Friday, April 4, 2014

MOVING TO VERMONT, THE DUST DIGITAL SETTLES THERE! | News Flash! Tune in to KZYX this morning, or the radio station's web stream, to meet PBI's new Executive Director, Gwendolyn Hallsmith of Montpelier, Vermont, and to hear the news on public banking from Vermont's Senator Anthony Pollina.

Hi  - Tune into KZYX this morning to hear the news on public banking in Vermont!
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News Flash!

Tune in to KZYX this morning, or the radio station's web stream, to meet PBI's new Executive Director, Gwendolyn Hallsmith of Montpelier, Vermont, and to hear the news on public banking from Vermont's Senator Anthony Pollina. Look for a complete update from us next week.

"All About Money," with host, John Sakowicz, returns to KZYX on Friday, April 4, at 9 a.m., Pacific Time, with a special edition show with the Public Banking Institute's new executive director, Gwendolyn Hallsmith. She will discuss Vermont's initiative to make a public banking a reality in Vermont.

Senate Bill 204 would grant the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA)  a banking license and would further direct 10 percent of the Treasurer’s bank deposits to VEDA for investment in Vermont.

We hope to be also joined by Vermont State Senator Anthony Pollina who introduced S. 204.


Earlier this month, AP reported in "Over a Dozen Towns Support Public Bank Idea" that "The majority of communities asked to support the creation of a public bank in Vermont have approved the measure at town meetings.

"Supporters argue that instead of keeping its money in large global banking institutions, the state could save money, create jobs and eventually generate revenue by creating a state bank.

"The proposal would turn the Vermont Economic Development Authority, a nonprofit agency that makes loans, into a bank. A bill pending in the Legislature would put 10 percent of the state's funds into it."

John Nichols in The Nation reports in "Vermont Votes for Public Banking" that "the votes were overwhelming. Vermont is not the only state where public banking proposals are in play. But the town meeting endorsements are likely to provide a boost for a legislative proposal to provide the VEDA with the powers of a bank."

Robb Mandelbaum, in the New York Times writes that "public banking advocates point most hopefully to efforts in Vermont" to emulate the model of the Bank of North Dakota, which "funnel[s] deposits from state agencies back into the state’s economy through a variety of loan and other development programs."


Co-founder of Vermonters for a New Economy, and the new executive director of the Public Banking Institute, Hallsmith said today: "It is clear that the bank lobby has a lot more traction in the State House than the cities, towns, and the citizens. It has been our contention that the state-chartered banks stand to gain by the legislation, and that their interests and the interests of the large out-of-state banks diverge on this issue."

According to Vermonters for a New Economy, the bill is encountering fierce opposition, not from ordinary Vermonters, but mostly from lobbyists for big private banks. The group says that when Senate Finance Committee hearings began on March 18, the Finance Committee only invited representatives of big banks to testify concerning the proposal. This led a local paper, the Barre Montpelier Times Argus, to call the bill "politically unpopular" even though a large majority of towns supported it in the town meeting campaign.

A study by Vermonters for a New Economy, the Gund Institute at the University of Vermont, and the Political and Economic Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts states that a public bank would create "over 2,500 jobs" and add hundreds of millions in additional gross state product in the state.

According to the Public Banking Institute, public banks are countercyclical, meaning they are "capable of reducing the negative impact of recessions, because they can make money available for local governments and businesses precisely when private banks decrease lending."


State Senator in Vermont, Pollina introduced S. 204, the bill that would grant the Vermont Economic Development Authority a banking license and direct 10 percent of the Treasurer’s bank deposits to VEDA for investment in Vermont.


KZYX is an NPR affiliate station. Our broadcasts are heard at 88.1, 907. and 91.5 FM in the Counties of Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, and Sonoma in northern California. We also stream live from the web at

Shows may be archived.

Listener call-in number during the show is: (707) 895-2448


Coming up in next week's newsletter:

  • New PBI Board Members
  • News from around the US
  • Exciting new programs at PBI
  • Detroit Debate and Statement
  • New Membership Benefits


More about the Public Banking Institute

The Public Banking Institute (PBI) was formed in January 2011 as an educational non-profit organization. Our mission is to restore abundance to local communities.

Public banking frees the credit potential of public revenues and then harnesses this public wealth to create sustainable, abundant and affordable credit. This credit -- our credit -- supports state and municipal budgets with both a new source of non-tax revenue and with increased revenue collection from expanding economic activity.

PBI’s vision is to establish a distributed network of state and local publicly-owned banks that create affordable credit, while providing a sustainable alternative to the current high-risk centralized private banking system. This network will act in the public interest, using its counter-cyclical credit-generating capacity to stabilize potential credit crises, maintain the floor against threats of asset devaluations, build infrastructure, and fund expansion of critical industrial productive capacity.  Most important, public banking will create jobs, by partnering with local banks to fund local business, advancing credit for public infrastructure, and augmenting government revenues.

PBI’s mission includes analyzing U.S. and global financial events to facilitate public banking, sharing best practices and lessons learned from research and initiatives in the U.S. and globally, using PBI’s online resources, website, webinars, blog, and in-person conferences.  PBI’s activities include:

•Publication of research involving the U.S. private banking system, past and current;

•Evaluation of existing and historical public banking models, in the U.S. and abroad;

•Publication of research regarding the legal requirements, structure, and daily operations of existing and proposed public banking and financing systems;

•Publication of a semi-annual legislative guide and presentations to aide local public banking initiatives; and

•Organization of public forums that enable state and local public banking efforts.


For more information on how BND operates, and how it partners with community banks instead of competing with them:

•  “Public Banking in America” Legislative Guide, Spring 2011, pp. 17-23. Ed Sather and bankers from several states explore the North Dakota model.

• Bank of North Dakota,

• Public Banking Institute,

March, 2011 Newsletter
April, 2011 Newsletter
May "Read the Bills (1 of 2)"
May "Read the Bills (2 of 2)"
May "The Fed Speaks" Special Edition
June, 2011 Newsletter
July, 2011 Newsletter
August, 2011 Newsletter
September, 2011, Newsletter
October, 2011, Newsletter
November, 2011, Newsletter
February, 2012, Special Edition
March, 2012, Newsletter
May, 2012, Newsletter
June, 2012, Newsletter

For more information, go to:

or contact us at:

PBI may also be reached at:

Public Banking Institute
PO Box 2195
Sonoma, California  95476

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1 comment:

  1. Vermont marble and public banking, now that is sparking the idea of how enlightenment grows into fruition.