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Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling WEB OF DEBT. In THE PUBLIC BANK SOLUTION, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her websites are http://EllenBrown.com, http://PublicBankSolution.com, and http://PublicBankingInstitute.org.


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258 Articles, 2 Quick Links, 484 Comments, 4 Diaries, 0 Polls

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Thursday, July 5, 2018 (18 comments)     

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A Public Bank for Los Angeles? City Council Puts It to the Voters Voters in Los Angeles will be the first in the country to weigh in on a public banking mandate, after the City Council agreed on June 29th to put a measure on the November ballot that would allow the city to form its own bank.

How to make money grow Sunday, May 27, 2018 (5 comments)     

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Blackstone, BlackRock or a Public Bank? Putting California's Funds to Work California has over $700 billion parked in private banks earning minimal interest, private equity funds that contributed to the affordable housing crisis, or shadow banks of the sort that caused the banking collapse of 2008. These funds, or some of them, could be transferred to an infrastructure bank that generated credit for the state -- while the funds remained safely on deposit in the bank.

Monsanto...The Company that Owns the World's Food Supply Wednesday, April 4, 2018 (11 comments)     

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The Bayer-Monsanto Merger Is Bad News for the Planet Global food control has nearly been achieved, by reducing seed diversity and establishing proprietary control with GMO seeds distributed by only a few transnational corporations, led by Monsanto; and by a massive, taxpayer-subsidized propaganda campaign in support of GMO seeds and neurotoxic pesticides.

Banking at the US Postal Savings Bank Monday, March 19, 2018 (18 comments)     

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The War on the Post Office The US Postal Service, under attack from a manufactured crisis designed to force its privatization, needs a new source of funding to survive. Postal banking could fill that need.

Tianjin, one of the 15 Chinese Cities involved in the new EU China Smart Cities Forum Wednesday, February 28, 2018 (8 comments)     

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Funding Infrastructure: Why China Is Running Circles Around America While American politicians argue endlessly about where to find the money, China has been forging full steam ahead with its mega-projects. Where do the banks get the money? Basically, they print it. Not directly. Not obviously. But as the Bank of England has acknowledged, banks do not merely recycle existing deposits but actually create the money they lend by writing it into their borrowers' deposit accounts...

The problem of cannabis cash Thursday, January 25, 2018 (7 comments)     

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How Uncle Sam Launders Marijuana Money In a blatant example of "do as I say, not as I do," the US government is profiting handsomely by accepting marijuana cash in the payment of taxes while imposing huge penalties on banks for accepting it as deposits. Onerous reporting requirements are driving small local banks to sell out to Wall Street. Congress needs to harmonize federal with state law.

Image created from image crediting Saturday, January 6, 2018 (19 comments)     

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Student Debt Slavery: Time to Level the Playing Field We need to free our students from the system of debt slavery that has financialized education, turning it from an investment in human capital into a tool for exploiting the young for the benefit of private investors. State-owned banks can make the loan process fair, equitable and affordable; but their creation will be fought by big bank lobbyists. An organized student movement could be an effective counter-lobby.

College graduate students Wednesday, December 27, 2017 (26 comments)     

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Student Debt Slavery: Bankrolling Financiers on the Backs of the Young Graduates leave college with a diploma and a massive debt on their backs, averaging more than $37,000 in 2016. The government's student loan portfolio now totals $1.37 trillion, making it the second highest consumer debt category, behind only mortgage debt. Student debt has risen nearly 164 percent in 25 years, while median wages have increased only 1.6 percent.

Sunday, November 5, 2017 (17 comments)     

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The Public Bank Option -- Safer, Local and Half the Cost Phil Murphy, a former banker with a double-digit lead in New Jersey's race for governor, has made a state-owned bank a centerpiece of his platform. If he wins on November 7, the nation's second state-owned bank in a century could follow.

Small-town banker George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) in "It's a Wonderful Life" Wednesday, November 1, 2017 (24 comments)     

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Regulation Is Killing Community Banks -- Public Banks Can Revive Them Crushing regulations are driving small banks to sell out to the megabanks, a consolidation process that appears to be intentional. Publicly-owned banks can help avoid that trend and keep credit flowing in local economies.

Hurricane Irma hits Puerto Rico Saturday, October 14, 2017 (3 comments)     

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How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders During his visit to hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico, President Donald Trump shocked the bond market when he told Geraldo Rivera of Fox News that he was going to wipe out the island's bond debt. How did he plan to pull this off? Here's one possibility.

