Take Public Money Out Of Private Hands
November 29, 2018 10:55 AM   Subscribe

"Of course, the effort to cut off climate-wrecking financial institutions is somewhat complicated by the fact that just about every major bank in New York City is complicit in fossil fuel financing. The solution, environmental advocates say, is a municipal public bank. The idea has existed in North Dakota for nearly a century, and is picking up steam among left-wing politicians in Los Angeles, Oakland, and New Jersey. In New York City, a handful of elected officials, including City Councilmember Mark Levine, have thrown their support behind the plan." As De Blasio Touts Climate Change Divestment, NYC's 'Designated Banks' Continue To Invest over $100 Billion In Fossil Fuels (Gothamist) (Previously Taking Oil TO Court, Public Banking To Fund Green Revolutions?)
posted by The Whelk (4 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
This has been discussed in Vermont for a while, and I hope we get it done.
posted by terrapin at 11:41 AM on November 29, 2018

This is a good idea that needs to be done, but why stop there? The obvious ethical choice is to expropriate the wealth of oil corporations and their executives who gained it by destroying the global climate while knowingly suppressing climate research and deliberately spreading mass misinformation about the consequences of their actions. Then spend that expropriated wealth to fix the problems they caused.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 2:51 PM on November 29, 2018 [7 favorites]

On point. Rightly said
posted by Janellabarmer at 10:38 PM on November 29, 2018

Seattle took a serious look at setting up a public bank, but the study results weren't super promising, unfortunately.

Some detailed coverage of the feasibility study.
So while technically there are no insurmountable steps to starting a municipal bank to handle only the city’s own deposits, it will be costly, it will take years, and it won’t provide money to invest back in the community without large-scale changes to the way the city manages its investments and the return it expects to get from them. And there are barriers to a municipal bank providing retail banking services that are probably insurmountable; even if they aren’t, it would take even more years to run the gauntlet and the resulting business would be so constrained as to be financially infeasible.
Some of the problems are federal but others are specific to Washington. The study suggested that it'll be much easier for a public bank to be established at the state level, rather than the city level, for scale and greater control of the relevant laws
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:53 AM on November 30, 2018 [1 favorite]

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