THE PUBLIC OPTION IN BANKING: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE GERMAN MODEL

Publicly-owned banks were instrumental in funding Germany’s “economic miracle” after the devastation of World War II.  Although the German public banks have been targeted in the last decade for takedown by their private competitors, the model remains a viable alternative to the private profiteering being protested on Wall Street today. 

One of the demands voiced by protesters in the Occupy Wall Street movement is for a “public option” in banking.  What that means was explained by Dr. Michael Hudson, Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, in an interview by Paul Jay of the Real News Network on October 6:

[T]he demand isn’t simply to make a public bank but is to treat the banks generally as a public utility, just as you treat electric companies as a public utility. . . . Just as there was pressure for a public option in health care, there should be a public option in banking.  There should be a government bank that offers credit card rates without punitive 30% interest rates, without penalties, without raising the rate if you don’t pay your electric bill. This is how America got strong in the 19th and early 20th century, by essentially having public infrastructure, just like you’d have roads and bridges. . . . The idea of public infrastructure was to lower the cost of living and to lower the cost of doing business.

We don’t hear much about a public banking option in the United States, but a number of countries already have a resilient public banking sector.  A May 2010 article in The Economist noted that the strong and stable publicly-owned banks of India, China and Brazil helped those countries weather the banking crisis afflicting most of the world in the last few years. 

In the U.S., North Dakota is the only state to own its own bank.  It is also the only state that has sported a budget surplus every year since the 2008 credit crisis.  It has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the lowest default rate on loans.  It also has oil, but so do other states that are not doing so well.  Still, the media tend to attribute North Dakota’s success to its oil fields.  

However, there are other Western public banking models that are successful without oil booms.  Europe has a strong public banking sector; and leading it is Germany, with eleven regional public banks and thousands of municipally-owned savings banks.   Germany emerged from World War II with a collapsed economy that had degenerated into barter.  Today it is the largest and most robust economy in the Eurozone.  Manufacturing in Germany contributes 25% of GDP, more than twice that in the UK.  Despite the recession, Germany’s unemployment rate, at 6.8%, is the lowest in 20 years.  Underlying the economy’s strength is its Mittelstand—small to medium sized enterprises—supported by a strong regional banking system that is willing to lend to fund research and development. 

In 1999, public banks dominated German domestic lending, with private banks accounting for less than 20% of the market, compared to more than 40% in France, Spain, the Nordic countries, and Benelux.  Since then, Germany’s public banks have come under fire; but local observers say it is due to rivalry from private competitors rather than a sign of real weakness in the sector. 

As precedent for a public option in banking, then, the German model deserves a closer look.  

From the Ashes of Defeat to World Leader in Manufacturing

Germany emerged Phoenix-like from its disastrous defeat in two world wars to become Europe’s economic powerhouse in the second half of the 20th century.  In 1947, German industrial output was only one-third its 1938 level, and a large percentage of its working-age men were dead.  Less than ten years after the war, people were already talking about the German economic miracle; and twenty years later, its economy was the envy of most of the world.  By 2003, a country half the size of Texas had become the world’s leading exporter, producing high quality automobiles, machinery, electrical equipment, and chemicals.  Only in 2009 was Germany surpassed in exports by China, which has a population of over 1.3 billion to Germany’s 82 million.  In 2010, while much of the world was still reeling from the 2008 financial collapse, Germany reported 3.6% economic growth.

The country’s economic miracle has been attributed to a variety of factors, including debt forgiveness by the Allies, currency reform, the elimination of price controls, and the reduction of tax rates.  But while those factors freed the economy from its shackles, they don’t explain its phenomenal rise from a war-torn battlefield to world leader in manufacturing and trade. 