Parade of UBI activists in Zurich Thursday, October 5, 2017 (33 comments)     

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How to Fund a Universal Basic Income Without Increasing Taxes or Inflation The policy of guaranteeing every citizen a universal basic income is gaining support around the world, as automation increasingly makes jobs obsolete. But can it be funded without raising taxes or triggering hyperinflation? In a panel I was on at the NexusEarth cryptocurrency conference in Aspen September 21-23rd, most participants said no. This is my rebuttal.

Illinois is bankrupt Tuesday, July 25, 2017 (10 comments)     

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Saving Illinois: Getting More Bang for the State's Bucks Illinois is teetering on bankruptcy and other states are not far behind, largely due to unfunded pension liabilities; but there are solutions. The Federal Reserve could do a round of "QE for Munis." Or the state could turn its sizable pension fund into a self-sustaining public bank.

Thursday, June 29, 2017 (15 comments)     

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Sovereign Debt Jubilee, Japanese-style Japan has found a way to write off nearly half its national debt without creating inflation. We could do that too.

Monday, June 12, 2017 (57 comments)     

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Dear Mr. President, Be Careful What You Wish for: Higher Interest Rates Will Kill the Recovery Higher interest rates will triple the interest on the federal debt to $830 billion annually by 2026, will hurt workers and young voters, and could bankrupt over 20% of US corporations, according to the IMF. The move is not necessary to counteract inflation and shows that the Fed is operating from the wrong model.

infrastructure Sunday, May 21, 2017 (22 comments)     

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If China Can Fund Infrastructure with Its Own Credit, So Can We This week has been designated "National Infrastructure Week" The message: "It's time to rebuild." Ever since ASCE began issuing its "National Infrastructure Report Card" in 1998, the nation has gotten a dismal grade of D or D+. In the meantime, the estimated cost of fixing its infrastructure has gone up from $1.3 trillion to $4.6 trillion.

Thursday, April 13, 2017 (5 comments)     

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What a State-Owned Bank Can Do for New Jersey Having a cheap and ready credit line with its own state-owned bank can do for New Jersey and other states what it does for North Dakota: reduce the need for wasteful rainy-day funds invested at minimal interest in out-of-state banks; allow the state to leverage its funds, expanding its current credit facilities without adding to the state's debt; cut infrastructure costs in half; and jumpstart the economy.

It's what the people want Thursday, March 16, 2017 (12 comments)     

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"Ryancare" Dead on Arrival: Time to Look Again at Single Payer The new American Health Care Act has been unveiled, and critics are calling it more flawed even than the Obamacare it was meant to replace. The problem for both administrations is that they have been trying to fund a bloated, inefficient, and overpriced medical system with scarce taxpayer funds, without capping its costs. Single Payer has proven itself globally to be the most efficient solution.

Keeping up with Asia Friday, January 27, 2017 (26 comments)     

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How to Cut Infrastructure Costs in Half Americans could save $1 trillion over 10 years by financing infrastructure through publicly-owned banks like the one that has long been operating in North Dakota.

The Power of No Friday, December 23, 2016 (6 comments)     

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The Italian Banking Crisis: No Free Lunch -- Or Is There? It has been called "a bigger risk than Brexit"-- the Italian banking crisis that could take down the eurozone. Handwringing officials say "there is no free lunch" and "no magic bullet." But UK Prof. Richard Werner says the magic bullet is just being ignored.

Bridge collapses in Minneapolis, 2007 Friday, December 9, 2016 (9 comments)     

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"We'll Look at Everything": More Thoughts on Trump's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan To stimulate the economy, create new jobs and generate new GDP requires an injection of new money. Borrowing from the bond markets or off-balance-sheet in public/private partnerships won't do it. If Congress won't issue money directly, it should borrow from banks, which create money on their books when they make loans.

Trump Throwing Money Wednesday, November 16, 2016 (8 comments)     

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Trump's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan: Lincoln Had a Bolder Solution Donald Trump was an outsider who boldly stormed the citadel of Washington DC and won. He has promised real change, but his infrastructure plan appears to be just more of the same -- privatizing public assets and delivering unearned profits to investors at the expense of the people. He needs to try something new; and for this he could look to Abraham Lincoln: just print the money.

Prop 51: solution or boondoggle? Thursday, October 20, 2016 (6 comments)     

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Funding California Schools: Proposition 51 Versus a State-owned Bank School districts are notoriously short of funding -- so short that some California districts have succumbed to Capital Appreciation Bonds that will cost taxpayers as much is 10 to 15 times principal. By comparison, California's Prop. 51 looks like a good deal.However, there is a much cheaper way to fund this $9 billion school debt. By borrowing from its own state-chartered, state-owned bank, the state could save over $10 B.

