Ellen Brown, author, attorney, speaker, activist

Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute and the author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles. She developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In the best-selling Web of Debt, she turned those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She showed how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back.

In The Public Bank Solution, the 2013 sequel, she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally.

Brown developed an interest in the developing world and its problems while living abroad for eleven years in Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. She returned to practicing law when she was asked to join the legal team of a Ellen-photo2popular Tijuana healer with an innovative cancer therapy, who was targeted by the chemotherapy industry in the 1990s. That experience produced her book Forbidden Medicine, which traces the suppression of natural health treatments to the same corrupting influences  that have captured the money system. She also co-authored the bestselling Nature’s Pharmacy, which has sold 285,000 copies.

Ellen ran for California State Treasurer in 2014 with the endorsement of the Green Party garnering a record number of votes for a Green Party candidate. Her blog and articles are at http://EllenBrown.com. The Public Banking Institute is at http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.


103 Responses

  1. The “join the debate” link at webofdebt.com does not work, at least with an Android phone.

    My suggestion for making banking work for all is general: let everyone decide important policies like thislike this via improved and national ballot initiatives. Make sure we all learn from experts like you (as in Oregon’s citizen initiative review) and may the best ideas win. Direct democracy is how we “gather the wisest sentiments,” as the Boston Town Meeting put it long ago: http://evanravitz.com/direct.htm

    I’ve been working on this since 1989, Guatemala being crucial in my political education. Here’s the illustrated story: http://spryeye.blogspot.com/2009/02/why-ive-devoted-20-years-to-better-and.html?m=1

  2. Ellen, I know that you have written on water issues before. I thought that you might find some documents that a number of us submitted to the State Water Resources Control Board on Friday of interest. The link to the document (and summary and press release) is available at the Sequoia Forest Keeper website,


    If you have any questions concerning the document and the arguments contained within, Ara Marderosian of Sequoia ForestKeeper and I would be happy to address them.


    Todd Shuman, Camarillo, CA 805.987.8203

  3. Read your article on the Pope and banking. Usurious Jews? I seem to remember reading about Christian nobles not liking the Jewish competition and eliminating them so they could charge higher rates.

    A little like the current situation. There are lots of very large , predatory banks. But the poster. child for banking greed always seems to be Goldman Sachs. Could it be the Jewy name? Just sayin’ . . .

    Barry Hoffman

    • What’s the point here? Is Goldman Sachs greedy because it has a Jewish name or even owned by a few Jews? We still can’t conclude on the basis of just a few banks owned by predominantly Jewish stockholders that all Jewish owned banks will be greedy.

      I know it is hard to leave behind some of these prejudices we have.

    • Dear Professor,
      Please don’t get too hung up on the “Jew” theme. Absolute power corrupts anybody absolutely. Yes, Rothschild was a German Jew and shrewdly corrupt (and it didn’t end there) but this entire world system of deceptive banking practice over the past 250 years now in every national economy (with the exception of Iran, Cuba & North Korea) has permeated every culture, ethnicity and society since then. Thanks for your comments and it IS just like the current situation.

      • to quote ” Rothschild was a German Jew and shrewdly corrupt (and it didn’t end there) but this entire world system of deceptive banking practice over the past 250 years now in every national economy (with the exception of Iran, Cuba & North Korea) so it is no surprise that the West considers these three nations THE E N E M Y!!!

  4. Will bail-in terms and conditions for savings and checking accounts also apply to
    cash held in retail brokerage accounts ?Is a cash balance in a brokerage investment
    account any more “secure” than cash in checking and savings accounts?

    • I have this same question. Ellen?

      • …and I thank you for your seconding the motion Judi .

    • I have a similar question. I’ve been moving excess cash from my Wells Fargo bank account to my USAA savings and loan bank account as a result of learning about bail-ins and the dangers of derivatives, CDO’s, hedge funds. The people I spoke to at USAA said that their bank did not deal in derivatives and CDO’s and did not have problems in 2007-8
      when Goldman-Sachs and other large banks TBTF collapsed. But they were more in sales than management, so, I’d like some independent confirmation that a savings and loan bank does not deal in those instruments, even indirectly.

  5. The bank problem does not lie with any particular person nor group of persons. It lies in the very structure of banking. It is banking that needs to be fixed, not people.

    • Hello Mr. Charles3000. We meet again, and again agree with your opinion. I like to add that the fix needed for the banking system is what Dr. Ellen Brown is advocating “Public Bank” Additionally I like to mention to the specific, that the majority of the banks employee are not guilty of any crime on the contrary the upper echelons are guilty of “greed” because somebody must came-up with those policies of distruction and distraction ( for a larger plan New World Order). Glad to converse with you.

      • Thank you, Ercole. Ellen’s public bank proposal is one of four serious proposals to fix our monetary system. And her approach is probably the most doable but it does require extensive legislative action. Only one requires no legislative action. The proposal to mint T$ coins would, over time, fix the system and laws are in place to enable that to be done. Obama rejected the idea. A third approach is described at http://www.realmoneyecon.org. The fourth is called MMT and it proposes policy using the present system to attain the best that can be attained from it. As such MMTers are essentially apologists for the central bank system.

