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.
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.
BREXIT, FREXIT, GREXIT – where’s everybody going? The recent vote in the United Kingdom to get out of the European Union is a telling example of how ill-served citizens in the political/financial union are feeling about their status. Such feeling suggests the potential for contagion with other European nations souring on the control of the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels. Ellen talks with a noted international observer Stephen Lendman about this vote and the politics that led up to it and are now playing out.
Matt Stannard reports on another political stage, in NC, where money for local infrastructure depends on compliance with onerous immigration policies. And our What Wall Street Costs America report focuses on the tragic human costs inflicted on Puerto Rico by American hedge funds.
Mayer Rothschild is famously quoted as saying “Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws!” – and so it is. When we look at the distribution of capital, we see that those who control the franchise of creating money through loans and debt rule our world. Ellen speaks with one of the planet’s oldest serving statesmen, Canada’s Paul Hellyer, about the nature of this controlling franchise and about the alternatives still available. Walt McRee speaks with Lisa Cody, a researcher for the Service Employees International Union, who did a landmark study of the outrageous costs Los Angeles has paid private financiers as part of our ongoing series What Wall Street Costs America, and Matt Stannard comments on the increasingly popular idea of providing a basic income to people as one way of balancing the scales against the controlling interests.
We continue our conversation with the preeminent historian of the Bank of North Dakota, Dr. Rozanne Enerson Junker, about the founding factors and functional dimensions of America’s only state-owned public bank. Ellen discusses block-chain technology with co-host Walt McRee while this week’s What Wall Street Costs America examines the impact of predatory banking costs on the city of Detroit — Matt Stannard talks with Tom Stevens of “Detroiters Resisting Emergency Management.”
Almost 100 years ago, populist politics marched across America in reaction to the same sort of monetary monopoly that is depriving this century’s citizens of their hard-earned assets and wealth. That deprivation has mobilized an angry, fed-up backlash of folks willing to support any candidate who will talk straight and promise real change. Several candidates are rising to the challenge. Ellen talks with Tim Canova, a law professor and Fed expert facing off against Congressional Democratic insider Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in South Florida – out West, a State House Representative candidate Pamela Powers-Hannley runs on a platform calling for a public bank to stave off the deteriorating state economy and using inspiration from 100-years ago; and Matt Stannard talks with the award-winning author David Dayen whose new book Chain of Title reveals how a few plucky citizens pushed back against the Goliath of Wall Street mortgage fraud.
Economies are life forces – interdependent systems built upon the facts of life and living. “Life capital” as Ellen’s noted guest Dr. John McMurtry says, is at the heart of true economic reckoning, and money is merely one derivative. McMurtry describes Capitalism as being in a cancerous stage in which it’s being devoured from within by metastasizing greed and self-interest, devouring all living materials in its path. Similarly, we look at the new What Wall Street Costs America project and get specific about how that cancer reality looks in Jefferson County, AL, which declared bankruptcy after buying into toxic interest rates swaps from Wall Street salesmen. One thing though – we also talk about the antidote for that cancer: public banks!
You’ve Been Strip Mined! That’s how Ellen’s guest Les Leopold describes what has happened to the constructive role of capital, such as investment in research and development, expansion and improvement of services and industries. He calls it “economic strip-mining” in which capital speculators like hedge funds strip the equity of companies, countries and consumers to feed their insatiable desire for short term profits – outcomes be damned. We also introduce the new national project and campaign called “What Wall Street Costs America” – the start of a national conversation revealing the massive extraction of public dollars by Wall Street interests. And Matt Stannard reviews presidential politics and bank reform on the Public Banking Report.
GUEST 1: Ellen Brown
Ellen Brown is an economist and attorney in Los Angeles who is now the founder of the Public Banking Institute – a non profit economic venture to find viable, sustainable solutions to America’s banking crises by promoting people-owned state and community banks. Last year she ran as the Green Party candidate for California State’s Treasurer. Ellen has written extensively about the private financial cartels and the Federal Reserve. Her recent book, “The Public Bank Solution: From Austerity to Prosperity”, introduces a safe soluble public banking alternative to the credit-based system of the current big banks. Her writings also frequently appear on the website of the Center for Global Research, where she is a research associate.
She is the host of the radio program Its Our Money, heard every Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern here on the Progressive Radio Network, and her website is WebOfDebt.com
GUEST 2: Guy McPherson
Dr. Guy McPherson is a professor emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. He has specialized in forest resources, energy decline and climate change and its economic consequences. In the past he has also taught at Texas A&M and University of California at Berkeley. Having become disillusioned with the American university environment and academia, and after attempts by university officials to silence his outspokenness about the human causes of climate change, Guy abandoned his tenured position as a full professor for ethical reasons of conscience. He is the author of several books, the latest entitled “Extinction Dialogs: How to Live with Death in Mind.” He is also the co-host with Mikey Silwa of the radio program Nature Bats Last heard every Tuesday afternoon at 3 pm Eastern time on the Progressive Radio Network. His website is GuyMcpherson.com
When legislators here and abroad gave power to private bank interests to supply the money for their national economies, it was a thickly-veiled ruse that set the stage for complete debt subjection of all public interests. Our notional national debt levels are the proof. So it is with great interest that we delve back into a continuing legal struggle over the Bank of Canada’s chartered responsibilities for interest-free public investment. We remind you of some simple truths from 12-year old Victoria Grant about the Bank of Canada and Ellen’s guest, Dr. J. Ryan Collins, discusses the policy that foisted a change on B of C’s virtuous history. And as a legal maven himself, Matt Stannard reviews the benefits that reside even in failed legal challenges of this sort.
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