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Efforts are under way in one of the smaller counties of California, 100 miles north of San Francisco, to set up a local public county bank. Mendocino might be the first in the US since the early nineteen hundreds unless the city of San Francisco, where plans are well developed to create such a bank, beats Mendocino to the punch.
Such a public bank would be authorized to remove the county's funds from the commercial bank that now manages the deposits. The County Bank would be able to use the same credit system that private banks use - which means access to the current 0.25% interest rate instead of the going rate of 5 to 8% or more. Such a private bank would partner, not compete, with the local community banks and credit unions.
One successful public bank already exist in the US. It is the Bank of North Dakota, founded by farmers in 1919 as protection from Wall Street. Ellen Brown includes much of their history and inspiring current successful practice in her talk.
Ellen Brown is one of the preeminent proponents of public banking. She is a lawyer, well known author and President of the Public Banking Institute that keeps a highly informative web site at <PublicBankingInstitute.org>. Ellen Brown's best known recent books are her analysis of the Federal Reserve, entitled The Web of Debt and her 2013 book: The Public Bank Solution.
Ellen Brown was recorded on December 14, 2013, at the Little Lake Grange in Willits, CA.