One overlooked key to the country’s economic dynamism is its strong public banking system, which focuses on serving the public interest rather than on maximizing private profits.  After the Second World War, it was the publicly-owned Landesbanks that helped family-run provincial companies get a foothold in world markets. As Peter Dorman describes the Landesbanks in a July 2011 blog:

They are publicly owned entities that rest on top of a pyramid of thousands of municipally owned savings banks. If you add in the specialized publicly owned real estate lenders, about half the total assets of the German banking system are in the public sector. (Another substantial chunk is in cooperative savings banks.) They are key tools of German industrial policy, specializing in loans to the Mittelstand, the small-to-medium size businesses that are at the core of that country’s export engine. Because of the landesbanken, small firms in Germany have as much access to capital as large firms; there are no economies of scale in finance. This also means that workers in the small business sector earn the same wages as those in big corporations, have the same skills and training, and are just as productive. [Emphasis added.] 

The Landesbanks function as “universal banks” operating in all sectors of the financial services market.  All are controlled by state governments and operate as central administrators for the municipally-owned savings banks, or Sparkassen, in their area. 

The Sparkassen were instituted in Germany in the late 18th century as nonprofit organizations to aid the poor. The intent was to help people with low incomes save small sums of money, and to support business start-ups. The first savings bank was set up by academics and philanthropically-minded merchants in Hamburg in 1778, and the first savings bank with a local government guarantor was founded in Goettingen in 1801.  The municipal savings banks were so effective and popular that they spread rapidly, increasing from 630 in 1850 to 2,834 in 1903.  Today the savings banks operate a network of over 15,600 branches and offices and employ over 250,000 people, and they have a strong record of investing wisely in local businesses.

Targeted for Privatization

The reputation and standing of the German public banks were challenged, however, when they emerged as competitors in international markets.  Peter Dorman writes:

[T]he EU doesn’t like the landesbanken. They denounce the explicit and implicit public subsidies that state ownership entails, saying they violate the rules of competition policy. For over a decade they have fought to have the system privatized. In the end, the dispute is simply ideological: if you think that public ownership should only be an exception, narrowly crafted to address specific market failures, you want to see the landesbanken put on the auction block. If you think an economy should be organized to meet socially defined needs, you would want a large part of capital allocation to be responsive to public input, and you’d fight to keep the landesbanken the way they are. (There is a movement afoot in the US to promote public banking.)

The vicissitudes of German banking in the last decade were traced in a July 2011 article by Ralph Niemeyer, editor-in-chief of EUchronicle, titled “Commission’s Dirty Task: WESTLB Devoured by Private Banks.”  He notes that after 1999, the major private banks left the path of sustainable traditional banking to gamble in collateralized debt obligations, credit default swaps, and derivatives.  Private German banks accumulated an estimated €600 billion in toxic assets through their investment banking branches, for which German taxpayers wound up providing guarantees.  Deutsche Bank AG was feeding its record profits almost exclusively through its investment banking division, which made a fortune trading credit default swaps on Greek state obligations.  When this investment turned sour, the German government had to bail out the financial institution into which Deutsche Bank AG dumped these toxic assets.

While the large private banks were betting on the casinos of the financial markets, lending to businesses and the “real” economy was left to the public Sparkassen, which were more efficient in serving average citizens and local business because they were not stock companies that had to satisfy shareholders’ hunger for ever-larger dividends.  Today the market share of private banks in Germany is only 28.4%, and Deutsche Bank AG dominates the segment.  But with its 7% market share, it is still well behind the public banks owned by municipalities and communities.

Neimeyer says the private banks wanted to break up the market dominance of the public banks to get a bigger piece of the pie themselves, and they used the European Commission to do it.  The Commission had been lobbied since the early 1990s by German private banks and by Deutsche Bank AG in particular to attack the German government over the country’s “inflexible” public banking sector.

