Breaking with Wall Street: L.A. Puts It to the Voters

A “yes’ vote on the Charter Amendment Bill in November will allow Los Angeles to create a city-owned bank that can partner with local banks to provide low-cost credit for the community. It would be a public bank based on the model of the century-old state-owned Bank of North Dakota. By cutting out Wall Street middlemen, the latter is able to make below-market credit available to local businesses, farmers, and students.


Wall Street owns the country. That was the opening line of a fiery speech by populist leader Mary Ellen Lease in 1890. Franklin Roosevelt said it again in a letter to Colonel House in 1933, and Sen. Dick Durbin was still saying it in 2009. “The banks – hard to believe in a time when we’re facing a banking crisis that many of the banks created – are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill,” Durbin said in an interview. “And they frankly own the place.”

Wall Street banks triggered a credit crisis in 2008-09 that wiped out over $19 trillion in household wealth, turned some 10 million families out of their homes, and cost almost 9 million jobs in the US alone; yet the banks were bailed out without penalty, while defrauded homebuyers were left without recourse or compensation. The banks made a killing on interest rate swaps…

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4 thoughts on “Breaking with Wall Street: L.A. Puts It to the Voters

  1. Americans, especially politicians in Washington, D.C., have a hard time advocating for rapidly increasing the establishment of public banking at the city, state, regional and federal levels. Average Americans have the legitimate excuse of lacking information/awareness about publicly-owned banks, while politicians have a more serious concern: their wish to continue breathing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Too true. It’s a pity the US doesn’t have a national advocacy group like Positive Money for public banking and sovereign money. I’m presently working with Positive Money NZ circulating a petition to Parliament that would give our Reserve Bank (which is owned and controlled by the government) the sole power to issue our money.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great blog ccc4mr. Thanks for the link. I belong to Positive Money NZ and we have just launched a petition to grant the Reserve Bank of NZ (which was nationalized in 1936) the sole authority to issue our money.


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