Video: Checking the Banks, Reclaiming the Commons

Public Banking: Creating Jobs, Building Communities and Reclaiming the Commons

A conversation with …

TOM SGOUROS – Senior Researcher, Haas Inst., UC Berkeley &
Author of “Checking the Banks”

SUSAN HARMAN – Co-founder, Commonomics USA & Member, Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland

Interest in public banking has been growing in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. People all over the United States and Canada are becoming aware that the current system has serious structural flaws that continue to put our overall economic health at risk.

A Public Bank is a chartered depository bank in which public funds are deposited. A Public Bank is owned by a government unit — a state, county, city, or tribe — and mandated to serve a public mission that reflects the values and needs of the public that it represents. In existing and proposed US Public Bank models, experienced bankers, not the government, make bank decisions and provide accountability and transparency to the public for how public funds are used.

What public banks can do for us:

* Make affordable loans to small businesses, farmers, government entities, and students
* Save taxpayers up to 50% on infrastructure projects, like bridges and trains and schools
* Eliminate billions in bank fees and money management fees for cities and states
* Support a vibrant community banking sector
* Enable sustainable prosperity

Public Banks are popular globally, operating on a variety of models; and new models continue to be proposed. The US, however, currently has only one public depository bank — the Bank of North Dakota (BND). All state revenues are deposited in the BND by law.

On this month’s edition of Other Voices TV, we’ll learn the ins and outs of public banking and discover how to get involved in ongoing state and local efforts to bring public banking to California … or a Main Street near you.

Produced by Peninsula Peace and Justice Center, Palo Alto, CA

Tom Sgouros

Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland

Recorded on 5/18/2018 at the Midpen Media Center, Palo Alto, CA