Banking transitions into the 21st century Monday, September 19, 2016 (5 comments)     

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Central Bank Digital Currencies: A Revolution in Banking? Several central banks, including the Bank of England, the People's Bank of China, the Bank of Canada and the Federal Reserve, are exploring the concept of issuing their own digital currencies, using the blockchain technology developed for Bitcoin.Central Bank Digital Currencies could supplant the money now created by private banks through "fractional reserve" lending.

Dr. Jill Stein Wednesday, August 3, 2016 (66 comments)     

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Can Jill Carry Bernie's Baton? A Look at the Green Candidate's Radical Funding Solution Bernie Sanders supporters are flocking to Jill Stein, with donations to her campaign exploding nearly 1000% after he endorsed Hillary Clinton. Stein salutes Sanders for the progressive populist movement he began and says it is up to her to carry the baton. Can she do it? Critics say her radical policies will not hold up to scrutiny. But supporters say they are just the medicine the economy needs.

Photo: Friedrich Böhringer Tuesday, July 26, 2016 (34 comments)     

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Japan's "Helicopter Money" Play: Road to Hyperinflation or Cure for Debt Deflation? Fifteen years after embarking on its largely ineffective quantitative easing program, Japan appears poised to try the form recommended by Ben Bernanke in his notorious "helicopter money" speech in 2002. The Japanese test case could finally resolve a longstanding dispute between monetarists and money reformers over the economic effects of government-issued money.

Bayer/Monsanto merger: A marriage made in hell Saturday, July 9, 2016 (18 comments)     

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Monsanto, Bayer, and the Push for Corporate Cannabis California's "Adult Use of Marijuana Act" (AUMA) is a voter initiative characterized as legalizing marijuana use. But critics warn that it will actually make access more difficult and expensive, squeeze home growers and small farmers out of the market, heighten criminal sanctions for violations, and open the door to patented, genetically modified (GMO) versions that must be purchased year after year.

The Derivatives Time Bomb Sunday, July 3, 2016 (24 comments)     

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Brexit and the Derivatives Time Bomb Brexit could trigger a $500 trillion derivatives meltdown, by forcing the EU to allow insolvent member governments and banks to write down debt. Italy is in financial crisis and is already petitioning for that concession. How to avoid collapse of the massive derivatives house of cards? Alternatives are considered.

The War on Weed Saturday, June 25, 2016     

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As the War on Weed Winds Down, Will Monsanto Be the Big Winner? The war on cannabis that began in the 1930s seems to be coming to an end. Research shows that this natural plant, rather than posing a deadly danger to health, has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. But skeptics question the sudden push for legalization, which is largely funded by wealthy investors linked to Big Ag and Big Pharma.

Trump Throwing Money Saturday, May 14, 2016 (21 comments)     

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"Print the Money": Trump's "Reckless" Proposal Echoes Franklin and Lincoln "Print the money" has been called crazy talk, but it may be the only sane solution to a $19 trillion federal debt that has doubled in the last 10 years. The solution of Abraham Lincoln and the American colonists can still work today.

What California could do . . . Tuesday, May 3, 2016 (6 comments)     

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Bank of North Dakota Soars Despite Oil Bust: A Blueprint for California? Despite North Dakota's collapsing oil market, its state-owned bank continues to report record profits. This article looks at what California, with fifty times North Dakota's population, could do following that state's lead.

The War on Cash Monday, April 11, 2016 (12 comments)     

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The War on Savings: The Panama Papers, Bail-Ins, and the Push to Go Cashless Exposing tax dodgers is a worthy endeavor, but the "limited hangout" of the Panama Papers may have less noble ends, dovetailing with the War on Cash and the imminent threat of massive bail-ins of depositor funds.

Secretary Clinton Arrives in Tripoli Sunday, March 13, 2016 (41 comments)     

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Exposing the Libyan Agenda: A Closer Look at Hillary's Emails Critics have long questioned why violent intervention was necessary in Libya. Hillary Clinton's recently published emails confirm that it was less about protecting the people from a dictator than about money, banking, and preventing African economic sovereignty.

Grassroots populism sprouts forth Wednesday, January 27, 2016 (24 comments)     

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The Populist Revolution: Bernie and Beyond Contenders with their fingers on the popular pulse are surging ahead of their establishment rivals. Sanders has picked up the baton where Occupy Wall Street left off, forcing his opponent Hillary Clinton to respond . . .

