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Washington Public Bank Coalition Newsletter November 2011

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Public Banking Newsletter November 2011 Edition


In this edition:

  • Short Commentary by a Public Bank Proponent
  • One-minute Stump Speech
  • Resource of the Month: Web of Debt Blog http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/
  • Legislative Update
  • Upcoming events


Short Commentary

     The Occupy Movement exists for a simple reason: Too much money is in the hands of too few people.  If there were the political will, the financial system would be restructured and some semblance of justice restored…immediately.

    One issue--- Banks skim money from us. There are the more legitimate skim sources - processing payments on our debts, processor transaction fees, and trade commissions, and less legitimate banking skims: high interest payments on our debts, penalty credit card interest rates, and low balance fees.

     Then there is sometimes fraud, open robbery, whereby the financial system is stealing our public money. Case in point: interest rate swap termination fees. Public entities like states, cities and school districts enter into these derivative contracts to reduce their interest payments on loans. When they want to get out of these deals, they end up having to pay gigantic termination fees to big banks. In turn, these fees come out of the public tax base, thievery from us----right out in the open.



For more info, see



Again----The corruption is right out in the open. In my opinion, this economic trajectory we are on can’t continue…people are waking up to it. How it exactly plays out I don’t know. However, I do know that Public Banks are an answer: people’s money working to help people’s lives: no more speculation with the public’s monies, no high interest loan rates enslaving people for years or a lifetime.

The Occupy Movement make me hopeful. Everyone waking up makes me hopeful. We will get through this together.

 ---Elizabeth Hanson, Washington Public Bank Coalition Member


Glass Steagall Banking Regulations were established during the Great Depression to prevent normal commercial banks from gambling the economy into an economic crash. This important law was repealed in 1999 Gramm Leach Act with support from the leaders of both political parties. Deregulation enabled banks to speculate with other people’s money. We need to reinstate Glass-Steagall to safeguard our money and get banks out of the casino business.


The One Minute Stump Speech

Public banks strengthen local economies.

Public Banks partner with local banks and credit unions to make is so they can provide more loans at lower interest rates to small businesses and farmers. This leads to more jobs.

Public banks decrease state infrastructure projects by greatly reducing or eliminating interest costs. This saves the state billions of dollars in interest paid to private banks and bondholders.

Public banks can provide very low interest loans to college students helping more people get an education.

The mandate of a public bank is to keep taxpayer money in the state, helping the people in the state. All interest gained is returned to the state.

For more information go to:        


 Ellen Brown

An informative and lively interview of Ellen Brown with Bill Alford on Moral Politics. The interview will cablecast 8 PM on November 18, 2011 on Comcast channel 77 in King County; otherwise, viewable live from www.seattlecommunitymedia.org


Resource of the Month: Web of Debt Blog – The Global Crisis: How We Got In It and How to Get Out http://webofdebt.wordpress.com/


Public Bank Legislative Update

The Washington State House of Representatives Infrastructure Funding Taskforce, which is charges with creating a bill for a Public State Bank, also called an Investment Trust bank, has been making great progress towards drafting a bill. Chaired by Representative Bob Hasegawa, the next meeting with be on November 17th in Olympia, likely starting at 9 am in the Senate Hearing room 1. Public attendance and comments are invited.

 For more information about the Taskforce, go to their website:



The plan is for the Taskforce to produce a bill by the end of December. The bill will then require public hearings in both the House and Senate, likely in January. The issue will hopefully come up for a vote during February 2012. Please contact your legislators and ask them to support a public bank for Washington State


Upcoming events:   

If you would like for us to give a presentation on public banking to your group, let us know. Contact Elizabeth at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it