The IMF, too, had long demanded that any competing public monopolies in the German banking market be broken up, citing their “inefficiencies.”  When the German public Sparkassen and Landesbanken were reluctant to turn to investment banking with its skyrocketing profits, they were branded as bureaucratic and “unsexy.”  When they were pressured to increase their returns for their government owners, the German Landesbanken did get sucked to some extent into derivatives and CDOs (fraudulently rated triple A).  But while they “lost billions in the Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers Ponzi scheme,” Niemeyer says the extent to which they became involved in highly speculative transactions was “laughable in comparison with the damage done by private banks, for whom taxpayers are now providing guarantees.”

It was the public banks and Sparkassen that supplied the real economy with liquidity, and that stepped in for the private banks when they withdrew to bet in the financial casino; but it was on the failings of the Landesbanken and Sparkassen that the media focused their attention.  The real motive, says Niemeyer, was that the large private banks wanted the public banks’ market share themselves:

In order to win back this important market share, it has become a prerogative to destroy public banking in Germany completely. This unpopular move could never come from the German government itself, so that’s why the [European] Commission is being employed for this dirty job.

The Price of Success

The German public banks were brought down by knocking their public legs out from under them.  Previously, they had enjoyed state guarantees that allowed them to acquire and lend funds at substantially better rates than private banks were able to do.  But in 2001, the European Commission ruled to strip the Landesbanks of their explicit state credit guarantees, forcing them to compete on the same terms as private banks.  And today the European Banking Authority is refusing to count the banks’ implicit state guarantees in their “stress tests” for banking solvency. 

The upshot is that the German public banks are being stripped of what has made them stable, secure, and able to lend at low interest rates: they have had the full faith and credit of the government and the public behind them.  By eliminating the profit motive, focusing on the public interest, and relying on government guarantees, the German public banks were able to turn bank credit into the sort of public utility described by Prof. Hudson. 

The example of Germany shows that even success is no guarantee in the face of a relentless onslaught of propaganda by large privately-owned banks interested only in making money for their CEOs, wealthiest clients and shareholders. But peering behind the propaganda, the public banking model that helped underwrite Germany’s economic success might be the fast track to a U.S. banking system that serves Main Street rather than Wall Street.

___________________________________________________________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute, http://PublicBankingInstitute.org. In Web of Debt, her latest of eleven books, she shows how a private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back. Her websites are http://webofdebt.com and http://ellenbrown.com.

 

23 Responses

  1. Interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. A solution to the jobs crisis,housing crisis and debt crisis and income tax crisis by taking back our right to life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    According to JIM LEHRER a lot of people who believe that the key to this (financial crisis) from the very beginning was not the financial system but the housing problem.JIM LEHRER said until that is fixed, can the rest be fixed?HENRY PAULSON:when you look at how long it’s taken for these excesses to build up and for these home prices to appreciate to suddenly say, “Maybe government could push some button and make it all go away and solve the problem.”(read can the government solve the problem?)
    HENRY PAULSON states that the heart of the problem is the housing correction and until the biggest part of the price decline in houses is behind us, we will have stresses in the financial markets and in the economy.” (excerpt from FOX interview.2009.)
    The government should step up to help the taxpayers and EVERY HOMEOWNER ;Fix the housing market ; jobs will be created; deficits will be reduced.But in order to fix the problem the banks have to get the loans to real value,something they can not do.Millions of loans need fixing and the amount of money needed is astronomical,Bank of America alone has 4 million of them.TARP and TALP were for more than $8 trillion dollars(You may have been led to believe it was just $1.3 trillion but read Senator Sanders blog ),but the banks used that as chump change from their own personal cookie gar.
    A Real Jaw Dropper at the Federal Reserve a blog by US SENATOR BERNIE SANDERS.The Fed was forced to divulge emergency loans that until now were totally kept from public to make our financial institutions more responsive to the needs of ordinary Americans and small businesses.