        • MMT does not support everything that some central banks propagate. It is neutral on many issues. It just describes the fact that the central bank is a source of new money creation (fiat money) and how inflation and deflation can occur in such a system. It does not support bail-ins. It also argues that the Treaty of Maastricht is basically for a deflationary system that favors the wealthy nations of the Euro Zone–for the time being. It also denies that deficit spending is a major problem, as is also the case, not a problem of the so-called national debt. The major problems right now are private debt created by private banks and other shadow banking institutions. They do not have the controls that the national government has on money creation. Right now those controls are excessively constraining.

  6. Liked article on Pope Francis too.
    Larry Carney

  7. HI Ellen Brown: You’re probably already familiar with this but if you aren’t:

    History of the principal public banks; accompanied by extensive bibliographies of the history of banking and credit in eleven European countries, collected by J. G. van Dillen in his quality of secretary to the International committee for the study of the history of banking and credit.
    Corporate Author International Committee for the Study of the History of Banking and Credit.
    Published The Hague, M. Nijhoff, 1934.
    Location Call No. Status
    Main (Gardner) Stacks HG1551 .I6 AVAILABLE

    Description 2 p. ℓ., [vii]-xii, 480 p. 25 cm.
    Series Contributions to the history of banking
    Contributions to the history of banking.
    Note Contributions are in French, German, English and Italian.
    Bibliography Bibliography: p. [353]-480.
    Subject Banks and banking — History.
    Banks and banking — Bibliography.
    Added Author Dillen, J. G. van (Johannes Gerard), 1883-1969.
    Added Title Public banks, History of the principal.
    Direct Link http://oskicat.berkeley.edu/record=b15415505~S1

  8. I wrote an poem on banking and our money system and history of comerce and debt and gold and the falacy of paper money and the biblical spiritual /references to gold and silver as money, and I’d love to send it to you I think youd be quite interested in it. please respond either through email or you can call me if you want 970 57103 58

  9. Your philosophy on the money system and the medical system are remarkable there just like mine… I’d love to talk to you .. my brother died of cancer about 3 months ago and I wrote a poem on our money system .d I would love to have you read. my name is Nelson Brent Akron Colorado my number is 970 5710 358

  10. Michael, re your comment” “If we use the USD to illustrate this point, the dollar is more than a debt based currency. It actually supports debt-free trading. This is a fact, not a theory or a “sales technique”.

    This is an interesting aspect of fiat money that I do not think is much discussed in MMT.

    Does that mean that values in different currencies are pared on the basis of negotiation and the market ? There is no external criterion of value, like gold, another nation’s currency (e.g. the dollar for Argentinans).

    Perhaps MMT discusses this in connection with floating the dollar in monetary exchanges. It is how the United States avoids getting their dollars deflated by foreign speculators buying dollars. Nations who peg their currency to another currency or borrow from other nations in the foreign nation’s currency, can have serious problems with inflation.

  11. Hi Ellen, I just finished reading your book web of debt. I I had no idea how money was created before I read your book. Now, thanks to you, I find that it is basically created out of thin air. Unfortunately, The people that are creating it are basically crooks. Our national government needs to regain control of creating money ( without interest payments) and relegate “the banksters” to their more traditional duties as bookkeepers ( accepting deposits and making loans to businesses that produce something of value). Thanks for educating me. I am sending your book to my brother for his birthday! Donald Larson

  12. In the Jan. 6 interview with Greg Hunter, Ellen makes the comment, around the 21 minute mark, that the government, during the reconstruction era of the thirties, couldn’t get the Fed to finance or fund the Reconstruction Finance Corporation projects. My comment is this. If the Fed is dictated to by Congress, or the Treasury Dept., why could the U.S. govt. not get the Fed to co-operate in the RFC projects? My point is this. Too much energy/lip service is expended on the woes of a dysfunctional govt./fed., and how it is not serving “we the people”, and not enough focus is directed to exposing the ‘whos’ of this dysfunction. And besides, it isn’t dysfunction that is the dilemma, but crime perpetrated by supposedly elected govt. officials that take bribes from an illicit fed banking cabal to look the other way, take the bribe, and so “…woe is me, the Fed needs fixing.” As long as we allow these criminals to stay in place, breathe, and steal our productivity, they will never cease their criminality. Time for heads to roll, prison sentences, and executions. Quit talking about the malfunctioning government, and eliminate the criminals. How long will you tolerate a cancer in your body to rob your health? Hmmm? How long?

  13. Dear Alan,
    Excellent point! No congress or single administration will do anything to rock the apple cart anymore because over the past seventy years the wall street private banks and the European private central bankers were astute enough to parlay their profits into investing and buying up almost every profitable business venture to the point that they control almost every aspect of the private economies of the world., not only government economies as well. So how do we get rid of this evil cancerous disease? We start by passionately sharing what we know about the private “banksters” with everyone we know, individually and collectively until there’s a groundswell of revolt from a true grassroots effort by every single taxpayer. There will have to be such an outcry from the American voter that Congress and an Administration will have to take effective action. All of us need to become true “Monetary Reform Activists” By the way. I would suggest reading both of Ellen’s book on this topic, twice, because of the comprehensive information that she’s made available in “The Web of Debt” and “The Public Banking Solution”

    • I agree totally. Ellen’s public bank proposal is the most direct and pragmatic proposal on the table. There are, however, other good ideas out there and one I recommend everyone to familiarize themselves with is the “Chicago Plan on Steroids” described in http://www.realmoneyecon.org. It is definitely worth a read.

  14. Charles … Not sure if I would call it “most direct”. Personal monetization of bullion with no political entanglement would be far more direct , less complex and far more decentralized

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