Bridge collapses in Minneapolis, 2007 Monday, January 18, 2016 (31 comments)     

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The Citadel Is Breached: Congress Taps the Fed for Infrastructure Funding In a landmark infrastructure bill passed in December, Congress finally penetrated the Fed's "independence" by tapping its reserves and bank dividends for infrastructure funding. The bill was a start. But some experts, including Congressional candidate Tim Canova, say Congress should go further and authorize funds to be issued for infrastructure directly.

Bail-ins begin. Wednesday, December 30, 2015 (28 comments)     

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A Crisis Worse than ISIS? Bail-Ins Begin While the mainstream media focus on ISIS extremists, a threat that has gone virtually unreported is that your life savings could be wiped out in a massive derivatives collapse. Bank bail-ins have begun in Europe, and the infrastructure is in place in the US.

people's revolution in Iceland, 2008 Saturday, December 12, 2015 (20 comments)     

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Reinventing Banking: From Russia to Iceland to Ecuador Global developments in finance and geopolitics are prompting a rethinking of the structure of banking and of the nature of money itself. Among other interesting developments are those in Russia, Iceland, Ireland, the UK and Ecuador.

Cash is King. Saturday, November 21, 2015 (61 comments)     

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Hang Onto Your Wallets: Negative Interest, the War on Cash, and the $10 Trillion Bail-in In uncertain times, "cash is king," but central bankers are systematically moving to eliminate that option. Is it really about stimulating the economy? Or is there some deeper, darker threat afoot?

Trillion Dollar Coin Wednesday, October 28, 2015 (12 comments)     

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How Obama Could Beat the Debt Ceiling and Go Out a Hero One good gimmick deserves another. The debt ceiling could be eliminated for good, by restoring to the government its constitutional authority to create money. Article 1, Section 8, provides: "The Congress shall have the power to coin money [and] regulate the value thereof . . . ." The president could pay the government's bills by issuing some large denomination coins by executive order.

Small banks under fire. Thursday, October 22, 2015 (7 comments)     

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Killing Off Community Banks -- Intended Consequence of Dodd-Frank? The Dodd-Frank regulations are so lethal to community banks that some say the intent was to force them to sell out to the megabanks. Community banks are rapidly disappearing -- except in North Dakota, where they are thriving.

liquidity Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (23 comments)     

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Time for the Nuclear Option: Raining Money on Main Street Predictions are that we will soon be seeing the "nuclear option" -- central bank-created money injected directly into the real economy. All other options having failed, governments will be reduced to issuing money outright to cover budget deficits.

Anti-austerity candidate Jeremy Corbyn Thursday, September 3, 2015 (44 comments)     

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Quantitative Easing for People: The UK Labour Frontrunner's Controversial Proposal Jeremy Corbyn, who is currently leading in the polls for UK Labour Party leadership, has included in his platform "quantitative easing for people." The proposal has critics crying hyperinflation and supporters saying it's about time.

Playing the QE trump card Wednesday, August 19, 2015 (13 comments)     

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Trumping the Federal Debt Without Playing the Default Card The government can reduce the debt by buying it -- and ripping it up. The debt can be bought either with debt-free U.S. Notes of the sort issued during the Civil War, or with U.S. dollars issued by the Federal Reserve--a kind of "quantitative easing" for the people.

bank liquidity squeeze Friday, July 31, 2015 (15 comments)     

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The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion In the modern global banking system, all banks need a credit line with the central bank in order to be part of the payments system. Choking off that credit line was a form of blackmail the Greek government couldn't refuse.

Where democracy was born and died Wednesday, July 15, 2015 (50 comments)     

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Grexit or Jubilee? How Greek Debt Can Be Annulled The crushing Greek debt could be canceled the way it was made -- by sleight of hand. But saving the Greek people and their economy is evidently not in the game plan of the Eurocrats.

Oxi Thursday, July 9, 2015 (11 comments)     

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"Guerrilla Warfare Against a Hegemonic Power": The Challenge and Promise of Greece Banks create money when they make loans. Greece could restore the liquidity desperately needed by its banks and its economy by nationalizing the banks and issuing digital loans backed by government guarantees to its ailing businesses. Greece could provide an inspiring model of sustainable prosperity for the world. But it is being strangled by a hegemonic power in a financial war that is being waged against us all.

Pope Francis Saturday, July 4, 2015 (18 comments)     

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A Revolutionary Pope Calls for Rethinking the Outdated Criteria That Rule the World Pope Francis' revolutionary encyclical addresses not just climate change but the banking crisis. Interestingly, the solution to that crisis may have been modeled in the Middle Ages by Franciscan monks following the Saint from whom the Pope took his name.

