Public banks are less risky than Wall Street

by Public Bank LA
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Chris Roth of Public Bank LA responds to a piece in the Hill written by Rob Nichols, the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association.

Rob Nichols is the president and CEO of the American Bankers Association. The byline of his piece over at The Hill on Friday probably should have lead with that so readers could prepare themselves for the misleading ideas about public banking he was peddling.

Rob claims “a scattered business focus, undue political influence and lack of oversight” are the top risks involved with the creation of a municipal bank. The organizers supporting Measure B wholeheartedly agree. That is why all three of those areas have been at the forefront of the discussions with state regulators regarding the eventual structure of the Municipal Bank of Los Angeles. If Nichols had bothered to learn about what has been discussed he would have known this.

The proposed Municipal Bank of Los Angeles would be a “bankers bank” and would not compete with local community banks or credit unions. It would not seek to compete with those institutions in providing banking services directly to Angelenos, but rather help those very institutions expand their services by partnering with them to increase the supply of capital that is available to invest in the local economy. The Municipal Bank of Los Angeles would focus on providing the same kinds of services to the City of Los Angeles that the Bank of North Dakota provides to its namesake, through the same kind of scrupulous and conservative investment strategies that have served North Dakotans so well over the last century.

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