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Los Angeles Needs a Public Bank

Abolish the Constitution

The Moment I Discovered I Was Not a Prodigy

Fire in the Theatre/Theater

The Case for Nationalization

– Citigroup was nearly a public bank. – During the 2007-2008 Great Financial Crisis, the Bush and Obama Treasury Departments, the Federal Reserve, and the leaders of the largest banks and insurance companies in the nation conspired to find a way out of the mountain of worthless debt that was about to fall on the planet. The pages of the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal bore headlines foretelling the end of American capitalism. The people entrusted to manage risk across our entire economy, the people running our large banks, […]

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Public Banking is on the Ballot. Vote Yes.

– Los Angeles manages more than five billion dollars in annual revenue collected from tax, fee and fine payers, as much as the whole country of Iceland.   The city maintains bank accounts with between $4B and $12B in cash, and manages up to $45B in investments for pensions and other funds.  That money is currently held in accounts at commercial banks, where it earns next to zero interest. The city paid over $109 million in transactional and originations fees to these commercial banks in 2016. Some of these banks have […]

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The Era of Big Finance Might Be Over

– Most people still shrug when you ask them their opinion on public banking. – That used to be true about lawmakers, but recently, the concept of public ownership of a depository bank is on the lips of elected officials and policy analysts. There seems to be news about the movement for publicly-owned banks every single day. We may have arrived at the moment when city, state and national officials are ready to look at options outside the mainstream financial paradigm that serve the needs of the public directly.  It could […]

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Los Angeles Cuts off Wells Fargo, Pays $3.14B in Debt Service

– Looking back over these long six years to the heady days of Occupy Wall Street can cause a little whiplash. – I remember standing in front of Los Angeles city hall with a crowd of weekend warriors watching Tom Morello sing ‘This Land is Your Land’ arm-in-arm with Danny Glover and feeling like maybe a grassroots anti-finance movement could truly take hold. I also remember standing in that same spot, a few weeks later, as police beat my journalist friend in the face while telling him to stop fighting. And […]

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Decoding the Politics of that Shitty Music Video in the Times’ Trump Jr. Piece

    – The bombshell NYT report that emails sent to and from Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort – the closest advisors to Trump in the Summer of 2016 – all show clear intention and follow through to collude with a foreign power to use their government’s resources to smear another candidate in a presidential election.  It’s not really surprising considering who we’re talking about.  Paul Manafort was an agent of the Russian government in Ukraine, Jared Kushner is a sniveling nincompoop whose only accomplishment is to […]

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Single Payer Can’t Wait

– California is huge, and it is blue. Why don’t we have single payer healthcare? – California assembly speaker Anthony Rendon scuttled SB 562, the law that would bring single payer universal healthcare to the world’s sixth largest economy.  A Democratic legislator, with a supermajority and a popular Democratic governor, decided the bill had too many problems and that the ‘focus should be on the Senate healthcare bill.’  As such, the bill won’t come back up for debate until 2018, a full year after the CA Senate passed it, and […]

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New Minimum Wage Study Doesn’t Say What Everyone Says it Says

– Right wing economists and smug libertarians are having a fun day. – The University of Washington released a study this week supposedly showing that minimum wage increases in Seattle have resulted in a loss of wages and hours for low-skilled workers.  Their work, supported by a more comprehensive survey of wages and hours worked than has previously been available, analyzed data from companies in Seattle (with only one location within the city limits) who pay into unemployment insurance.  The study shows a decrease of hours worked (and wages paid) […]

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