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Web of Debt

Web of Debt - 2020-03-21 - Original post - cached version

In what is being called the worst financial crisis since 1929, the US stock market has lost a third of its value in the space of a month, wiping out all of its gains of the last three years. When the Federal Reserve tried to ride to the rescue, it only succeeded in making matters worse. […]

Web of Debt - 2020-03-11 - Original post - cached version

When the World Health Organization announced on February 24th that it was time to prepare for a global pandemic, the stock market plummeted. Over the following week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by more than 3,500 points or over 10%. In an attempt to contain the damage, on March 3rd...

Web of Debt - 2020-02-09 - Original post - cached version

While U.S. advocates and local politicians struggle to get their first public banks chartered, Mexico’s new president has begun construction on 2,700 branches of a government-owned bank to be completed in 2021, when it will be the largest bank in the country. At a press conference on Jan. 6, he...

Web of Debt - 2020-01-18 - Original post - cached version

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Web of Debt - 2020-01-10 - Original post - cached version

Although the repo market is little known to most people, it is a $1-trillion-a-day credit machine, in which not just banks but hedge funds and other “shadow banks” borrow to finance their trades. Under the Federal Reserve Act, the central bank’s lending window is open only to licensed depository...

Web of Debt - 2020-01-08 - Original post - cached version

http:// The Public Banking Solution, 6.19 from Princeton TV on Vimeo.  

Web of Debt - 2019-12-28 - Original post - cached version

The Green New Deal resolution that was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in February hit a wall in the Senate, where it was called unrealistic and unaffordable. In a Washington Post article titled “The Green New Deal Sets Us Up for Failure. We Need a Better Approach,” former...

Web of Debt - 2019-12-13 - Original post - cached version

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan called Paul Volcker “the most effective chairman in the history of the Federal Reserve.” But while Volcker, who passed away Dec. 8 at age 92, probably did have the greatest historical impact of any Fed chairman, his legacy is, at best, controversial...

Web of Debt - 2019-12-06 - Original post - cached version

Interest in public banking is high! I just finished a run of 11 presentations and in-person interviews in 7 cities in 10 weeks. Here’s a video from one, a debate with a county official sponsored by the League of Women Voters in San Diego, and two power points from another, the Soil and Nutrition...

Web of Debt - 2019-11-07 - Original post - cached version

What’s going on in the repo market? Rates on repurchase agreements (“repo”) should be around 2%, in line with the fed funds rate. But they shot up to over 5% on September 16 and got as high as 10% on September 17. Yet banks were refusing to lend to each other, evidently passing up big […]

Web of Debt - 2019-10-24 - Original post - cached version

This 10-page paper was written for the Economics of Happiness Conference co-sponsored by Local Futures, held in Jeonju, Korea, on October 16-17, where I was the keynote speaker — a wonderful city and great experience!    Satisfaction in the workplace is a major component of the “happiness” index...

Web of Debt - 2019-09-30 - Original post - cached version

President Trump wants negative interest rates, but they would be disastrous for the U.S. economy, and his objectives can be better achieved by other means. The dollar strengthened against the euro in August, merely in anticipation of the European Central Bank slashing its key interest rate...

Web of Debt - 2019-09-18 - Original post - cached version

Conceding that their grip on the economy is slipping, central bankers are proposing a radical economic reset that would shift yet more power from government to themselves. Central bankers are acknowledging that they are out of ammunition. Mark Carney, the soon-to-be-retiring head of the Bank of...

Web of Debt - 2019-08-30 - Original post - cached version

We are again reaching the point in the business cycle known as “peak debt,” when debts have compounded to the point that their cumulative total cannot be paid. Student debt, credit card debt, auto loans, business debt and sovereign debt are all higher than they have ever been. As economist...

Web of Debt - 2019-08-09 - Original post - cached version

When the Federal Reserve cut interest rates on July 31st for the first time in more than a decade, commentators were asking why. According to official data, the economy was rebounding, unemployment was below 4%, and GDP growth was above 3%. If anything, by the Fed’s own reasoning, it should have...

