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Public Banking Made Easy

Public banking in a nutshell. At its core, the idea is simple. Here’s how public banks give communities local control, local power, and local benefits.

Know the Difference

The difference between private and public banks can mean the difference between austerity and abundance for the people.

What Legal Hurdles Do Public Banks Face?

Q: “Does a public bank violate a state’s constitution?” Colorado Public Banking’s Earl Staelin, J.D., offers his legal rationale for answering common questions. Part 1 of 2.

Is Legislation Needed for Public Banks?

Colorado Public Banking’s Earl Staelin, J.D., offers his legal analysis for answering another common legal question. Part 2 of 2.

Five Ways Your State Can Leave Wall Street

Yes, your state can declare independence from Wall Street. Here’s how.

When a Crisis Hits

Public banks respond faster and better to crises than privately-owned banks.

Four Ways To Strengthen Your State and City Finances

Public banks can save communities by strengthening state and city finances.

How Other Countries Think Outside the Mailbox

The USPS provided basic banking services from 1911 until 1967, and restarted this critical public service in a few pilot cities in 2021.

Public Banking Sweeps Across the Country

In the years since the financial crisis, vibrant campaigns for public banks have emerged all across the country. The time for public banks in the U.S. has come. 

Why do we need a public bank? Public Bank LA

Our allies at Public Bank Los Angeles explain the value of public banking for communities. With Trinity Tran, Carlos Marroquin, and Josh Androsky.

Town Halls

During 2020 and 2021, PBI co-hosted seven virtual Town Halls across the U.S. to discuss the power of public banking in the face of the crisis. The following videos are recordings of one of the Town Halls we did in collaboration with New York State Senator James Sanders, Jr. and Assembly Member Victor Pichardo that included special guest Eric Hardmeyer, then President & CEO of the Bank of North Dakota, and Dr. Amara Enyia, PBI Advisory Board Member. Focused clips of the Town Hall are featured below.  

Bring on the Power of Public Banking for New York State with Eric Hardmeyer

Senator James Sanders, Jr., Chair of the NYS Senate Banking Cmte, and Victor Pichardo, Chair of the NYS Assembly Cmte on Banks, spotlight the success of the Bank of North Dakota. President Hardmeyer details the unique benefits the state’s public bank brings to the state of North Dakota.

Bring on the Power of Public Banking for NYS – Complete Town Hall

The Town Hall brought together supporters of public banking from around the state.

Q&A – Bring on the Power of Public Banking for NYS

In this segment, BND President Hardmeyer takes questions from elected officials.

Citizen Volunteers present a primer on public banking

This excellent presentation was made by three NYS Citizen Volunteers: VN Alexander, Madeline Chang and Joseph Sackman.

“It's Our Money” Podcast

The regular podcast features comprehensive discussions with thought leaders who discuss the economy, the monetary system, current legislation, and much more. 

A Tribute to Hazel Henderson

Hazel Henderson was a futurist. She understood that what is really important in an economic system isn’t measurable in dollars, but rather in the health and well-being of those living in the economy, including that primary partner, Planet Earth. On today’s program we revisit our last conversation with Hazel from 2020 — a tribute to an authentic, bold thinker who raised the consciousness of markets worldwide with the simple notion that our economic systems must operate with values that prioritize life.

Reviving the America We Were

America’s early financial innovations led a remarkable flowering in world history of expanding economic prospect, at least until the late 20th century. Since then, financial elites and banking cartels have shifted the emphasis from investing for public benefit to private profiteering through monetary manipulations and resource exploitation. In his latest book Who We Are, our guest, historian and author Anton Chaitkin, observes that America’s positive economic dynamism has morphed into a form of self-interest that has transformed America’s image on the world stage to one of destructive predator. Chaitkin urges a return to the America we once were.

“The Bank of Good”

The Bank of North Dakota (BND) has set the US standard for how a public bank can serve the economic interests of a state or local economy, and many local governments want to emulate its success. This podcast opens with a recent clip of Eric Hardmeyer, CEO of the BND for over 20 years, describing the founding and operational principles that led the bank to outperform even the big Wall Street banks for profitability while taking an aggressive approach to fiscal problem solving. Ellen then speaks with Braxton Brewington of the Debt Collective, a non-profit debt-reduction organization that has relieved thousands of debtors from life-sapping obligations while promulgating a national effort to reduce the massive debt loads carried by students, medical patients and other debt stressed citizens.

A Philadelphia Story

Another historic milestone in the emergence of public banks around the country has been reached in Philadelphia with an overwhelming vote of the City Council to establish a Municipal Public Financial Authority. We talk with two of the citizens that helped realize this success, Vanessa Lowe and Conni Bille. And later in the program Ellen talks with author Michael Mechanic about his new book Jackpot: How the Super Rich Really Live and How Their Wealth Harms Us All.

Michael Hudson on Money and Debt

Celebrated economist Michael Hudson thinks that the world of academic economics is both deceptive and essentially wrong in its formulations of the role of money and debt. Hudson says today’s oligarchic monetary systems invariably reinforce the flow of profits from labor to the top of the economic ladder. The result is unsustainable debt, which he says is an historical pattern that goes back a couple thousand years. Something has to give. Ellen and Michael spend the hour discussing what that resolution might look like.

Transcript here.

PBI LIVE

Our livestream show examines the human impact of current economic events and how public banks and postal banks could make a real difference in people’s lives.  

PBI LIVE Ep 6: When pandemics changed history with Richard Wolff and Ellen Brown

History tells us that pandemics precede radical shifts in society and economic systems. The Black Death, for example, was the beginning of the end of feudalism. Professor Richard Wolff joins Ellen Brown on PBI LIVE to lend his insights on those big historical breaks. How might public banks be involved? Prof. Wolff is Professor of Economics Emeritus, U Mass, Amherst, and a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York City. He’s the founder of Democracy at Work and host of their nationally syndicated show Economic Update. His latest book is “The Sickness is the System: When Capitalism Fails to Save Us from Pandemics or Itself.”

PBI LIVE Ep5: Public Banks vs. the Racial Wealth Gap

Could publicly-owned banks be the real solution to a history of harmful private bank practices? Dr. Amara Enyia, founder of the Institute for Cooperative Economics and Economic Innovation and PBI Advisory Board member, talks with Dr. Stacey Sutton, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at the University of Illinois Chicago.

PBI LIVE Ep3: The Fed vs. the states

In the wake of Covid-19, the Federal Reserve money helicopter flew directly to Wall Street and hovered. States, on the other hand, got a mere 5% of the stimulus funds by early May and remain desperately short of funds. What will this mean as state budgets reach the breaking point? PBI Chair Ellen Brown talks with Cornell Prof. Robert Hockett and Michael Brennan, Democratizing Capital Policy Organizer for the Democracy Policy Network.

PBI LIVE Ep2: Public banks vs. redlining

Guests this week are Brian Rice, engineer / entrepreneur who was denied financing to upgrade his properties in his hometown, PBI Advisory Board member Dr. Amara Enyia, and PBI Board Member Carlos Marroquin.

PBI LIVE Ep1: Postal banks to the Rescue! With Mehrsa Baradaran and Ellen Brown

PBI’s first Livestream show features guests Prof. Mehrsa Baradaran and PBI Chair Ellen Brown along with PBI Board Member Carlos Marroquin moderating. The conversation examined the current public outcry to save the Post Office and how restarting postal banking could help the USPS while helping millions of Americans.

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