“Dirty Deals” is the name of a definitive report about Wall Street’s interactions and financing contracts with cities, counties and states nationwide. It’s a gloves-off look at the many ways public entities are forced to acquiesce to abusive usury in their private-bank-capital borrowing practices for public projects and how we can take effective steps to reverse them. Saqib Bhatti, co-director of Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), discusses why these core financing issues are driving governments around the country to consider public banking and in-house financing mechanisms, and why some of them don’t want to.
As cash transactions continue a downward slide toward obsolescence and perhaps even illegality, a host of replacement media are being lined-up to replace the practice of making tactile exchanges when completing transactions. Everyone is used to using credit and debit cards, those intermediaries that digitize payments and do account reckoning. But what lies beyond those captured private industry providers like Visa and Mastercard is an even more exotic and potentially far safer monetary transaction system called “blockchain.” This week Ellen talks with Jon Underwood, the founder and CEO of a blockchain-based parallel payment system called C-pay, a system capable of creating local monetary systems as well as addressing some of the payment world’s stickiest markets, like the developing cannabis markets of the American West.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead is famously quoted as giving credit for most social and cultural change to small groups of individuals who pioneer new priorities and establish new systems. That certainly describes many individuals around the country who are working on the American public banking frontier with multi-year commitments of time, talent and energy, going through the hoops, chicanes, reversals and exhilarations required for creating entirely new banking institutions dedicated to democratizing control of public money for public benefit. We talk with several of these pioneers about their motivations, process, challenges and concerns – snapshots of 21st Century American democracy – as the movement for public banking picks up speed from coast to coast.
North of the Border, Up Canada Way……
The earliest days of private banking cartels in America occurred before we were the United States. The pattern of private capital determining government policy is centuries old – but so is the sort of public interest banking emerging in the US now. Ellen’s guest Jim Hogue, an author, broadcaster and historian, recounts how the struggle for control of finance rocked the early American colonies and precipitated a permanent war footing enabled by big finance. Later, cohost Walt McRee talks with Dr. Maurie Cohen about his latest book dealing with the future of consumer society and whether we can create a sustainable post-consumerist economy.
When in the course of human events we lose sight of who’s really in charge, trouble looms. Western civilization has upended the natural order by placing itself above the true power in our world, Mama Nature. But now the arrogance of the Money Tribe has gone too far and we’re losing our lease on our happy home. We hear from some ancient and elderly wisdom sources, first from a Mohawk teacher and linguist and later from one of our own elders, Noam Chomsky. We also talk with Gwen Hallsmith of Global Community Initiatives who just returned from the World Water Summit in Hungary where global capital is salivating over a new investment opportunity bigger than oil: water! Still messing with Mother Nature…
It’s not “Doom and Gloom” to focus on the impending changes to our planet being caused by our prevailing economic systems.
Making Our Money Do What We Want
Improving the quality of life and local economies is a concern best addressed by local citizens. Today we revisit how the remarkable commitment of “Non-partisan” North Dakota citizens wrested state control from monopolist outsiders and produced lasting changes that continue to benefit them a century later. Guest David Morris, a co-founder of the Institute for Local Self Reliance, talks with Walt about how we need to reclaim the narrative that government can and should work well on our behalf. And Ellen talks with “The World Belongs to Everyone” author Alana Hartzog about how our current method of taxation overlooks a more obvious and fair approach based on land and the Earth itself.
Globalization has given giant private interests virtually free reign to influence policies and institutions that undermine local interests. This dominant economic paradigm in which private interests trump public interest is being pushed back by emerging forces ranging from new financial technologies, social media and changing populist narratives about the importance of effective public governance. Ellen speaks with renown global economist, author and futurist Hazel Henderson about these changes, Walt talks with David Morris of the Institute for Local Self Reliance about those changing narratives and Matt Stannard discusses threads of endemic racism that manifest in private bank practices. And we check in with one of our colleagues about why they will be demonstrating at the Philadelphia Democratic Convention about the role of money in our democracy.