Is 2018 the Year of the Public Bank in America?

by Public Bank LA
in Updates
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By Aaron Fernando, The Progressive. The Progressive Magazine talks with Phoenix Goodman and Trinity Tran of Revolution LA/ Divest LA/ Public Bank LA and Walt McRee of the Public Banking Institute on the rising public banking movement.

2018 could be a turning point in the way banking is done in America. The creation of publicly owned banks could save the public millions in fees and interest each year, lead to improved financial infrastructure, and drastically reduce the cost of public projects. In recent months, more than a dozen American cities and states have been exploring the idea of transferring their accounts from private banks into banks of their own.

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Public Bank LA x The Young Turks

by Public Bank LA
in Updates
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 The Young Turks' Cenk Uygur interviews Public Bank LA Co-Founders Phoenix Goodman and Trinity Tran on Revolution LA, Divest LA, and its evolution into the campaign to create a municipal bank for Los Angeles. Watch the interview:

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The Growing Movement To Create City-Run Public Banks

by Public Bank LA
in Updates
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By Adele Peters, Fast Company. As activists pressure governments to remove their deposits from banks that back bad policies, cities are considering a new option: become their own financial institution that serves the needs of the citizens, not investors.

When the movement to push the city of Los Angeles from keeping its money at Wells Fargo grew in 2017–as in other cities that decided to pull money from the bank because of its fake accounts scandal and funding of the Dakota Access Pipeline–organizers of the campaign realized that they faced a challenge: Where to put the money next.

The largest city accounts are too big for small community banks to handle, so divestment from one major bank typically means moving money to another major bank that likely has social responsibility issues of its own. In addition, even ethical smaller banks aren’t directly accountable to the public. L.A., along with other U.S. cities, is now considering another option: a public, city-owned bank that would keep money inside the community, and follow a socially and environmentally responsible charter.

“This started as a divest campaign,” says Phoenix Goodman, cofounder and policy director for the activist group Revolution LA, which runs both Divest LA and Public Bank LA. “I was tasked with doing research on alternatives and what that would entail financially, and in looking into it, I realized, wait a minute, we have so much money that the only other banks that can handle our accounts are other huge Wall Street firms, all of which are complicit in this same system, more or less. Maybe Wells Fargo is the most egregious, but in a way it’s a smaller victory, because we’re just going to move to another big bank, and we’re not changing the system, we’re changing a symptom of the system.”

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