    The Fed said that this bailout was necessary to prevent the world economy from going over a cliff. But three years after the start of the recession, millions of Americans remain unemployed and have lost their homes, life savings and ability to send their kids to college. Meanwhile, big banks and corporations have returned to making huge profits and paying their executives record-breaking compensation packages as if the financial crisis (I read criminal fraud) they started never happened.
    What this disclosure tells us, among many other things, is that despite this huge taxpayer bailout, the Fed did not make the appropriate demands on these institutions necessary to rebuild our economy and protect the needs of ordinary Americans.
    The four largest banks in this country (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup) issue half of all mortgages in this country. We now know that these banks received hundreds of billions from the Fed. How many Americans could have remained in their homes, if the Fed required these bailed-out banks to reduce mortgage payments as a condition of receiving these secret loans?
    (My note;Who are among the five largest shareholders of the stock of THE FEDERAL RESERVE? Answer; JP MORGAN CHASE,CITIGROUP,BANK of AMERICA and Can you guess who else?)
    We have begun to lift the veil of secrecy at one of most important agencies in our government. What we are seeing is the incredible power of a small number of people who have incredible conflicts of interest getting incredible help from the taxpayers of this country while ignoring the needs of the people.
    What have we learned so far from the disclosure of more than 21,000 transactions? We have learned that the $700 billion Wall Street bailout signed into law by President George W. Bush turned out to be pocket change compared to the trillions and trillions of dollars in near-zero interest loans and other financial arrangements the Federal Reserve doled out to every major financial institution in this country. Among those are Goldman Sachs, which received nearly $600 billion; Morgan Stanley, which received nearly $2 trillion; Citigroup, which received $1.8 trillion; Bear Stearns, which received nearly $1 trillion, and Merrill Lynch, which received some $1.5 trillion in short-term loans from the Fed.
    Perhaps most surprising is the huge sum that went to bail out foreign private banks and corporations including two European megabanks — Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse — which were the largest beneficiaries of the Fed’s purchase of mortgage-backed securities.
    Deutsche Bank, a German lender, sold the Fed more than $290 billion worth of mortgage securities. Credit Suisse, a Swiss bank, sold the Fed more than $287 billion in mortgage bonds.”
    ADD IT UP:OVER $8 TRILLION (UPDATE to $13 trillion, why audit the Federal Reserve?)
    We can solve the problem.Money lent to the auto industry paid off;Jobs were created and GDP was increased,this was a real win/win.So where does that differ from the $8 trillions plus given to the banks?This money is not to be given to the foxes that are in the hen house.The banks have proven their greed and have proven to be untrustworthy.
    THE SOLUTION:THE FEDERAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA .Federal Bank USA will purchase ALL residential and commercial loans.The American people will be the lenders and no longer will they be the victims of greed.No longer will they allow the banks that they have entrusted with their money to use that money to make profits for themselves .Profits will be made by the people,of the people, for the people.Taxpayers bailout for Taxpayers by Taxpayers paying compounded interest to Taxpayers.These loans would provide trillions of dollars as TAXPAYER PROFIT! Bye-bye NATIONAL DEBT.The taxpayers will be the direct lender and make the profit (interest).
    As Einstein said,”Make it simple.”
    TERMINATE THE STUPID PRACTICE OF PAYING INTEREST ON OUR OWN MONEY TO PRIVATE BANKS.A PRACTICE THAT CAN ONLY END WITH A FINANCIAL BURST !
    State Banks are taxpayer owned and are for taxpayers to make and retain any profit.The Federal Reserve Bank as it stands now is a bank that is owned (shareholders) by other banks.This is the greatest banker fraud of all,and we know how Freddie and Fannie turned out.(We will get to them later).And because the Federal Reserve Bank is the bankers bank,they are using taxpayers dollars to HELP THEIR BANKS more than to help people.When the banks made federal guaranteed loans,the FEDS guaranteed the loans with taxpayer dollars.Now they are supplying the banks with almost free money,wouldn’t you if you were the major shareholder? Yes,that is exactly what we the people should do-become the owners of our money,the fruits of our labors.
    The next wave of stuff that will hit the fan may be the “CRISIS in the derivatives market” if you think stuff was “too big to fail” before,join me in sleepless nights knowing the derivatives market is more than $700 trillion ! ! That’s $700,000,000,000,000 !
    You have to read “North Dakota’s economic “miracle” blog by Ellen Brown State Bank of ND ROE to taxpayers was 19% this year.
    Could you imagine the profit (read income revenue) The Federal Bank of the United States of America would make? Taxpayers paying interest as revenue income for the government.Ben Franklin did it in Pennsylvania.
