Vermonters for a New Economy, Final State Bank Study

Vermonters for a New Economy • January 25, 2014

After many months of preparation and peer review, the Vermonters for a New Economy group has finally completed the study of the economic impacts of a public bank in Vermont. Highlights include:

  • over 2,500 new jobs created
  • over $190M in new economic value added over $340M in additional gross state product
  • the existing institutions already have the capital to establish a bank, no new appropriation or bonding needed.
  • recommendation that VEDA’s authority be expanded to include banking, which is what S. 204 proposes this year.

Read the study here.

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Brominski exploring creation of county-owned bank in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania

Jennifer Learn-Andes • timesleader.com • January 25, 2014

Council vice president thinks move would be ‘start of a financial recovery’

Will Luzerne County get into the banking business?

Luzerne County Council Vice Chairman Edward Brominski sent an email to his council colleagues this week introducing a potential financial relief concept he is researching: creation of a county-owned bank.

“I believe from first impression that this could be the start of a financial recovery for our county. I will release this to the press in the next few days,” Brominski said in the email.

Read the entire article here.

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Study: Vermont Should Allow VEDA to Be State Bank

Warren Johnston • Valley News • January 19, 2014

Allowing the Vermont Economic Development Authority to operate as a state bank would create thousands of jobs, save the state millions in interest costs and add hundred s of millions in value and production, a study released last week says.

The peer-reviewed study, conducted by the Gund Institute at the universities of Vermont and Massachusetts, did not recommend that Vermont start a state bank from scratch, but suggested an expansion of the existing agency, which essentially functions as public bank now.

Interest in establishing public banks has been growing nationwide in the wake of the 2008 banking crisis. North Dakota has the only state bank in the country, and during the last legislative session, Vermont lawmakers considered, but didn’t pass, bills to study the impact of a state bank based on the North Dakota model.

A coalition of organizations, individuals and businesses, called Vermonters for a New Economy, commissioned this study with funding from the Donella Meadows Institute of Norwich.

Proponents believe Vermont could save hundreds of millions of dollars, stimulate business and create jobs with a state bank, and the study’s findings support that view.

Read the entire article here.

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Public Bank Town Meeting Campaign Underway

Amy Kolb Noyes • VPR News • January 2, 2014

Advocates for the formation of a Vermont Public Bank are bringing the issue before local town officials across the state. The group Vermonters for a New Economy is organizing the effort, which it’s calling its Town Meeting campaign.

Read the entire article here.

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From austerity to abundance: Why Ellen Brown is running for California treasurer

Ellen Brown • Signs of the Times • January 15, 2014

California cannot solve its budget problems by slashing services that have already been cut to the bone or raising sales taxes that hurt the poor far more than the rich. We are fighting over a pie that remains too small. The pie itself needs to be expanded – and it can be.

How? By reclaiming that portion that is now siphoned off in interest and bank fees. When tallied up at every stage of production, interest has been calculated to claim one-third of everything we buy.

How can that money be recaptured? By owning the bank.

Read the entire article here.

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Rolling Stone: Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For — #5 A Public Bank in Every State

Jesse Myerson • Rolling Stone • January 3, 2014

Five Economic Reforms Millennials Should Be Fighting For
Guaranteed jobs, universal basic incomes, public finance and more

It’s a new year, but one thing hasn’t changed: The economy still blows. Five years after Wall Street crashed, America’s banker-gamblers have only gotten richer, while huge swaths of the country are still drowning in personal debt, tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed – and the new jobs being created are largely low-wage, sub-contracted, part-time grunt work.

Millennials have been especially hard-hit by the downturn, which is probably why so many people in this generation (like myself) regard capitalism with a level of suspicion that would have been unthinkable a decade ago. But that egalitarian impulse isn’t often accompanied by concrete proposals about how to get out of this catastrophe. Here are a few things we might want to start fighting for, pronto, if we want to grow old in a just, fair society, rather than the economic hellhole our parents have handed us…

5. A Public Bank in Every State

You know what else really blows? Wall Street. The whole point of a finance sector is supposed to be collecting the surplus that the whole economy has worked to produce, and channeling that surplus wealth toward its most socially valuable uses. It is difficult to overstate how completely awful our finance sector has been at accomplishing that basic goal. Let’s try to change that by allowing state governments into the banking game.

There is only one state that currently has a public option for banking: North Dakota. When North Dakotans pay state taxes, the money gets deposited in the state’s bank, which in turn offers cheap loans to farmers, students and businesses. The Bank of North Dakota doesn’t make seedy, destined-to-default loans, slice them up inscrutably and sell them on a secondary market. It doesn’t play around with incomprehensible derivatives and allow its executives to extract billions of dollars. It just makes loans and works with debtors to pay them off.

Read the entire article here.

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Chris Hedges: Overthrow the Speculators

Chris Hedges • Common Dreams • December 30, 2013

…Speculators at megabanks or investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the vulnerable from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their shareholders. They are parasites. They feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They just manipulate money. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged.

We can wrest back control of our economy, and finally our political system, from corporate speculators only by building local movements that decentralize economic power through the creation of hundreds of publicly owned state, county and city banks.

The establishment of city, regional and state banks, such as the state public bank in North Dakota, permits localities to invest money in community projects rather than hand it to speculators. It keeps property and sales taxes, along with payrolls for public employees and pension funds, from lining the pockets of speculators such as Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Money, instead of engorging the bank accounts of the few, is leveraged to fund schools, restore infrastructure, sustain systems of mass transit and develop energy self-reliance.

Read the complete article here.

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