(originally appeared on Alternet.org)
Why is financial socialism still alive in
In 1919, the Non-Partisan League, a vibrant populist organization,
won a majority in the legislature and voted the bank into existence. The goal
was to free North Dakota farmers from impoverishing debt dependence on the big
banks in the
Each time we pay our state and local taxes, as well as all
manner of fees, the state must deposit the revenues in a bank. If you're anyplace
So, not only are we, as taxpayers, on the hook for too-big-to-fail
Wall Street banks, but also we are giving our tax dollars to these same banks each
and every time we pay a sales tax or pay property tax or buy a fishing license. In
How the State Bank Creates Jobs
Banks are supposed to serve as intermediaries that turn our savings and checking deposits into productive loans to businesses and consumers. That's how jobs are supported and created. But the BND, a state agency, goes one step further. Through its Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion, for example, it provides loans at below market interest rates to businesses if and only if those businesses create at least one job for every $100,000 loaned. If the $1 trillion dollars that now flows to Wall Street, instead were deposited in public state banks in all 50 states using this same approach, up to 10 million new jobs could be created. That would effectively end our destructive unemployment crisis.
No bailouts for the BND:
Banking doesn't have to be a casino. It doesn't have to be designed to create gambling opportunities so that bank traders and executives can make seven and eight figure salaries. As BND president Eric Hardmeyer said in a 2009 Mother Jones interview:
' We're a fairly conservative lot up here in the upper Midwest and we didn't do any subprime lending and we have the ability to get into the derivatives markets and put on swaps and callers and caps and credit default swaps and just chose not to do it, really chose a Warren Buffett mentality--if we don't understand it, we're not going to jump into it. And so we've avoided all those pitfalls...'
As state government employees, BND executives have no
incentive to gamble their way towards enormous pay packages. As you can see, the
top six BND officers earn a good living, but on Wall Street, cooks and chauffeurs
Bob Humann, Chief Lending Officer: $135,133.79
(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).