    EXCERPT FROM INTERNET Word of the lawsuits by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, came as a surprise to the market and weighed on bank shares. The lawsuits could add billions of dollars to the banks’ potential legal costs at perhaps the worst possible time for the industry.
    The FHFA plans to accuse major banks, including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, of selling bonds backed by mortgages that should have never been packaged into securities, said the sources, who are familiar with the matter. Neither source was authorized to speak on the record. A spokeswoman for the FHFA declined to comment.
    FHFA and various investors have alleged that banks, while packaging residential home loans into securities sold to investors, failed to conduct adequate due diligence, and hid or misstated the quality of the underlying loans and underwriting as well as borrowers’ ability to make payments.As more borrowers fell behind or went into foreclosure, the value of securities backed by their loans fell, causing losses for investors.Losses stemming from the precipitous deterioration in subprime and other mortgages pushed the government to take over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac on September 7, 2008. Since then, taxpayers have spent more than $140 billion to keep the firms afloat.
    Major banks already face potential payouts of tens of billions of dollars to settle regulatory charges of abusive mortgage lending and foreclosure practices, and other investor lawsuits over mortgage debt losses.
    THE “INVISIBLE HAND” can work a deal:
    The next set of banks that are to go into receivership by the FDIC are to have all assets that are not loans sold off.(read Audit the BAC. Bank of America to be thrown into receivership by the FDIC).FDIC will sell all assets ( minus loans) and then pay a fair amount per share for all shares outstanding thereby OWNING THE BANKS and all its branches.The renamed bank will be called “THE FEDERAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA”. It will be funded by the US TREASURY with all profits to be turned over to the US TREASURY as allowed by law.Just like that ,we the people may just have solved our financial crisis , housing crisis,debt crisis and started on to the path to greater prosperity.
    SOLUTION TO FINANCIAL,HOUSING, DEBT CRISIS AND CREATION OF MILLIONS OF JOBS IMMEDIATELY AT NO COST TO THE TAXPAYERS;RATHER AT A PROFIT (READ INCOME) TO THE TAXPAYERS.
    The FEDERAL BANK OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA would be the only legal tender provider for all residential and commercial real estate loans,private personal and business loans. American loans.Affordable loans at low rates and longer terms (read 2011 would be at 4% for 36 years as rates will be changed depending upon economic conditions).The Federal Bank of the United States of America will replace the Federal Reserve and will be mandated to preserve the quantity and quality of the US Dollar and to provide Congress with funding for the general welfare,life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    We the people will no longer pay interest for the use of our own money,or guarantee lenders that they will be paid interest on our money for making loans.
    We the people will create millions of jobs with commercial loans to business’ .Create millions of jobs with new home loans.Terms 4% for 36 years. TAXPAYERS paying interest for TAXPAYERS.
    Ben Franklin,Alexander Hamilton,Thomas Jefferson,and many more used this method to start the colonies on the road to financial success.The lenders took it away from the people by having legislators replace the practice allowing them to make the loans (make our money) and keep the interest for themselves.
    Lets use a start figure of $51 trillion in loans.It will be on the balance sheet as $51 trillion loan assets.This asset will double every 18 years….1 X 18 = 102 trillion,2 X 18 =204 trillion. Banks will no longer be allowed to do fractional banking .All loans will require 100% deposit backing..Banks may borrow from The Federal Bank of the United States of America and use that borrowed money as their own account for their own investing;at the prevailing rate and terms.NO MORE FREE RIDE !( Some say they may need over $200 trillion to unwind their derivatives.)
    Good-bye income taxes as they are known today.
    The Return on Investment could be $3 to $5 trillion a year.US TREASURY INCOME to be used to pay off debt,promote the gereral welfare .
    The new one line income tax could be 0-10-20.Annual income of up to $75,000,pays 0% taxes.Annual income up to $750,000 pays 10% taxes .Annual income over $750,000 up to $2,000,000 pays 20%
    ,and the last catagory;Annual income over $2,000,000 pays 25%.
    And as for Freddie and Fannie they will be spun off, sold via a new issue for $15 a share.They will be worth that because they will have a contract to SERVICE THE LOANS made by The Federal Bank of the United States of America , a contract worth trillions.
    PERHAPS,WE NEED A MILLION CITIZEN MARCH ON WASHINGTON ORGANIZED FOR JUNE 2012 .WE NEED TO CHANGE OUR ELECTED CHOICES!
    May God continue to bless America
    justaluckyfool