Web of Debt - 2019-07-26 - Original post - cached version

Planting billions of trees across the world is by far the cheapest and most efficient way to tackle the climate crisis. So states a July 4 article in The Guardian, citing a new analysis published in the journal Science. The author explains: As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide...

Web of Debt - 2019-07-10 - Original post - cached version

The Democratic Party has clearly swung to the progressive left, with candidates in the first round of presidential debates coming up with one program after another to help the poor, the disadvantaged and the struggling middle class. Proposals ranged from a Universal Basic Income to Medicare for...

Web of Debt - 2019-06-27 - Original post - cached version

Payments can happen cheaply and easily without banks or credit card companies. This has now been demonstrated – not in the United States but in China. Unlike in the US, where numerous firms feast on fees from handling and processing payments, in China most money flows through mobile phones...

Web of Debt - 2019-06-14 - Original post - cached version

Home ownership has been called “the quintessential American dream.” Yet today less than 65% of American homes are owner occupied, and more than 50% of the equity in those homes is owned by the banks. Compare China, where, despite facing one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world...

Web of Debt - 2019-05-31 - Original post - cached version

This article is excerpted from my new book Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age, available in paperback June 1. The U.S. federal debt has more than doubled since the 2008 financial crisis, shooting up from $9.4 trillion in mid-2008 to over $22 trillion in April 2019. The...

Web of Debt - 2019-05-25 - Original post - cached version

My new book, nearly 3 years in the making, is finally in print. It’s called “Banking on the People: Democratizing Money in the Digital Age” and is published by the Democracy Collaborative. As our democracy hangs in the balance, I hope this book allows many more people to understand why having...

Web of Debt - 2019-04-18 - Original post - cached version

As public banking gains momentum across the country, policymakers in California and Washington state are vying to form the nation’s second state-owned bank, following in the footsteps of the highly successful Bank of North Dakota, founded in 1919. The race is close, with state bank bills now...

Web of Debt - 2019-04-03 - Original post - cached version

“If you invest your tuppence wisely in the bank, safe and sound, Soon that tuppence safely invested in the bank will compound, “And you’ll achieve that sense of conquest as your affluence expands In the hands of the directors who invest as propriety demands.” — Mary Poppins, 1964 When Mary...

Web of Debt - 2019-03-21 - Original post - cached version

As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deal proposals have appeared in the US and Europe, along with some interesting academic debates about how to fund them. Monetary policy, normally relegated to obscure academic tomes and bureaucratic...

Web of Debt - 2019-02-22 - Original post - cached version

“Quantitative easing” was supposed to be an emergency measure. The Federal Reserve “eased” shrinkage in the money supply due to the 2008-09 credit crisis by pumping out trillions of dollars in new bank reserves. After the crisis, the presumption was that the Fed would “normalize” conditions by...

Web of Debt - 2019-02-09 - Original post - cached version

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is getting significant media attention these days, after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview that it should “be a larger part of our conversation” when it comes to funding the Green New Deal. According to MMT, the government can spend what it needs without...

Web of Debt - 2019-01-27 - Original post - cached version

The Green New Deal endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and more than 40 other US Representatives has been criticized as imposing a too-heavy burden on the rich and upper-middle-class taxpayers who will have to pay for it, but taxing the rich is not what the Green New Deal resolution proposes....

Web of Debt - 2018-12-29 - Original post - cached version

Calls for a Universal Basic Income have been increasing, most recently as part of the Green New Deal introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and supported in the last month by at least 40 members of Congress. A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a monthly payment to all adults with no...

Web of Debt - 2018-12-17 - Original post - cached version

With what Naomi Klein calls “galloping momentum,” the “Green New Deal” promoted by newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appears to be forging a political pathway for solving all of the ills of society and the planet in one fell swoop. It would give a House Select Committee “a...

Web of Debt - 2018-11-10 - Original post - cached version

The Los Angeles charter amendment to approve a city-owned bank did not pass, but it did get 42 percent of the vote, a remarkable feat considering that the dynamic young Public Bank LA advocacy group effectively only had a month to educate 4 million voters on what a public bank is and why passing...

