The War on the Post Office

The US Postal Service, under attack from a manufactured crisis designed to force its privatization, needs a new source of funding to survive. Postal banking could fill that need.

The US banking establishment has been at war with the post office since at least 1910, when the Postal Savings Bank Act established a public savings alternative to a private banking system that had crashed the economy in the Bank Panic of 1907. The American Bankers Association was quick to respond, forming a Special Committee on Postal Savings Legislation to block any extension of the new service. According to a September 2017 article in The Journal of Social History titled “‘Banks of the People’: The Life and Death of the U.S. Postal Savings System,” the banking fraternity would maintain its enmity toward the government savings bank for the next 50 years. Continue reading

Bill Black on “It’s Our Money”

bill-black“Fish Rot from the Head”

So says this week’s guest Bill Black about the recent Wells Fargo scandal in which millions of customers were beset with unrequested accounts that cost them fees and affected their credit scores – another in the long line of Big-Bank violations.  Black, author of “The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One” is renowned for obtaining convictions of almost a thousand bankers and sending several hundred of them to prison when he was a Federal regulator back in 1990 during the savings and loan scandal. He talks with Ellen about why that sort of regulatory punch no longer exists.  Selling-off public assets and services is discussed by co-host Walt McRee with the Executive Director of In The Public Interest, Donald Cohen, who issued a recent report on how privatization is helping perpetuate economic inequality.  Matt Stannard returns on the Public Banking Report to reflect on how Wells Fargo’s scandal hurts everyone at the bank, not just their customers.

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