Public Banking Action Group
Neighborhood Networks is part of a broad coalition that seeks to create a public bank to receive deposits of City funds and use them to invest in the underserved needs of our own people.
Group members attend conferences and participate in conference calls with activists from across the nation in cities like Santa Fe and Oakland, and states like Colorado and New Jersey. We have publicized, lobbied and testified before Philadelphia City Council and raised funds to advance our efforts.
Why does Philadelphia need a public bank?
We remember that the greed and hubris of Wall Street banks almost took down the economy of the entire world in 2008. But no bankers went to jail: they secured multi-billion dollar bail-outs and were rewarded with huge bonuses. The message they got was “Taxpayers will make good your losses.” Meanwhile, Wells Fargo which cheated the City of millions through “credit default swaps” holds most of Philadelphia’s cash while we starve for investment capital to fix bridges, build railroads and finance small businesses.
A public bank will provide much needed funds and investment income for Philadelphia. Wall Street won’t.
A national movement rose out of the 2008 crash and “Occupy Wall Street” to fight back against the predatory financial cartel. And it’s a fight now being waged in over 20 states to create municipal and state owned banks.
Public banks have a model in the Bank of North Dakota which enables the state to deny Wall Street control over billions of dollars that flow through government coffers every year. Instead of letting Wall Street siphon off interest and profit on state monies, they are invested and re-invested in infrastructure, and the needs of students, homeowners, and small businesses. The profits from those investments go to the people of North Dakota rather than to distant shareholders. We can have a bank that does the same thing for the people of Philadelphia.
The City is now at a crossroads. Having just elected a new President who explicitly rejected trickle down economics, our Mayor has offered a budget founded on that very same philosophy. The President is right and the Mayor is wrong. This is not the time to be cutting taxes for big business on the basis...
Op-Ed by Vanessa Lowe and Stanley Shapiro published in Philadelphia Inquirer, March 2, 2021 Solutions to the looming $450 million hole in the city budget have been narrowly focused on tax increases and cuts to essential services, but a public bank could change the conversation. With democratic control, strict ethical standards, and public oversight, a public bank...