Ellen Brown

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Ellen Brown
Money might... indeed become a servant of humanity, transformed from a tool of oppression into a means of securing common prosperity. But first the central bank needs to become a public servant. It needs to be made a public utility, responsive to the needs of the people and the economy.

Ellen Hodgson Brown (born September 15, 1945) is an American author, attorney, public speaker, and advocate of alternative medicine and financial reform, most prominently public banking. Brown is the founder and president of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to the creation of publicly run banks. She has appeared on several cable and network television, radio, and internet podcasts & programs.


  • The money issued by governments to finance public projects has a long and successful history dating back at least to the beginning of the 18th century, when the American colony of Pennsylvania issued a currency that was both lent and spent by the government local in the local economy. The result was a period of unprecedented prosperity achieved without inflation or taxes.
    • Révolte contre l'UE et le FMI: La Grèce, l'Islande et la Lettonie pourraient montrer la voie'(Revolt against the EU and the IMF: Greece, Iceland and Latvia could lead the way)" Horizons and Debates (ISSN 1662-4599) , No. 5, February 8, 2010, p. 2
  • May 15th-19th has been designated “National Infrastructure Week” by the US Chambers of Commerce, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)... Their message: “It’s time to rebuild.” Ever since ASCE began issuing its “National Infrastructure Report Card” in 1998, the nation has gotten a dismal grade of D or D+. In the meantime, the estimated cost of fixing its infrastructure has gone up from $1.3 trillion to $4.6 trillion.
    While American politicians debate endlessly over how to finance the needed fixes and which ones to implement, the Chinese have managed to fund massive infrastructure projects all across their country, including 12,000 miles of high-speed rail built just in the last decade...
    A key difference between China and the US is that the Chinese government owns the majority of its banks... The US government could do that too, without raising taxes, slashing services, cutting pensions, or privatizing industries.... The federal government could set up a bank on a similar model. It has massive revenues, which it could leverage into credit for its own purposes. Since financing is typically about 50 percent of the cost of infrastructure, the government could cut infrastructure costs in half by borrowing from its own bank. Public-private partnerships are a good deal for investors but a bad deal for the public. The federal government can generate its own credit without private financial middlemen. That is how China does it, and we can to.
  • Funding through the Federal Reserve may be controversial, but establishing a national public infrastructure and development bank should be a no-brainer. The real question is why we don’t already have one, like China, Germany, and other countries that are running circles around us in infrastructure development. Many European, Asian and Latin American countries have their own national development banks, as well as belonging to bilateral or multinational development institutions that are jointly owned by multiple governments. Unlike the US Federal Reserve, which considers itself “independent” of government, national development banks are wholly owned by their governments and carry out public development policies.
    The most profitable and efficient way for national and local governments to finance public infrastructure and development is with their own banks, as the impressive track records of KfW and other national development banks have shown... We need to resurrect that public funding engine today, not only to address the national and global crises we are facing now but for the ongoing development the country needs in order to manifest its true potential.
  • As alarm bells sound over the advancing destruction of the environment, a variety of Green New Deall 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 meetings behind closed doors, has suddenly taken center stage... Public development banks already have a successful track record in Europe, and their debts are not considered debts of the government. They are financed not through taxes but by the borrowers when they repay the loans. Like other banks, development banks are moneymaking institutions that not only don’t cost the government money but actually generate a profit for it.

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