As the states’ credit crisis deepens, four states have initiated bills for state-owned banks, and candidates in seven states have now included that solution in their platforms.

Read more here –

22 Responses

  1. Good article, Ellen.

    • AlterNet placed this article and the concept of public banks in the number two spot of positive solutions on their list. Not sure what that means in the scheme of things, but it is good to see someone is taking this seriously. It will be interesting to see if PBS interviews any of the Florida politicians who are supporting the public banks in their Florida special. I just unearthed a very personal and scary video from Tampa of a cancer victim and his son at a fund raiser.

      They may not lose their health insurance but, can they afford the premiums? And what about the expenses that are not covered by health insurance? Can a public bank help solve some of these medical costs problems?

      On a happier note, I see Ellen is in good company next weekend at Santa Cruz. I will be in Florida but will keep an eye out for any media coverage.

      • Ellen
        After all, we do outnumber them.
        Can’t we get together on it?
        It has worked in the past.
        I never give up.
        Roberta Crawford Morency

  2. Ellen,

    I can see this could be a short-term solution, but do you view publicly-owned banks as a long-term solution, say 15 years down the road?

    • As long as our money is created as a debt by banks, public banks will serve our interests better than private banks will.

    • I believe it best to fix the underlying problem of debt-based money. But like Ellen says, until that system is replaced, publicly owned banks will better serve the interests of the public than privately owned banks.

  3. I and my friends have been considering establishing a community owned, nonprofit bank. We live in a small county with a population of about 20,000 people. By selling shares of stock for a penny, we can buy a share for every resident in the county for a mere $200. With the assistance of the County Commissioners and mayors of the incorporated towns, we can get the initial reserves by depositing the county tax revenue in the bank. We plan to charter the bank so the shareholder’s benefits are delivered by direct payments of profits into the county and local government accounts to provide and improve local government services.

    We hope to attract a fair proportion of the counties banking business by offering shareholders’ discounts on loans and mortgages, shareholders’ bonuses on deposits and advertizing that the profits from the bank will provide local government services at a moderated local tax rate.

    • Hi, you could be on the right track, but I don’t think you’re going to be able to make very many loans with an initial capital investment of $200. Assume an 8% capital requirement.

      • The capital would come when the county deposits its tax receipts and other operating capital and it could grow from there, don’t you think? As a nonprofit, couldn’t it impose an even higher capital requirement, which it might need because it is so small. Low interest rates would be the payoff for borrowers and stockholders. I see the problem coming from the county officials who would want to maximize interest income from deposited funds. They wouldn’t play ball..

  4. Hello Blogger,

    I have a question on your blog, but I didn’t find any email address or contact info hence I am leaving this message in your comment section.

    Please provide me your email address so that I can send the email to you.

    Thanks and Regards

    • Hi, you can write to the “contact us” link on the website. Ellen

      • The US needs to de-privatize the money supply, which would
        take a whopping two paragraphs of new law,to fix a simple
        loophole in the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 that Bernenke has sucked $2,000,000,000,000 through since Obama took office. The law in question is .

        • It solves half the problem – inflation. But as debts are paid off the money supply will shrink — unless congress does something to create more money. Congress surely has the power, but they would have to do it on a monthly basis to keep up with the repayment of debt, until all debts were repaid.

          The American Monetary Institute has prepared a bill for Congress that fully transfers the entire money creation and destruction power back to congress — and does so without causing serious money supply problems (too much or too little).

          Click to access amacolorpamphlet.pdf

  5. Hi Ellen,

    Great article.

    State-owned banks are a step in the right direction, but I fear that they won’t really solve the problem because it’s still a centralizaton of power. What will happen sooner or later is that the powers that be will corrupt the state-owned banks as well. Also, the wealth of the state can still be confiscated through inflation as long as they’re dealing in FRN’s.

    There are projects ongoing around the world right now to develop a completely decentralized monetary system. Instead of having a central bank, everybody becomes a bank. Each person can issue digital currency, backed by silver and gold and their history of unbroken promises to deliver that silver and gold on request. I know some people working on a system like this and I’ve been impressed by how workable they’ve made it.

    I think that will have to be the solution in the end. No transaction fees, no centralization of power. The ability to create credit restored to the people.

    It’ll become visible over the next few months.

  6. I hope that at least one of those other states (other than North Dakota) will create their own public bank.
    I doubt that the corporate banks will stand by and let it happen though. Well, we will see…
    I hope that at least some states succeed anyway.