Web of Debt - 2018-11-04 - Original post - cached version

President Trump has stepped up his criticism of the Federal Reserve, saying of its aggressive interest rate hikes that it has “gone crazy.” The same charge has been leveled against Trump, but there may be a method to his madness . . . .   October was a brutal month for the stock market. After...

Web of Debt - 2018-11-04 - Original post - cached version

Note to Angelenos: Vote Yes on Charter Amendment B for an L.A. city-owned bank!

Web of Debt - 2018-10-03 - Original post - cached version

Wall Street owns the country. That was the opening line of a fiery speech by populist leader Mary Ellen Lease in 1890. Franklin Roosevelt said it again in a letter to Colonel House in 1933, and Sen. Dick Durbin was still saying it in 2009. “The banks – hard to believe in a time when […]

Web of Debt - 2018-09-15 - Original post - cached version

Central bankers are now aggressively playing the stock market. To say they are buying up the planet may be an exaggeration, but they could. They can create money at will, and they have declared their “independence” from government. They have become rogue players in a game of their own. Excluding...

Web of Debt - 2018-08-24 - Original post - cached version

Giant Chinese tech companies have bypassed credit cards and banks to create their own low-cost digital payment systems. The US credit card system siphons off excessive amounts of money from merchants, who must raise their prices to cover this charge. In a typical $100 credit card purchase, only...

Web of Debt - 2018-07-30 - Original post - cached version

The president has criticized Federal Reserve policy for undermining his attempts to build the economy. The best way to make the central bank serve the needs of the economy is to make it a public utility. For nearly half a century, presidents have refrained from criticizing the “independent”...

Web of Debt - 2018-07-05 - Original post - cached version

California legislators exploring the public bank option may be breaking not just from Wall Street but from the Federal Reserve. Voters in Los Angeles will be the first in the country to weigh in on a public banking mandate, after the City Council agreed on June 29th to put a measure on the...

Web of Debt - 2018-05-26 - Original post - cached version

California has over $700 billion parked in private banks earning minimal interest, private equity funds that contributed to the affordable housing crisis, or shadow banks of the sort that caused the banking collapse of 2008. These funds, or some of them, could be transferred to an infrastructure...

Web of Debt - 2018-04-22 - Original post - cached version

The Fed is aggressively raising interest rates, although inflation is contained, private debt is already at 150% of GDP, and rising variable rates could push borrowers into insolvency. So what is driving the Fed’s push to “tighten”? On March 31st the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest...

Web of Debt - 2018-04-05 - Original post - cached version

Bayer and Monsanto have a long history of collusion to poison the ecosystem for profit. The Trump administration should veto their merger not just to protect competitors but to ensure human and planetary survival. Two new studies from Europe have found that the number of farm birds in France has...

Web of Debt - 2018-03-18 - Original post - cached version

The US Postal Service, under attack from a manufactured crisis designed to force its privatization, needs a new source of funding to survive. Postal banking could fill that need. The US banking establishment has been at war with the post office since at least 1910, when the Postal Savings Bank...

Web of Debt - 2018-02-28 - Original post - cached version

“One Belt, One Road,” China’s $1 trillion infrastructure initiative, is a massive undertaking of highways, pipelines, transmission lines, ports, power stations, fiber optics, and railroads connecting China to Central Asia, Europe and Africa. According to Dan Slane, a former advisor in President...

Web of Debt - 2018-01-24 - Original post - cached version

In a blatant example of “do as I say, not as I do,” the US government is profiting handsomely by accepting marijuana cash in the payment of taxes while imposing huge penalties on banks for accepting it as deposits. Onerous reporting requirements are driving small local banks to sell out to Wall...

Web of Debt - 2018-01-05 - Original post - cached version

This is the second in a two-part article on the debt burden America’s students face. Read Part 1 here. The lending business is heavily stacked against student borrowers. Bigger players can borrow for almost nothing, and if their investments don’t work out, they can put their corporate shells...

Web of Debt - 2017-12-27 - Original post - cached version

Higher education has been financialized, transformed from a public service into a lucrative cash cow for private investors. The advantages of slavery by debt over “chattel” slavery – ownership of humans as a property right – were set out in an infamous document called the Hazard Circular,...

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