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 (2007, 2012), she turned those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust,” showing 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 (2013) she traces the evolution of two banking models that have competed historically, public and private; and explores contemporary public banking systems globally. She has presented these ideas at scores of conferences in the US and abroad, including in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia, Malaysia, Mexico and Venezuela.

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 330+ blog articles are at http://EllenBrown.com. The Public Banking Institute is at http://PublicBankingInstitute.org. She can be heard biweekly on “It’s Our Money with Ellen Brown” on PRN.FM.


190 Responses

  1. I hear a lot of talk about public banks on a city or state level. How about creating a national public bank? Is there a movement for such an entity?

    • Yes, there are conversations about a national bank. We have a precedence for one; the RFC that was used extensively in the ’40s. China currently has four national banks and they are the spark plugs for China’s economic success.

    • Mr Z, there’s no talk that I’ve heard, but there should be. It would replace the Federal Reserve and be wholly inside the Dept of the Treasury. This approach also happens to be the only way we can ever get out from under our national debt. It would be a long term (50-70 years?) process, but the Fed and our existing banking system should slowly morph to a financial system that serves our commercial needs only. There’s no reason we (taxpayers) should be paying interest to for-profit banks for services we can do ourselves.

    • to add to this Ellen’s good articxle here https://www.truthdig.com/articles/defeating-the-rights-favorite-talking-point-for-good/

      here is Fed Chairman Eccles (who created FDIC) testifying in Congressional testimony that the Fed Reserve will always fund & finance any
      all fed gov deficit spending/debt
      by law & charter it has
      the legal power to create as much money as it needs/wants
      to keep the economy stable
      per it’s legal mandate by charter for full employment, maximum production & low inflation

      that the Fed Reserve controls interest rates, NOT the market, since it can
      always create as much money as it needs/wants to buy as much gov bonds (or other assets) as it wants/needs too PERPETUALLY from Primary Dealer banks as well as from the ‘market’ regardless even if it can’t directly buy from the fed gov or not.


      “If Congress appropriates more money than Congress levies taxes to pay, then, there is naturally a deficit, and the Treasury is obligated to borrow.
      The fact that they cannot go directly to the Federal Reserve bank to borrow does not mean that they cannot go indirectly to the Federal Reserve bank,
      for the very reason that there is
      no limit to the amount that the Federal Reserve System can buy in the market.
      That is the way the war was financed.”

      “Therefore, if the Treasury has to finance a heavy deficit, the Reserve System creates the condition in the money market to enable the borrowing to be done,
      so that, in effect,
      the Reserve System indirectly finances the Treasury through the money market,
      that is how the interest rates were stabilized as they were during the war, and as they will have to continue to be in the future.”

      “So it is an illusion to think that to eliminate or to restrict the direct borrowing privilege reduces the amount of deficit financing. Or that the market controls the interest rate. Neither is true.”–Fed Chairman Eccles

  2. Hi Ellen. I am a part of an economics working group of the Our Revolution Northern Virginia chapter (which spun-off from the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign of 2016) and we are currently working on an policy to establish a National Infrastructure Bank(NIB) for the US that could fund all the infrastructure needs of the country.

    The NIB would be similar to Alexander Hamilton’s First Bank of the United States. Such banks existed 4 times in the U.S. history, and are largely responsible for helping all the key infrastructure of the nation, including the New Deal. This bank would reinstate that tradition, and would generate at least 4 Trillion $ in capital by monetizing existing US Treasuries (while not adding a penny of new debt), while paying an extra 2% interest rate in addition to the rate on those treasuries. The 4 Trillion $ would then serve as a revolving fund that would make loans to state and local governments to rebuild the critical infrastructure needed to create millions of well paying jobs and firmly establish the United States as an economic superpower of the 21st century.

    We are looking for any help we could draw from all avenues to take this policy forward. We would like to draw your help and expertise in doing the same for this policy too.

    We are currently evangelizing this policy to various Progressive organizations, Congressmen and Senators.

    If you are interested, I can send you some of the materials that could elucidate more about this policy idea and how this could help the country and turn around the economy.