  7. Correct me if I’m wrong, but tax dollars would be used as reserves to increase circulating currency through a fractional reserve system.
    And the reserves and currency will continue to be Federal Reserve Notes? I mean, we’re not talking about states issuing their own currency, right?
    I have other question, but better start with first things first.
    I’m mainly concerned about who determines the direction of the flow of credit/money… sovereign public entities, or private clubs. This public bank movement seems pointed in the right direction, although most effective development is regional and national in scope.

    • Yes, the State Banks would be creating and circulating Federal Reserve Notes (or their electronic equivalent).

      The idea behind a public bank is that the profict from creating money and lending it at interest is that the interest goes back to the public, rather than into private hands. Unfortunately, the system still leaves the door open for private banks to earn interest on money they created out of nothing, but at least the state and local government entities can borrow directly from the state bank, providing them with much less expensive loans, and the state banks can free up local banks to provide loans to individuals and small businesses.

      The system isn’t perfect, won’t solve world poverty, won’t completely solve unemployment, but should reduce the burden placed upon the people by the Federal Reserve System. And its odds of implementation are a lot higher than all the better solutions I’ve seen.

  8. ‘Jerry Brown strikes populist chord in California gubernatorial race’

    So says McClatchy :

    What is Jerry Brown’s position on The Bank Of California?

  9. Americans must abolish the PRIVATE federal reserve now,
    [not N.Dakota’s model either,as N.Dakota’s state banks are still attached to the corrupt,unconstitutional private federal reserve international bankster gangsters].
    you simply set up 50 different,but same [the only difference would be the name of the state on the note].
    paper silver notes for all of the 50 states from $1-$100 all backed by silver.. [Ohio state silver note..Iowa state silver note..California state silver note. etc,etc,
    all 50 different state notes would be accepted in all 50 states and abroad,
    making it extremely difficult for the international banksters to regain control of OUR currency/money ever again..
    there would be a 2.5% FLAT FEE to borrow money..PERIOD
    no more “debt” money.. PERIOD
    no more compounding interest..PERIOD
    a $200,000 house[or loan] would cost you $205,000 over 5,10, or 15 years. PERIOD.[a $100,000 loan would cost $102,500]
    no more monopoly money made from thin air on computers and presses by a private CORPORATION calling itself the “federal” reserve,when it’s not a part of OUR government in any way,shape,or form!
    we go back to honest,constitutional money backed by a hard asset..SILVER
    all the money paid back goes right back into each states banks to be used as needed to pay each states eliminate the middle man banksters that are destroying our country,
    at the same time you eliminate the federal income tax AND the ever so corrupt IRS..
    without paying any middleman banksters,the states would absolutely flourish economically,and would be able to pay for all social services including healthcare for the needy and then some..
    if the fed is not abolished,
    the banksters plan for world government will march onward until we the people of the world are miserable indentured slaves of the international banksters.
    ‘the new silver rule”[ to replace the old golden rule ]
    WE THE PEOPLE will control the silver
    and therefore
    WE THE PEOPLE will control the 50 states money,
    and therefore
    WE THE PEOPLE will control America!!!
    as stated in the constitution of the UNITED “STATES” OF AMERICA..
    the international banksters will be run out of town on a rail as well as the corporations they own that run the federal government!..

    • Though we agree that the not-so-federal Federal Reserve is not part of the federal government – and as such, it should not exercise governmental powers like creating money, we part ways on this business of silver.

      I actually like the idea of the states issuing their own currency – along with the federal government, but I don’t want any currency based upon a hard (or soft) asset. Money is not wealth. Treating it as such, like backing it with commodities or hard assets, will continue the “money is wealth” confusion brought on by the banking industry. Let money remain paper, or electronic blips to help people distinguish between money and real wealth. But in whatever form money exists, the power and profit that go with creating, issuing, and controlling it must be immediately returned to the the people.

      And thus, this whole thread and the article to which it is attached, deal with the possibility of using the existing banking system to free the individual states from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of International Settlements. Continuing the current system and having more states join North Dakota would help each of those states. In turn, the state government would help state-chartered banks in their own state, and eventually help their own residents. As I mentioned earlier, using the existing system may not be perfect, but it moves a large chunk of the money creation power and profits from private hands and into the hands of an elected government which must handle those profits in the best interests of the public.

    • I hope all are reading these articles, America needs to help itself its about the country (the people). International “banksters” are only here because “we” let them in. Now it’s time to say “thank you” and let them out.

      If we get back to God and country as our forefathers saw it, we will be able to grow, take back our country and be one strong nation “Under God” again.

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