  3. Nice write-up. I’m very interested in which countries use public banking.

    • Yes, it is very interesting to see what countries use public banking and how they’re doing with it. Rising economic powerhouses China and India have public banking. In Europe not only Germany, but Belarus and Russia are doing great with about 50% public banking. Belarus shows how public banks can serve a healthy sovereign economy, as they do in Germany:
      (http://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2011/08/social-nationalism-the-political-thought-of-alexander-lukashenko-of-belarus/)

      “According to World Bank statistics updated in 2010, Belarus avoided the recession/depression that has the West in its grip. Belarussian banks, mostly owned by the state, outperformed all European banks in 2009. State-owned banks increased their capitalization by almost 20 percent as the Western taxpayer was forced to bail out the same banks that have condemned the Minsk government.

      From 2001–2008, the Belorussian economic growth average was almost 9 percent, which is roughly equal to that of China. As Western economies were contracting in 2010, the Belarussian economy grew about 6 percent, with a 10 percent increase in agricultural production and a 27 percent increase in exports. Real income, that is, inflation and cost of living adjusted income, grew by about 7 percent in 2010.

      According to the IMF, Belarussian unemployment was 0 percent in 1991, but rose to 4 percent in 1996 as Russian and Ukraine were liquidated from the inside. Under Lukashenko’s firm leadership in stopping privatization and arresting the bandits who tried to liquidate the economy, the IMF reports that unemployment went down to 1 percent in 2008. The United Nations says the same.

  4. Very interesting. That explains why Germany acts so confident in their position as an economic leader. They are not as vulnerable as countries limited to a private banking system. So far as I am aware Kucinich authored the only bill that attempts to address some of the problems of the US Federal Reserve system.

  5. […] #split {}#single {}#splitalign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#singlealign {margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}#splittitlebox {text-align: center;}#singletitlebox {text-align: center;}.linkboxtext {line-height: 1.4em;}.linkboxcontainer {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;background-color:#eeeeee;border-color:#000000;border-width:0px; border-style:solid;}.linkboxdisplay {padding: 7px 7px 7px 7px;}.linkboxdisplay td {text-align: center;}.linkboxdisplay a:link {text-decoration: none;}.linkboxdisplay a:hover {text-decoration: underline;} function opensingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = ''; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = 'none'; } function closesingledropdown() { document.getElementById('singletablelinks').style.display = 'none'; document.getElementById('singlemouse').style.display = ''; } News & Views – October 14, 2011Woodcreek, Granite Bay are tied for first in SFL soccerYellowstone Warming upThe Proper Care & Maintenance of Black MenTHE PUBLIC OPTION IN BANKING: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE GERMAN MODEL […]

  6. […] THE PUBLIC OPTION IN BANKING: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE GERMAN MODEL, check indias letest news, results, movies, songs, festival online now, (15/Oct/2011) October 15th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted in News Ellen Brown […]

  7. Ellen still does not seem to understand the difference between a monetary sovereign country and one that is not

    Germany being in the Euro is not so maybe they need to look at options like this.

