What if People Owned the Banks, Instead of Wall Street?

by Public Bank LA
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By Jimmy Tobias, The Nation. From Seattle to Santa Fe, cities are at the center of a movement to create publicly owned banks.

When Craig Brandt marched into the City Council chambers in Oakland, California, in the summer of 2015, he was furious about fraud. The long-time local attorney and father of two had been following the fallout from the Libor scandal, a brazen financial scam that saw some of the biggest banks on Wall Street illegally manipulate international interest rates in order to boost their profits. By some estimates, the scheme cost cities and states around the country well over $6 billion. In June of 2015, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Barclays, among other Libor-rigging giants, pleaded guilty to felony charges related to the conspiracy and agreed to pay more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines to US regulators. But, for Brandt, that wasn’t enough. He wanted the banks banished, blocked from doing business in his city.

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