Public Banking in the Press: Public bank advocates gain advice from experts – A Report from the Banking On New Mexico Symposium

The following article, from the Santa Fe New Mexican, is a report from the Banking on New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies held in Santa Fe on September 27, 2014. The format of Banking on Colorado: Bringing Our Money Home Conference, to be convened on January 31, 2015 is very similar to the Santa Fe symposium, with some of the same nationally know speakers.

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:


Public bank advocates gain advice from experts

Posted: Saturday, September 27, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 11:18 pm, Sat Sep 27, 2014.


By Ed Moreno
For The New Mexican

The path to establish a publicly owned bank will be scattered with legal and political obstacles, but scores of citizens, public officials and public finance experts gathered in Santa Fe on Saturday to make the case that it can, and should, be done.

The spirited gathering, organized by “We Are People Here,” brought local, national and international perspectives on why it is necessary to try to establish publicly owned and operated banks that serve local communities, and not the “plutocracy” that controls the nation’s wealth, the event’s organizer said.

“We are gathered here because we recognize to the degree greater than in any time in the last 40 years that we are on our own,” said Craig Barnes, the founder of the organization. He cited the concentration of wealth and power and said “the life’s blood is being sucked away from our local communities.”

“We’re not here to blame, we’re not here to complain. We’re here to get up off our knees, because it’s in our nature as Americans to be on our feet,” he said.

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Public Banking in the Press — Bringing Democracy to Banking

Craig Barnes, former Denver resident, where he was a civil rights attorney and U.S. Congressional candidate, is the founder of the Santa Fe, New Mexico political action organization We Are People Here!, which is concerned with the domination of our democracy by the wealthy elite. It is the parent organization of the public banking advocacy organization, Banking on New Mexico. In this article Mr. Barnes describes the toxic link between banking and our ‘democratic’ government.

From the New Mexico Mercury:


Bringing Democracy to Banking

September 15, 2014


By Craig Barnes


Inequality has returned to the United States. Americans are now faced, not only with huge disadvantages in economic competition; politically, we are faced with the rise of a new ruling class. This year’s elections will feature cascades of money from billionaires, dwarfing the contributions of individuals for whom politics used to be, but no longer is, a way to seek revival.

This coagulation of riches that now threatens to clog the politics of the country has rendered our national Congress inert.  The global banking system that used to provide financing for local business, for construction, for advances in health, education and welfare, has turned its attention to the Wall Street derivatives market; turned away from local requirements to prefer instead the global casinos of algorithmic chance. Community banks, locally owned banks, banks that had a direct relationship to the communities that they served, are becoming an endangered species while the big five banks no longer know the names of the families or businesses, the borrowers that they have packaged together in Collateralized Debt Obligations. To keep this whole scheme going, the financial industry, alone, has descended upon Washington DC with over 12,000 lobbyists. Any head-on assault by activists and concerned citizens, any resistance, runs into this overwhelming financial industry defense.

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Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Executive Director, Public Banking Institute – Interviewed by Craig Barnes, Founder of Banking on New Mexico

Gwen Hallsmith, Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute, was interviewed this morning (Saturday, September 6, 2014) on Our Times with Craig Barnes. Gwen points out that actions to establish state and local municipal public banks are sweeping the country. She explains how interest income that normally goes to the Wall Street banks can be returned instead to serve local purposes in our own communities.

Gwen Hallsmith on Our Times with Craig Barnes, September 6, 2014

Gwen is one of the invited guests at the upcoming Banking On Colorado Conference that will be held at the First United Universalist Unitarian Church on Saturday, January 31, 2015. Other internationally renowned invitees are listed in the sidebar to the right. The event is being jointly sponsored by Be the Change — USA and the Public Banking Institute. Information about the Symposium can be found at Banking on Colorado: Bringing Our Money Home Conference. Registration for the Conference is $25 for the General Public and $10 for Students with ID. Please join Be the Change — USA and the Public Banking Institute at this exciting and informative event.

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The Bank of North Dakota — Its History and Operation

North Dakota has a public bank–a bank that has been owned and operated by the people of North Dakota since 1919. Because of the Bank of North Dakota, the state weathered the crisis of 2008 far better than most. North Dakota has not had a single local bank failure in more than 20 years. This documentary, produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting, presents the bank’s history, its current operation, and how it benefits the state.

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Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 3 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the last post of three in this series.

The third of these videos shows us an important part of the solution to the problems outlined in the first two videos–the formation of public banks. Our cities are not broke. They are struggling with onerous interest payments to Wall Street bankers who are nothing but middlemen. These interest payments impoverish your communities, while enriching Wall Street. This video shows how municipalities, counties, universities and states can significantly reduce their interest payments by creating their own public bank. This has already been done and proven, and could cut the costs of public projects by at least half.

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Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 2 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the second post of three in the series.

The second video informs you of perils your deposits face in large global banks — as set by law. People think that money is safe in the big banks because the FDIC will protect the deposits. This assumption is not based on fact. This video will show official government documents that describe the plans for confiscating deposits when (not if), a big bank fails. Individual, as well as public funds from municipal, university, county deposits are at serious risk. Your taxpayer money will disappear in the next crisis! Public officials in charge of taxpayer funds need to be aware of the dangers here. The loss of taxpayer funds and the inability to meet payrolls and obligations will certainly prompt a response that will both immediate and forceful.

For more information about current law and how it jeopardizes your bank deposits, see Legal Framework for Big Banks Puts Depositors at Risk by Steve Seuser, Co-Director, DC Public Banking Center.

Part 3 — Tomorrow

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Money and Banking 101 — Issues and Solutions (Part 1 of 3)

From time-to-time we will post items that we are calling Money and Banking 101. These come from various sources around the world. This is the first in that series. The three videos presented here come from the Public Banking Institute and the Pennsylvania Public Bank Project. This is the first post of three in this series.

The first of these videos deals with money and money creation. People will work for decades to make the money they need to pay the bills and other necessities. Yet, fewer than 1-in-1000 people understand how this money actually gets into circulation and who benefits from our current system. After viewing this video, you will be one of those 1-in-1000 who understand this troubling issue in our current banking system. This is important knowledge. Please pass it on.

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Bringing Our Money Home