    • Before you move too fast forward on your plans will you revisit on May 23, 1933, Congressman, Louis T. McFadden, brought formal charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank system, The Comptroller of the Currency and the Secretary of United States Treasury for numerous criminal acts, including but not limited to, CONSPIRACY, FRAUD, UNLAWFUL CONVERSION, AND TREASON.
      The petition for Articles of Impeachment was thereafter referred to the Judiciary Committee and has YET TO BE ACTED ON. http://hiwaay.net/~becraft/mcfadden.html

      Also, I believe to have found the money that can fund all our real needs and more. Will you confront Bank of America to ask what they did with the money.

      https://yourhandsandlegs.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/doc21.pdf doc 1
      https://yourhandsandlegs.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/doc12.pdf doc 2

      Is there more to share, yes but what will you do with these facts?

      • We had a national bank from the early 30s until the mid 50s when Ike closed it. It was the RFC and was responsible in large part for the vibrant economy we had that won WWII for us. The export/import bank, the SBA and Fannie Mae are remnants of the RFC. China copied us and has 4 national banks plus the vibrant economy that can evolve from the judicious use of a national bank.

        • Since when does our government do anything judiciously?

          • They did all the right things in the 40s to defeat a real military threat against the nation. Gotta admit…they did fall off that wagon when all the privateers got on board.

            • They never got off that wagon. Remember we were told the truth in 1933 and nothing was done except to kill the messenger. http://hiwaay.net/~becraft/mcfadden.html Then listen to the warnings from JFK and what happed to him for speaking of them..

              • I understand but we did get some good things, Glass-Steagall, fiat money, SS, closed the poor houses and Hoover did give us the RFC. We didn’t get the Chicago Plan but it is still there on the table.

                • Certificate vs Note why don’t people know the difference.

                  • In our educational system there is little if any teaching of the monetary system.


                    • Yes, Richard but you will be hard pressed to find folks who can explain the difference between a Federal Reserve note and real money such as a US Note that was circulated until 1971.

                    • –>>> The real note had a fixed price peg to gold.

                      A fixed price on a monetary asset is an abomination to market law, Do you realize this ? The problem wasn’t gold, but the fixed trade value and the way that the accounting took place between the measure and the weight.

                      In the law of weights and measures as applied to gold as a form of money, a unit of mass (or weight) must be used as the currency’s unit of account and because the mass is a fixed unit, that unit of mass (gram) must have liquidity and purchasing power that is scalable as per market fundamentals. (USD/gm) This wasn’t possible with a fixed and pegged price, of course, so in order to adhere to market law, the price peg would have to be severed (as it was in 1971) and this set the stage for the market to monetize its own debt-free sovereign market currency directly from the grass roots of the free market, consumer driven. That’s what’s occurring now.

                      People have bad habits and look for solutions to come from the apex of classical power when the only solution that exists is right under their feet , within the free market. The optimum form of decentralization comes right down to the individual…. but you gotta have the capability and the tools.

                      We must be as wise as serpents, yet as gentle as doves.

                    • “A fixed price on a monetary asset is an abomination to market law”–Sounds more like theology (bullshit) than economics to me. Reminds me of when some pope said “coitus interruptus” was an abomination to the holy spirit. There is no friggin’ “market law”.

                    • You are on point with the crazy men of the Vatican including all their claim over humanity and the lands..

                    • Greenbacks 1860 never came to fruition being backed by silver or Gold. Civil War debt came first and also from the Revolutionary War.
                      Remember the King and his heirs was owed his share of all the Gold, Silver and Copper found in America by Treaty/Contract of 1783.

                      The settlers also lost control of their money and banking as the King became Arch-Treasurer of the United States of America. Plus by the same Treaty the people lost control of the Body Politic as the king became the Prince elector.

                      Then the 1st Act of Congress made all representative take an oath to a constitution document that didn’t exist or was never to be found by us. No one was to repeat the words of the preamble to the organic constitution saying “the Constitution for the United States of America”. So much for the employment contract given to them by We the People.

                      Always know and understand the first chapter of any event so the plot is not a surprise.

                      George Washington was the first to enacted the War Power Act and never cancelled it leaving the door open for Lincoln (for good or bad use) and he never cancelled it leaving the door open to Roosevelt for really bad shit to happen to us.

                      Over time say goodbye to Silver Certificates from the 1930s to 1950s not Gold.

                      Read congressional record http://hiwaay.net/~becraft/mcfadden.html On May 23, 1933, Congressman, Louis T. McFadden, brought formal charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank system.

                      How much money does the Fed really print, who protects it and who distributes it to what bank.
                      Lien Documents and Bank of America are in the Quadrillions

                      https://yourhandsandlegs.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/doc21.pdf doc 1
                      https://yourhandsandlegs.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/doc12.pdf doc 2

                      I don’t say these things, the government we didn’t know we have says them and puts them in writing. But still no one cares, they believe their government wouldn’t do this to them. LMOL.


