The economic return of Iceland has proved that the joke was on us

Dan White • • December 16, 2012

WAY back in the autumn of 2008, the joke in financial circles was that the only difference between Ireland and Iceland was a letter and six months…

Meanwhile, we in Ireland did what we were told and repaid over €70bn of bank bonds at par. By doing so, even at the cost of bankrupting the State, the “experts” assured us that we would retain the confidence of the markets. Now, four years later, it is clear that, not for the first time, the “experts” have got it wrong. Catastrophically and utterly wrong…

Unlike Ireland, Iceland immediately nationalised its bust banks in the autumn of 2008 but refused to assume responsibility for their liabilities.

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

PBI Newsletter, December 2012: Note from the Chairman: Flying Over the Cliff with Seasonal Cheer

PBI Newsletter, December 2012 • • December 18, 2012

The PBI (Public Banking Institute) December Newsletter is here!
Sign up for the Newsletter here.

Bookmark and Share

Iceland’s Hörður Torfason – How to Beat the Banksters

Alex Pietrowski • • December 11, 2012

The tiny Nordic European island country of iceland is presently experiencing one of the greatest economic comebacks of all time. After the privatization of the banking sector completed in 200o, the economy was thrown into a tailspin when over a five year period, private bankers borrowed 120 billion dollars (10 times the size of Iceland’s economy). A huge economic bubble was created, causing house prices to double, and making a small percentage of Iceland’s population rich enough to buy up overseas investments, mansions, yachts, and private jets, while leaving an absolutely un-payable debt for all Icelanders. Iceland was facing national bankruptcy.

In response to the failed banking system, in October 2008, Iceland’s revolution against this financial tyranny began, rather casually in the street, in front of the Icelandic general assembly.

In the duration of five months, the main bank of Iceland was nationalized, government officials were forced to resign, the old government was liquidated, and a new government was put in its place. By March 2010, Iceland’s people voted to deny payment of the 3,500 million Euro debt created by the bankers, and about 200 high-level executives and bankers responsible for the economic crisis in the country were either arrested or were facing criminal charges.

In February 2011, a new constitutional assembly settled in to rewrite the tiny nation’s constitution, which aimed to avoid entrapment by debt-based currency foreign loans. In 2012, Iceland’s economy is expected to outgrow the Euro and the average for the developed world, as estimated by the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

School District Owes $1 Billion On $100 Million Loan

Richard Gonzales • • December 7, 2012

More than 200 school districts across California are taking a second look at the high price of the debt they’ve taken on using risky financial arrangements. Collectively, the districts have borrowed billions in loans that defer payments for years — leaving many districts owing far more than they borrowed.

In 2010, officials at the West Contra Costa School District, just east of San Francisco, were in a bind. The district needed $2.5 million to help secure a federally subsidized $25 million loan to build a badly needed elementary school.

Charles Ramsey, president of the school board, says he needed that $2.5 million upfront, but the district didn’t have it.

Those bonds, known as CABs, are unlike typical bonds, where a school district is required to make immediate and regular payments. Instead, CABs allow districts to defer payments well into the future — by which time lots of interest has accrued.”We’d be foolish not to take advantage of getting $25 million” when the district had to spend just $2.5 million to get it, Ramsey says. “The only way we could do it was with a [capital appreciation bond].”

In the West Contra Costa Schools’ case, that $2.5 million bond will cost the district a whopping $34 million to repay.

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

The Linchpin Tipping Point to Reverse Centuries of Top Down, 1% Power and Privatization? PUBLIC BANKING!

Rob Kall • • December 6, 2012

Tonight I went to a local meeting of the Public Banking Institute with Ellen Brown as the featured speaker. First, I joined the local organizers of the meeting, Brown and the director of the institute, Mark Armstrong.

The lecture and the conversations before and after really helped me connect some dots that tie together single payer health care, Naomi Klein’s Shock doctrine, tea partiers, bankrupt cities, global bankers like the Rothschilds, the class war and the war of the top-down powers against the bottom up revolution.

First, some notes from Ellen Brown’s lecture:

A -public bank is not for the public- it’s created to serve in the public interest– but is a bank for bankers, not the public– no front offices, no advertising, no big staffs.

There’s only one state with a public bank– North Dakota– and it is the state that has done better than every other state in terms of making budget and low unemployment.

Public banks serve governments– cities, counties, municipalities, states and in other parts of the world, whole countries. They serve them by making interest-free loans to them and by earning far greater interest on money they have. And they have a lot of money– government employee pension funds, rainy day funds” which ordinarily earn a tiny amount compared to what they would earn if a bank was using them to earn interest.

