Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly-owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.
Illinois is teetering on bankruptcy and other states are not far behind, largely due to unfunded pension liabilities; but there are solutions. The Federal Reserve could do a round of “QE for Munis.” Or the state could turn its sizable pension fund into a self-sustaining public bank.
Japan has found a way to write off nearly half its national debt without creating inflation. We could do that too.
Let’s face it. There is no way the US government is ever going to pay back a $20 trillion federal debt. The taxpayers will just continue to pay interest on it, year after year.
May 15th-19th has been designated “National Infrastructure Week” by the US Chambers of Commerce, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and over 150 affiliates. Their message: “It’s time to rebuild.” Ever since ASCE began issuing its “National Infrastructure Report Card” in 1998, the nation has gotten a dismal grade of D or D+. In the meantime, the estimated cost of fixing its infrastructure has gone up from $1.3 trillion to $4.6 trillion.
War has indeed become perpetual and peace no longer even a fleeting wish nor a distant memory. We have become habituated to the rumblings of war and the steady drum beat of propaganda about war’s necessity and the noble motives that inspire it. We will close hospitals. We will close schools. We will close libraries and museums. We will sell off our parklands and water supply. People will sleep on the streets and go hungry. The war machine will go on.
Phil Murphy, the leading Democratic candidate for governor of New Jersey, has made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his campaign. He says the New Jersey bank would “take money out of Wall Street and put it to work for New Jersey – creating jobs and growing the economy [by] using state deposits to finance local investments … and … support billions of dollars of critical investments in infrastructure, small businesses, and student loans – saving our residents money and returning all profits to the taxpayers.”
The Next System Project’s Adam Simpson sat down with renowned economist and economic historian Michael Hudson to discuss economic deceptions old and new. Michael Hudson is Distinguished Research Professor of Economics at the University of Missouri, Kansas City and a prolific writer about the global economy and predatory financial practices. Among his latest books are Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy and its follow-up J is for Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception.
“Commercial banks create money, in the form of bank deposits, by making new loans… 97% of the [money] currently in circulation [is] created by commercial banks themselves.”
— “Money creation in the modern economy”, Quarterly Bulletin, 2014 Q1, Bank of England
Several central banks, including the Bank of England, the People’s Bank of China, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve, are exploring the concept of issuing their own digital currencies, using the blockchain technology developed for Bitcoin. Skeptical commentators suspect that their primary goal is to eliminate cash, setting us up for negative interest rates (we pay the bank to hold our deposits rather than the reverse).
The Dodd-Frank regulations are so lethal to community banks that some say the intent was to force them to sell out to the megabanks. Community banks are rapidly disappearing — except in North Dakota, where they are thriving.
Today we have a private banking system, with specific characteristics like the creation of “money” out of thin air and permanent “money” growth. First, you can find here below a short description of what a money system of the government could look like, eventually after a few intermediate steps. 
Banks create money when they make loans. Greece could restore the liquidity desperately needed by its banks and its economy by nationalizing the banks and issuing digital loans backed by government guarantees to its ailing businesses. Greece could provide an inspiring model of sustainable prosperity for the world. But it is being strangled by a hegemonic power in a financial war that is being waged against us all.
Updated: June 1, 2015
The Economics of Happiness on May 21, 2015
Ellen Brown is the founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. This is her plenary talk at the Economics of Happiness conference, held in Portland, Oregon in February, 2015. The conference was organized by Local Futures, a non-profit organization that has been promoting a shift from global to local for nearly 40 years. To learn more about the conference or Local Futures’ work, go to www.localfutures.org.