                    • Greenbacks/US Notes had no peg to gold. Everyone is trying to ignore the elephant in the room and he is called ” seigniorage.”

                    • A note is a note not a certificate of deposit with tangible backing. Remember Lincoln and Kennedy. Silver Certificates because gold is not rare. And it was always known from day 1.
                      Gold is of the Fallen ones, the Seed of Them and followers of Them. Always was and will be Babylon money..

          • The RFC was judicious. Government per se is not all bad. To imply so is an extreme, ridiculous position.

            • I didn’t say government per se. I said our government. And it is beyond cavil that our Federal government is an unmitigated, metasticized disaster.

              • Oh, our government is 100% bad? You don’t think it does anything better than in other countries, or reasonably well?

                It did do RFC judiciously. So you think the federal government is so far gone nowadays that it is impossible that it could do a public bank right? Maybe so. Maybe it could be done right on the state level then.

                • The RFC could finance projects behind the peoples back without Congress knowing of them and the loans would not be included in budget expenditures. how good was that? Soon the RFC was able to buy bank preferred stock with the Emergency Banking Act of 1933.

                  The Fed and RFC are the same flees on the dog (Washington DC. then they claim the debt they create belongs to the people and Roosevelt took the people wealth in gold. They were are all impersonators, liars and deceivers of the worse kind.

                  Bailing out Wall Street and the Banksters only to make the people debt slaves is their business.

                • We can actively support and hope sanesses will prevail over the privateers who have taken us down this road of austerity. There is evidence of it beginning to happen with the new crowd in the house lead by that smart, eloquent, knowledgeable framer of issues AOC. We need more like her and we need to kick the small govt privateers off the wagon!

                  • Who’s AOC?

                    • Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Check her out on Youtube. She is very impressive.

                    • Oh, right, Alexandria Occasional Cortex–an almost completely unqualified dope and embarassment. Doesn’t even have basic junior highschool knowledge of what the 3 branches of government are. Like Obongo who didn’t know how many states there are.

                    • she doesn’t understand a thing about debt …

                    • She worked closely with two of the leading economists in the nation and, based on the views I have heard her express, she has an unusually firm grasp of national debt, taxation and spending. She understands the principles of MMT and is supported by that economic community.

                    • You must be smoking crack. This dimwit has no grasp on anything in the real world, let alone economics. Someone should tell her the 70% tax she proposes would apply to her Congressional salary, and then do the math for her.

                    • When congress people are paid in excess of 10 million a year then they would be hit by her proposed tax. Understand?


                    • You must speak in jest of her – I pray.

                    • Impressive? Seriously? She’s mentally handicapped.

                    • So are the youth that will vote for her and Sanders.

          • ISN’T IT THE GOVERNMENT WE DIDN’T KNOW WE HAD? British Law of the Sea, Maritime Law enforced by the BAR is what we got after the Revolutionary War.

            The settlers said goodbye to God’s Law, Natural Law and Common Law. So here we are as subjects and debt slaves.

            • She has not made any suggestion, even remotely, that she understands how debt can be safely purged from circulation and destroyed. ZERO

  3. Charles – you said – When congress people are paid in excess of 10 million a year then they would be hit by her proposed tax.
    You need to do a financial background check on those in Congress.

    It’s not their salary it’s the perks they get and don’t share with us that can make them millionaires in 4 years or less.
    Remember, not one of them has ever taken an oath to “the constitution for the United States of America”. The first Act of congress made this so and therefore they are held harmless to that employment contract.

    Please know American history before you take up for ANY politician.

  4. Srikar, the benefits of a publicly-owned national bank must accrue to the government’s needs in general, not established to fund some one particular need (e.g., infrastructure). Such a bank is the strongest tool available to right our financial ship. It must be integrated with a broad plan that will eliminate the national debt – necessary to get out from under the nation’s interest rate burden – and establish a discipline on the Congress that prevents it from continuing deficit spending – and I’m not talking here about a balanced budget amendment per se.

    • One way to eliminate the national debt is to make that national bank a savings bank too, paying interest that is competitive with Treasuries. Then, if the Treasury stopped selling bonds idle money would gravitate to the national bank. Everything would be the same except people would have deposit slips instead of bonds and the Fed would not have bonds to do OMOs.

