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Diary    H4'ed 8/4/16

How To Start a Public Bank

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Opening Slilde of slideshow: How To Create a Public Bank
Opening Slilde of slideshow: How To Create a Public Bank
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Many states and cities are looking to take back control of their money by setting up a Public Bank, like the 97-year old Bank of North Dakota. Leading the charge - to lower the charge s to states and cities - is the Public Banking Institute. Besides lowering costs, a Public Bank can create jobs, stabilize the local economy as a counter-cyclical investment, and protect local assets in the case of commercial bank failures or general economic decline. During the 2008-09 crisis, the Bank of North Dakota had a record year of profits, and it has continued to have them to the present day, even during 2015's oil and gas price collapse, despite that state's heavy reliance on those industries.

I have been the New York State Coordinator for the Public Banking Institute since 2010,and recently became a Senior Advisor as well, based partly on my work in modeling Public Banks for over 2 dozen cities, regions and states, now formalized into a 3-spreadsheet workbook. This is now described in a 20-page document "How to Create a Public Bank."

Using this model based on Oakland, California, on August 2, 2016, I was asked to present the process of setting up, running, and returning profits from, a Public Bank, to the 42-year old social justice organization, Wespac, located in White Plains, New York.

About 20 people attended, including Rachel Estrade, who works for Yonkers' Assembly Member Shelly Mayer, several local activists, and my co-presenter Jane Bloomer. My portion begins at the 13:00 minute mark and runs until the end from there.

The video of the event follows:

I had a follow-up meeting with the Mayor of White Plains, Thomas M. Roach and Council Member Milagros Lecuona, on whose radio show I appeared with Jane Bloomer a few weeks ago. We had a good preliminary meeting and I plan to follow up, along with the newly forming subcommittee on Public Banking from Wespac.

There are many obstacles to forming a public bank - two of which are the state control of the pension fund that could be used to capitalize such a bank, and the restrictions on how city money may be invested (see video). But creating the operational requirements are no longer one of the restrictions, if the political entity can follow such models as the one I laid out for Oakland and other cities and states above. Hopefully, the law will follow.

After all, where there's a will, there's a way, as North Dakota discovered nearly 100 years ago.

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Scott Baker is a Managing Editor & The Economics Editor at Opednews, and a former blogger for Huffington Post, Daily Kos, and Global Economic Intersection.

His anthology of updated Opednews articles "America is Not Broke" was published by Tayen Lane Publishing (March, 2015) and may be found here:

Scott is a former and current President of Common Ground-NY (, a Geoist/Georgist activist group. He has written dozens of (more...)

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