Off with her head! Sunday, June 21, 2015 (37 comments)     

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"Sentence First, Verdict Afterwards": The Alice in Wonderland World of Fast-tracked Secret Trade Agreements Fast-track authority is being sought in the Senate this week for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), along with the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). The terms of the TPP and the TiSA are so secret that drafts of the negotiations are to remain classified for four years or five years. How can laws be enforced against people and governments who are not allowed to know what was negotiated?

fast tracking secretive trade deals Thursday, June 11, 2015 (16 comments)     

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Fast-tracking TiSA: Stealth Block to Monetary Reform The entire basis for maintaining our private extractive banking monopoly may have been thrown out the window. And that could help explain the desperate rush to "fast track" not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.

Amtrak derailed Wednesday, May 20, 2015 (21 comments)     

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Derailing Amtrak: Tracking the Latest Disaster in the Infrastructure Crisis The dangerous underfunding of US infrastructure was underscored by a fatal train derailment on May 12th. The tragedy did not deter the House Appropriations Committee from voting to slash Amtrak funding the very next day. There are ways Congress could fund its massive infrastructure bill without raising taxes. But the conservative-controlled Congress seems to have other plans for the nation's profitable public assets.

Government by transnational corporations Saturday, April 25, 2015 (14 comments)     

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic The Senate Finance Committee has approved a bill to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that would override our republican form of government and hand judicial and legislative authority to a foreign three-person panel of corporate lawyers. The TPP would elevate the rights of investors -- also called the rights of "capital" -- above the rights of the citizens, which is unconstitutional.

The power of big money Tuesday, April 7, 2015 (17 comments)     

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How America Became an Oligarchy According to a new study from Princeton University, American democracy no longer exists. Rich, well-connected individuals now steer the direction of the country, regardless of -- or even against -- the will of the majority of voters. America's political system has transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where power is wielded by wealthy elites. How did this happen, and how can we take back our power?

Water Wars Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (24 comments)     

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California Water Wars: Another Form of Asset Stripping? In California's epic drought, wars over water rights continue, while innovative alternatives for increasing the available water supply go untapped.

Policeman protesting austerity measures in Athens Wednesday, March 11, 2015 (12 comments)     

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The ECB's Noose Around Greece: How Central Banks Harness Governments Remember when the infamous Goldman Sachs delivered a thinly-veiled threat to the Greek Parliament in December, warning them to elect a pro-austerity prime minister or risk having central bank liquidity cut off to their banks? It seems the European Central Bank (headed by Mario Draghi, former managing director of Goldman Sachs International) has now made good on the threat.

Greed is good. Saturday, February 21, 2015 (14 comments)     

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Swimming with the Sharks: Goldman Sachs, Schools, and Capital Appreciation Bonds Remember when Goldman Sachs -- dubbed by Matt Taibbi the Vampire Squid-- sold derivatives to Greece so the government could conceal its debt, then bet against that debt, driving it up? It seems that the ubiquitous investment bank has also put the squeeze on California and its school districts.

German public bank Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (24 comments)     

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Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks: Unfair Competition or a Better Mousetrap? Public banks in North Dakota, Germany and Switzerland have been shown to outperform their private counterparts. Under the TPP and TTIP, however, publicly-owned banks on both sides of the oceans might wind up getting sued for unfair competition because they have advantages not available to private banks.

Beware Greeks bearing grudges Wednesday, January 7, 2015 (13 comments)     

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EU Showdown: Greece Takes on the Vampire Squid Greece and the troika (the International Monetary Fund, the EU, and the European Central Bank) are in a dangerous game of chicken. The Greeks have been threatened with a "Cyprus-Style prolonged bank holiday" if they "vote wrong." But they have been bullied for too long and are saying "no more."

Showdown at high noon Saturday, December 20, 2014 (18 comments)     

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Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend. Whatever happened behind closed doors, we the people could again be stuck with the tab.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 (7 comments)     

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The Global Bankers' Coup: Bail-In and the Shadowy Financial Stability Board On December 11,the US House passed a bill repealing the Dodd-Frank requirement that risky derivatives be pushed into big-bank subsidiaries, leaving our deposits and pensions exposed to massive derivatives losses. The recent drop in the price of oil could trigger a derivatives payout that could bankrupt the biggest banks. And if the G20's new "bail-in" rules are formalized, depositors and pensioners could be on the hook.

Bail-out is out. Bail-in is in. Tuesday, December 2, 2014 (27 comments)     

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New G20 Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Hit Depositors AND Pensioners On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board's latest dictat, which completely changes the rules of banking. Not only public and private depositors' funds, but also pension funds--via "bail-inable bonds"--are now targeted for confiscation.

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