      • Charles, you must be rid of the obstructions to your brain fart of a banking system first.

        Who’s money would be placed in your banking system? Would that be the peoples money or the Federal Reserve money?

        Who is going to insure the money deposited against any bad decisions that would harm the people. Would that be a private or public entity?

        Would the foreign corporation known as the IRS be allowed to tax the people interest as income?

        You must be rid of the foreign interest first or it will be SOS different day with new methods developed against the people and country.

        • Ri-chard, you need to understand the system we have. What I suggest would totally change the system. The central bank would no longer control the monetary system. They can’t without a national debt. That leads to the hard part; the congress would need to control the money supply via the proper tools for doing that, spending and taxing.

      • Charles, I’m not supportive of the public bank competing with private banks for commercial or personal services. It’s already rather a fantasy to think the existing banking system would ever allow Congress to stop giving them the national debt and deficit business. We don’t need to make the problem even more impossible. At least we’d have the Constitution on our side if personal services were excluded.

        • Yes, Tom, I am sure commercial banks would never lobby to have that happen but we have had postal banking and a national bank plus two central banks (admittedly different from the Fed) have been closed/defeated in the past. I often think of the quote from Henry Ford about banks, stating in is good that people don’t understand them because if they did there would be a revolution in the streets before sundown.

          • Charles and never forget the truth was told On May 23, 1933, Congressman, Louis T. McFadden, brought formal charges against the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Bank system, The Comptroller of the Currency and the Secretary of United States Treasury for numerous criminal acts, including but not limited to, CONSPIRACY, FRAUD, UNLAWFUL CONVERSION, AND TREASON.
            The petition for Articles of Impeachment was thereafter referred to the Judiciary Committee and has YET TO BE ACTED ON.

            • Ri-chard. I read Mcfadden’s remarks. Digging through his hyperbole he does get some of it correct. US commercial banks have stolen the money that belongs to citizens. It is clearly shown in data published by the Fed. From 1934 to 2016, the era I analyzed, the assets of commercial banks slightly exceeded the national debt. The reason it exceeds the national debt is understandable but a bit technical. Simple logic says (as does Dr Stephanie Kelton!) that the national debt should be equal to the money in the economy, ie what is left in the economy after taxes is equal to the debt. However, instead of being in the economy that money goes into commercial bank reserves to support bank loans at interest to citizens. This fact, and it is a fact, is at the root of the unfairness, Mcfadden would say criminality, of our monetary system.

          • Amen that Henry Ford quote, Charles. … Maybe the Left’s proposals, wandering into this economic neighborhood by accident, will create some benefits by generating some intelligent interest in the subject. In any event, the benefits of a publicly-owned national bank must accrue to the government’s needs in general, not to the Left’s political version of Stephen Hawking’s Unified Field Theory.

            • All good, Tom but the fine line between government needs and programs proposed by those on the left is very debatable. My position on that debate is if all the citizens of the nation are in need of a resource/ service and the “market” cannot or will not supply it then it is the role/duty of the government to supply it to the citizens. Postal services, a highway system, elderly support (social security), public education all fall into that category. I believe extending the public education system to pre-k to 16, in this era, falls into the same category along with health care.

          • Amen that Henry Ford quote, Charles. … Maybe the Left’s proposals, wandering into this economic neighborhood by accident, will create some benefits by generating some intelligent interest in the subject. In any event, the benefits of a publicly-owned national bank must accrue to the government’s needs in general, not to the Left’s Green New Deal, their political version of Stephen Hawking’s Unified Field Theory.

        • Tom, we really cannot depend on the Constitution. Putting the Constitution in its proper context it was an employment contract given by We the People to those that are to represent us.

          The snooker on us was the very 1st Act of Congress that changed the wording of the Constitution’s Title/Preamble for purposes of taking the oath of office. They are only allowed to repeat the words given to them “the Constitution Of the United States”. That title of a document does not exist anywhere in law or at law. The organic title clearly is stated as “the Constitution FOR the United States OF AMERICA”.

          This explains how they can breach the constitution with no penalty.

          Remember in the 1783 Treaty Ben Franklin agreed to make the King Arch-Treasure and Prince Elector of the United States of America. Plus the King was given a share of all the gold, Silver and copper in America.

          Naturally the people/settlers had no knowledge of this and the history book were being written for what should be taught in school. Yes, lies and deceit.

  5. Hello. I am Don Grundmann, D.C., and I am Chairman of the Constitution Party in California. I would like to discuss your ideas with you at any time of convienience for you. I hope this note finds you well.

