What if People Owned the Banks, Instead of Wall Street?
By Jimmy Tobias
Posted June 2, 2017
From Seattle to Santa Fe, cities are at the center of a movement to create publicly owned banks.
Public banks have a long, though subterranean, history in the United States that stretches back to the days of Benjamin Franklin, who helped establish a public land bank in Pennsylvania to provide cheap loans to small farmers. Even today many public institutions, from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to the Small Business Administration to the Federal Housing administration, are essential components of America’s banking system. But there’s only one true public bank in this country and it’s not in Washington or New York or some coastal liberal enclave. It’s in North Dakota, where it has survived and thrived for nearly a century. More…