As the economic fall-out from the irresponsible lending practices of the big banks continues, we have to look to ourselves to solve this ongoing crisis. The banks are still lying about their willingness to consider loan modifications and still foreclosing on borrowers who have fulfilled the terms of their loan modifications or for whom bank representatives agreed to approve a short sale. The federal government and our elected representatives are doing little or nothing because their pockets are lined with campaign contributions, gifts and sweetheart deals from banking interests. Republicans and Democrats are equally guilty.
In addition, lenders such as Bank of America have reinstituted annual fees for the use of their credit and debit cards and have weasled exceptions to the limit on interest rates so they can steal even more. In biblical times, the name for these exorbitant fees was ”usury.”
There is only one answer to the destruction caused by the big banks and that is for all of us to let our state representatives know that we want public banking introduced into our states.
North Dakota is currently the only state that has public banking. Established in 1919, the Bank of North Dakota (BND) returns deposits back to the state in the form of loans. Not coincidentally, according to the Public Banking Institute, “As of the spring of 2010, North Dakota was also the only state sporting a major budget surplus; it had the lowest unemployment and default rates in the country; and it had the most community banks per capita, suggesting that the presence of a state-owned bank has not only not hurt but has helped the local banks.”
My money has been deposited with a local credit union for almost 35 years. The next time you deposit your money or take out a loan with Wells Fargo, JP Morgan (Washington Mutual), Bank of America and the other big banks, remember that you are supporting the corrupt, greed-driven private banking system that has resulted in tens of thousands of jobs being lost, as well as ruining thousands of lives.
Ellen Hodgson Brown, an attorney an author, is a founder of the Public Banking Institute. The Institute’s mission is to re-establish public banking and fiscal stability in all of our United States. Her book Web of Debt, a history of banking in the United States, is a must read for any thinking person, regardless of their political party affiliation.