    Best to you.

  6. Hello. I am Jan Chachalak with Ferove peniaze (Fair money) SLOVAKIA. I just wrote a paper which includes

    (i) NEW definition of money,
    (ii) ORIGINAL MARKET-BASED MECHANISM for how publicly owned National bank could start issuing country’s own debt-free money supply AND USE SEIGNIORAGE TO FUND PUBLIC PROJECTS,
    (iii) NEW, SPECIFIC monetary policy tools to fulfil Central bank’s (National bank’s) mandate (target inflation, employment),
    (iv) systemic checks and balances.

    Any feedback will be greatly appreciated and used to improve the paper. Thank you.

    Link to paper:

    • There is no new definition. A monetary system must still try and adhere to the law of weights and measures. This can only manifest in real-time, of course, because the reality of any economy at any point in history is that they are real-time events ! They always have been ! If there is no real-time price measurement capability, there is no congruence with free market law.

      You cannot pour new wine into old wineskins. It still holds true.

      The USD is central to the current support of debt-free transactions in real-time. If you thought the USD was only a debt based currency, surprise, surprise, the reality is here to wake you up. It is also an indispensable price tool in support of debt-free trades that feature real-time price comparisons for market balancing.

      The law is finally being fulfilled. Don’t be fooled by the impatience of socialism.


      • Mike, the solution is to not get too caught up in the words. Rather DIG DEEPER to understand what the text means IN CONTEXT.

        For example:

        Is the U.S. Constitution SOCIALIST?
        I suppose you’d answer: NO.

        However, it says: “Congress shall have the power ‘to coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures.’” (Article I, section 8, clause 5.)

        In today’s modern economic language, this means that Congress (which is part of government and therefore could also “in broader terms” be called federal, central, or national government) shall create NATIONAL MONEY SUPPLY. To simplify, it means: THE GOVERNMENT (or its branch) SHALL CREATE THE U.S. MONEY (SUPPLY). 

        Is FED part of Federal (National) Government? NO. FED is a privately owned entity INDEPENDENT of government (even if it transfers its profits back to Govt.).

        Does the U.S. government create U.S. dollar money supply? NO.

        During my money research I found this out — and asked myself: How can that be? 

        My paper proposes that “the government” — its new, 4th, monetary branch rather than Congress — should create money for the nation, BASED on MARKET DEMAND.
        In other words, I propose government regulation of free market-based money creation. Analogy would be a free market economy WITH government anti-monopoly laws.

        2.) in terms of debt-based money, US, UK, Canada, EU — WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT — meaning we all use private, debt-based money (electronic “bank deposits”) and banking system. In school, I was taught about money multiplier and how money is created — but something just didn’t add up. After I dug deeper ON MY OWN I discovered that MONEY MULTIPLIER IS A MYTH.

        If you are interested in learning more about NEW MONEY CREATION in our current system, there is (among others) a UK web site with short videos explaining HOW new MONEY IS CREATED when private banks extend credit https://positivemoney.org/videos/

        Can you accept the idea that not everything you were taught in school is true? I had a hard time with that one… BUT … If you decide to give it a shot, and are interested in money reform, dig deeper (for your own, genuine interest and benefit — not to prove me wrong here). You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find 🙂

        • The Banking Act of 1935 controls our monetary system as has been poInted out by Ellen Brown. That act established the FOMC and forbade the Treasure from selling bonds to the central bank, the Fed. Those provisions allowed a small group of people, bond traders, to make a lot of money while producing nothing for the citizens of the nation. If the provision in the act were amended, allowing the treasure to sell bonds to the central bank as has been done in Japan, then we would have a supply of sovereign money, taxes could be applied for their real purpose, to forestall inflation and government programs could be based on the true limits of programs, resources, not money.

          • Not true. The banking act of 1935 only controls the debt based aspect of the monetary system. The market is free to add debt-free currency anytime, on the basis of commercial agreement. Banks and government are forbidden from entering debt-free medium into circulation, The addition of the “Yang” to the existing “Yin” as a matter of monetary completion has been left to the free market.

            Choose as you wish. You can circulate either and the consumer has the stage.

            God gave us two eyes in hopes that we would keep both of them open.

            • That is an interesting view. How do you explain quarter minting which in 2016 produced about 400 million dollars in senioriage and US Notes that were spent until about 1970? The was “debt free” money wasn’t it?

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: