James Halpin • citizensvoice.com • March 25, 2014
Creating a county-owned bank could reduce government debt, slash interest rates and even be a source for immediate emergency funding during floods, according to the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project.
Mike Krauss, a director of the Public Banking Institute and the project’s chairman, told a group of local leaders, including several Luzerne County Council members, during a breakfast meeting Monday morning that a public bank would be a “banker’s bank” that would not compete with local banks.
“The main function of the kind of bank we’re proposing is to partner with local banks,” Krauss said. “It is not a retail bank. It does not compete with the local banks, and because it doesn’t do that, it has a very low cost overhead.”
Council Vice Chairman Edd Brominski organized the event at the Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center as part of a fact-finding mission to begin a financial recovery for the county, which is more than $400 million in debt.
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