-long resident of Philadelphia, has received several honorary doctorate degrees and was named one of the area's 10 most influential African-Americans.
While 49 state treasuries were submerged in red ink after the 2008 financial crash, one state's bank outperformed all others and actually launched an economy-shifting new industry. So reports the Wall Street Journal this week, discussing the Bank of North Dakota (BND) and its striking success in the midst of a national financial collapse led by the major banks. Chester Dawson begins his November 16th article:
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Debt campaigners hold a protest against vulture fund attacks on Argentina outside the office of Elliott Advisors, the owners of the vulture fund NML Capital, on the eve of the Argentinian government appeal hearing in New York, February 26, 2013. (Photo: Jubilee Debt Campaign / Flickr)
If Argentina were in a high-stakes chess match, the country's actions this week would be the equivalent of flipping over all the pieces on the board.
– David Dayen, Fiscal Times, August 22, 2014
Argentina is playing hardball with the vulture funds, which have been trying to force it into an involuntary bankruptcy. The vultures are demanding what amounts to a 600% return on bonds bought for pennies on the dollar, defeating a 2005 settlement in which 92% of creditors agreed to accept a 70% haircut on their bonds. A US court has backed the vulture funds; but last week, Argentina sidestepped its jurisdiction by transferring the trustee for payment from Bank of New York Mellon to its own central bank
Tucson is one of the most impoverished cities in the country—for many reasons. The Arizona Legislature—driven by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and short-sighted, "small government" ideology—has routinely swept funds earmarked for counties and cities to "balance" the state's budget or fund pet projects like lower corporate taxes.
The idea of creating a public bank in Santa Fe is gaining traction.
The city is seeking someone qualified to study the feasibility of establishing a publicly owned bank that would help finance public projects, provide better returns on taxpayer investments and reduce the risk of public funds in existing financial markets.
Despite recent years of corrosive state politics, Wisconsin voters may soon create a new way forward by electing a public banking advocate as State Treasurer. Madison attorney David Leeper has made creating a state-owned public bank his centerpiece with an urgent sense of purpose. Ellen talks with him about his perspectives and later, on the Public Banking Report, with two prominent bankers and co-host Walt McRee about underlying bank dynamics that support the public bank option.
Listen to the entire show here.
"The following was independently produced and is posted for the purposes of information and the education of viewers of this site. It does not imply any endorsement of any candidate for public office."
Key benefits of public banking; state and county banks; common misconceptions; commercial, wholesale and investment banking; Public Banking Institute; Trans Pacific Partnership; Fast Track; Cyprus banking crisis; Dodd Frank; 2005 Bankruptcy Law; derivatives a threat to depositors; FDIC/BOE document.
Listen to interview with Marc Armstrong here.
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON WWW.NATIONOFCHANGE.ORG
The global network of banks, brokers, funds, dealers, servicers, and all the rest is a marvel of the 21st century—for better and frequently worse. In the aftermath of the worst financial crisis in a generation, there has never been a more important time to understand how the system works... and why it doesn't.
Checking the Banks is an easy-to-read primer on how a bank—and the banking system—works. Complex ideas, like bank capital, leverage, risk-weighting, and repo transactions are explained in clear, understandable language.
"This is a marvelous book! Well-written—even enjoyable to read—about local banking! Packed with important information, not only for the expert, but for anyone, activist or public official, Put it on top of your reading pile!"— Gar Alperovitz, author of What Then Must We Do?
"A clear, accessible, practical, grounded, and authoritative intro- duction to how banks account for their use of your money."— David Korten, author of Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth
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With Western capitalist economies struggling to address the growing inequity among citizen constituencies, talk of capitalism itself as an unfair distributor of wealth has taken center stage among economists, academics and politicians alike. Thomas Piketty's run-away best seller Capitalism in the Twenty First Century, as well as the international Occupy and public banking movements, all address the symptoms of the problem is multiple ways. One thing is certain, the discussion has been fully joined.
Among the voices of new thinking about economic models is the Pennsylvania Project's own Executive Director Frank Nuessle, who is Adjunct Faculty at the University of PA in the study of sustainability and organizational dynamics. In his recently published new paper, Frank addresses the need for new economic operating systems that draw on locally-focused resources and networks.
Here is his latest work: "Distributed Capitalism - A Scientific Validation for "Going Local"
Visit source page here.
To fund this and other public transportation initiatives (and a plethora of other public services), New Jersey could establish a public bank. Using money the state already has, a public infrastructure or development bank could issue bonds, support public-private initiatives, and lend to state and local entities at very low interest rates. In this way, a public bank could fund the entire endeavor–modernization, expansion, and greening of public rail transportation–without raising taxes or taking money from other state programs.
Local governments, however, could resort to tactics such as eminent domain if the federal government won't do anything.
Mayor Javier Gonzales wants to study the feasibility of creating a public bank in Santa Fe to grow the local economy by keeping taxpayer money in the city.
Gonzales, who talked about the idea on the campaign trail, organized a presentation Tuesday for city councilors and others to understand the basics of public banking, which leverages a government's assets to stimulate investment in the community. Examples of public banking include offering low-interest loans to local businesses or low-cost financing for public projects, such as housing and infrastructure.
On June 11, Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $67m to settle a suit charging the firm and others with colluding to drive down the price of takeovers.
For another firm, paying out tens of millions of dollars to resolve allegations of collusion might provoke an existential crisis. Not for Goldman. The firm did not admit to any wrongdoing and said in a statement: "We're pleased to put the matter behind us."
A system of regional publicly owned banks with a focus on lending to the SME sector could play an important role in restoring faith in the banking system and supporting economic growth, according to a leading expert.