    The US and UK are monetary sovereign so the Govt can spend using central bank reserves without restriction

    http://rodgermmitchell.wordpre

    The financial problems of Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain (The PIIGS), are due not to deficits and debt. They are due to these nations having surrendered the single most valuable asset any nation can own — their Monetary Sovereignty — thus preventing them from servicing their debt by creating money.

  8. justaluckyfool, on October 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm said:

    “A solution to the jobs crisis,housing crisis and debt crisis and income tax crisis by taking back our right to life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    Be careful with calling our current problem a debt crisis.

    We currently have and have always had a DEBT based money system

    Money is and has always been a financial ASSET. Financial assets MUST always be supported by a financial DEBT LIABILITY.

    Our current problems are due to

    – To little credit (money) for our consumption and retirement needs
    – To much NON GOVT DEBT

    We need MORE GOVT DEBT to solve the current problems. (from larger deficits generated by say a large tax cut or higher pensions etc).

    Govt debt liability = Non Govt FINANCIAL ASSETS
    Govt interest expense = Non Govt interest REVENUE

    http://rodgermmitchell.wordpress.com/2010/08/13/monetarily-sovereign-the-key-to-understanding-economics/

    Debt hawks do not (or do not wish to) understand the implications of Monetary Sovereignty. You never will see that term on such debt hawk web sites as The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget” or the Concord Coalition. If you go to those sites you will see federal debt described in the same terms as personal debt – as an unsustainable obligation. While debt can be unsustainable for you, me, businesses, states, cities, counties and the monetarily non-sovereign EU nations, no debt is unsustainable for the U.S. government.

    Debt hawks, and others ignorant of Monetary Sovereignty, suffer from Anthropomorphic economics disease — the false belief that federal finances are like yours and mine.

    The U.S. was not always Monetarily Sovereign. Prior to 1971, the U.S was on a gold standard.

    • I apologize,I do not yet have an educated basis in economics and surely may have used some terms incorrectly.
      What I mean by the term “debt crisis”
      IThe crisis we have produced by allowing the lender to earn interest on our own money and to withdraw that interest from us and keep it for their own personal use.If they were to make all the loans they could (read an infinite amount) they would own all the money by using that “most powerful force in the universe “(Einstein) know as compound interest.
      The Federal Reserve should be the maker of loans and use the charge for the general welfare,but there’s the rub;they are not the people’s banker,they are the lenders banker.That is the fraud,that is the crisis.
      I agree with what you say and would believe that the Us coudl have quadrillion in debt by using the fait and good credit of the American people with their personal and business assets to back them up.
      Could you imagine how much interest would be turned over to the US Treasury to be used for the general welfare? Perhaps ,maybe,an amount equal to what the 1% have taken out of the economy since 1913..

      Should I change the wording to “Interest on debt crisis” ?

      justaluckyfool

  9. 30 years ago Banks were required to lend money to the people and businesses in their communities. All understood the purpose of a bank – to be a conduit between savers and borrowers. Now, the only purpose of a bank is to make money for the bank stockholders. We were told that would lead to efficiencies that would benefit everybody.

  10. Some of this information is good and I appreciate the length and detail.

    I would take exception to making loans 100% backed by deposits, unless these deposits came from Treasury Credits. This would create a shortage of credit.

    Franklin, as you may have read, didn’t think the amount of money in circulation was important unless it was too little money and if all the money printed was backed by the wealth that Credit Issue created.