Mike Krauss, chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Banking project told the group, “Our thrust is to decentralize credit and decentralize wealth holding– a decentralization of wealth will create a decentralization of political power.”

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

Ellen Brown’s debt-reduction coin solution makes it to the Washington Post: Could two platinum coins solve the debt-ceiling crisis?

Brad Plumer • • December 7, 2012

If President Obama wants to avoid an economic calamity next year, he could always show up at a press conference bearing two shiny platinum coins, worth… $1 trillion apiece.

A mere $100? Pshaw. Try $1 trillion. (Associated Press)

Okay, that sounds utterly insane. But ever since last year, some economists and legal scholars have suggested that the “platinum coin option” is one way to defuse a crisis if Congress can’t or won’t lift the debt ceiling soon. At least in theory….

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

Ensuring Scottish Sovereignty: Exploring the Public Bank Option

Ellen Brown • • December 7, 2012

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and the Bank of Scotland have been pillars of Scotland’s economy and culture for over three centuries. So when the RBS was nationalized by the London-based UK government following the 2008 banking crisis, and the Bank of Scotland was acquired by the London-based Lloyds Bank, it came as a shock to the Scots. They no longer owned their oldest and most venerable banks.

Another surprise turn of events was the triumph of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election. Scotland is still part of the United Kingdom, but it has had its own parliament since 1999, similar to U.S. states. The SNP has rallied around the call for independence from the UK since its founding in 1934, but it was a minority party until the 2011 victory, which gave it an overall majority in the Scottish Parliament.

Scottish independence is now on the table. A bill has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament with the intention of holding a referendum on the issue in 2014.

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

Breaking free of Wall Street and the boom-bust cycle…with PUBLIC Banks!

Mike Krauss • • November 30, 2012

…While Americans view the economic contraction and recession as global, it isn’t. It is highly localized to the economies of the United States and Europe, which are most closely tied to the central bank cartel of Wall Street and Federal Reserve private banking system. But in many other nations, where on the average 40 percent of the market is in public banks, economies are growing.

These are the so called BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), as well as Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Iceland, South Africa and Japan; and the healthiest economy in Europe, Germany, where public banks have existed for decades and provided much of the credit and investment for West Germany’s recovery from World War II. The public “Post Office Bank” in Japan played the same role there.

This is not to say that these nations have not felt the impact of declining exports to the sick economies of the U.S. and Europe. They have. But no one in China, or Brazil or India is talking austerity.

Just the failed central bankers and the 1 percent in the U.S. and Europe who caused the catastrophe….

Read the entire article here.

Bookmark and Share

Ellen Brown’s Presentation at the 3rd Annual World Conference on Riba: PUBLIC BANKING: MAKING MONEY WORK FOR THE PEOPLE

Ellen Brown • • November 26, 2012

Nov. 26-27, 2012
3rd Annual World Conference on Riba: The Multifaceted Global Crises of RIBA: Resilience, Response & Reform
Palace of Golden Horses
Mines Wellness City, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Main Speakers:
1. Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia
2. Ellen Hodgson Brown, Chairman/President of Public Banking Institute, USA
3. Bill Still, Best Selling Author and Award-Winning Documentary Writer/Director
4. Hugo Salinas- Price, President, Mexican Civic Association Pro Silver, A.C.
5. Imran Nazar Hosein, Renowned Author and Scholar in Islamic Eschatology
6. Tom J. Kennedy, Activist & Blogger,
7. Imam Afroz Ali, President , Al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences & Human Development, Sydney.
8. Professor Dr. Ahamed Kameel Mydin Meera, Dean, IIUM Institute of Islamic Banking & Finance, Malaysia
9. Professor Dato dr. Hj. Mohd Ali Baharom, President, Malaysia National Cooperative Movement
10. YM Tunku Azwil Tunku Abdul Razak, Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia
11. Dr. Zulkifli Hassan, Faculty of Shariah & Law, Islamic Science University of Malaysia

A .pdf version of ELlen Brown’s presentation is here.
A .ppt version of Ellen Brown’s presentation is here.

Bookmark and Share

Ellen Brown’s Presentation to RSA Scotland: A Public Bank for Scotland?

Ellen Brown • • November 22, 2012

RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) Scotland hosted an event exploring the concept of a public bank for Scotland.
Thursday 22nd November 2012
Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh

Ellen Brown, Chair and President of the Public Banking Institute in the USA discusses the history of public banking in the States, particularly in North Dakota which founded its public bank in 1919. Ralph Leishman FRSA presents how a public bank might develop and work with government in the Scottish context and banking environment, with substantial time available for questions and discussions with the speakers.

A .pdf version of the presentation is here.
A .ppt version of the presentation is here.

Bookmark and Share