    What he meant was that productive credit maintains its value while casino betting investment creates profits only by taking away someone else’s. You may recall that he said: Postal Roads, Docks, Canals, Public Buildings and Private Homes, Agricultural Land Improvements, etc., support the value of a currency “as certainly as Gold or Silver”.

    In the NASA case of advanced research and development, it has repaid its budget expenses by more than 60 times. It has been the greatest investment ever made by the human race. Your logic might have caused you to agree to the NASA budget cuts.

    The people of the United States need about $15Trillion in low cost loans to restore their standard of living and move forward in time having a normal life. This money should be lent out to small business, medium businesses primarily because big businesses can get money from the deplorable big interstate banks which have brought us to ruin. Of course instead of simply “repairing” our infrastructure, we need to move it ahead 200 years immediately by making an unlimited amount of credit available to accomplish that task.

    The more money spent on Basic Research, modernizing infrastructure and making loans to the productive sector the higher our living standard will be. The reverse of this is: The more money we give to gamblers who control our present unproductive financial system the faster our living standard will decline.

  11. Interesting post!! I really like this site, and hope you will write more, thanks for your information.

  12. Dear Ellen,

    Thank you for your work on the matter of public banking. I only regret hat we don’t have 50 state banks! We have begun to discuss a state bank for Rhode Island. I have informally studied banking, economics and finance for many years, but, remain unsure as to the “multiplier effect” when put into practice here in our state.

    I realize it may be an oversimplification but, would you provide a range of the potential size of the loan pool made available when we set up a state bank here?

    Study has revealed a “constant balance” of state assets in bank accounts at $1.5B. Thus, the “reserve” for the state bank would be $1.5B

    In practice, how much would the state bank be able to loan on that amount of reserves? My research on reserve requirements has indicated a potential range of $1.1B to $6B. Can you offer some general clarification on this estimate?

    Thank you!

  13. Don’t know if you have seen this alternate, non govt monetary system idea http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2011/10/19/parallel-monetary-systems/

  14. […] THE PUBLIC OPTION IN BANKING: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE GERMAN MODEL « WEB OF DEBT BLOG. […]

  15. Not sure Germany has it right either. They are having to bail out most of Europe at the momentand surely there must come a time when theyy accept that they can’t do anymore and let companies go to the wall.

    • The are not bailing out the rest of Europe. The ECB is whne required

  16. Hi Ellen,
    Would like to know your take on Occupy Wall Street
    They’ve adopted some proposals that I’ve seen you advocate, like the Tobin tax.

    Did you read that the tax will benefit Soros, who is a position trader?
    Any thoughts on that and also in general how do you feel about OWS?

    Would be great to hear your take
    Lila

  17. […] webofdebt.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/the-public-option-in-banking-another-look-at-the-german-model/ Posted by Fullgoldcrown @ 11:24 pm :: Uncategorized Comment RSS :: Trackback URI […]

  18. […] Gelleri has managed to provide the Chiemgauer with a solid footing in the community. By engaging local charities, who have a clear incentive to work with the Chiemgauer because of the 3% they get when people buy it, he has created a strong network of organizations promoting his unit. He has also managed to enlist a local bank, the anthroposophical GLS bank. Germany has a relatively decentralized banking system, where ‘Landes Banken’ have close relations with small and medium sized businesses. This is one of the key factors behind Germany’s post war economic success. […]

  19. […] Gelleri has managed to provide the Chiemgauer with a solid footing in the community. By engaging local charities, who have a clear incentive to work with the Chiemgauer because of the 3% they get when people buy it, he has created a strong network of organizations promoting his unit. He has also managed to enlist a local bank, the anthroposophical GLS bank. Germany has a relatively decentralized banking system, where ‘Landes Banken’ have close relations with small and medium sized businesses. This is one of the key factors behind Germany’s post war economic success. […]

  20. Interesting look at the debt crisis. I think we all need to get informed on this, as the whole mess is in the hands of people we don’t know about, and who are not thinking about our best interests.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: