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Entries by Ellen Brown

Why Public Banks Outperform Private Banks: Unfair Competition or a Better Mousetrap?

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2015 | 4:14 PM

Public banks in North Dakota, Germany and Switzerland have been shown to outperform their private counterparts. Under the TPP and TTIP, however, publicly-owned banks on both sides of the oceans might wind up getting sued for unfair competition because they have advantages not available to private banks.

In November 2014,...

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Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

(78) Comments | Posted December 29, 2014 | 10:45 AM

The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.

Senator Elizabeth...

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New Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Take Deposits and Pensions

(11) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 6:36 PM

On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when...

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The Looming Foreclosure Crisis: As the Fed Runs Out of Bullets, Local Governments Step In

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 1:58 PM

Mortgage debt overhang from the housing bust has meant lack of middle-class spending power and consumer demand, preventing the economy from growing. The problem might be fixed by a new approach from the Fed. But if the Fed won't act, counties will, as seen in the latest developments on eminent...

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Buying Up the Planet: Central Banks on a Corporate Buying Spree

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 1:00 AM

Finance is the new form of warfare - without the expense of a military overhead and an occupation against unwilling hosts. It is a competition in credit creation to buy foreign resources, real estate, public and privatized infrastructure, bonds and corporate stock ownership. Who needs an army when you can...
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California's Top-Two Primary Eliminates Third-Party Rivals

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 1:37 PM

Primary elections originated in the American progressive movement and were intended to take the power of candidate nomination away from party leaders and deliver it to the people. California's Top Two Primary takes power away from third parties representing the 99% and delivers it to the 1%.

Voters have increasingly...

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Infrastructure Sticker Shock: Financing Costs More Than Construction

(1) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 11:42 PM

Funding infrastructure through bonds doubles the price or worse. Costs can be cut in half by funding through the state's own bank.

"The numbers are big. There is sticker shock," said Jason Peltier, deputy manager of the Westlands Water District, describing California Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to build...

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Robbing Main Street to Prop Up Wall Street: Why Jerry Brown's Rainy Day Fund Is a Bad Idea

(4) Comments | Posted May 7, 2014 | 4:44 PM

There is no need to sequester funds urgently needed by Main Street to pay for Wall Street's malfeasance. Californians can have their cake and eat it too - with a state-owned bank.

Governor Jerry Brown is aggressively pushing a California state constitutional amendment requiring budget surpluses to be...

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Banking Union Time Bomb: Eurocrats Authorize Bailouts and Bail-Ins

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 1:04 PM

"As things stand, the banks are the permanent government of the country, whichever party is in power." -- Lord Skidelsky, House of Lords, UK Parliament, 31 March 2011)

On March 20, 2014, European Union officials reached an historic agreement to create a single agency to handle failing banks....

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Warren's Post Office Proposal: Palast Aims at the Wrong Target

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 2:06 PM

Investigative reporter Greg Palast is usually pretty good at peering behind the rhetoric and seeing what is really going on. But in tearing into Senator Elizabeth Warren's support of postal financial services, he has done a serious disservice to the underdogs -- both the underbanked and the U.S. Postal Service...

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Lucrative Returns on Phantom Money: The Credit Card Gravy Train

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2014 | 12:16 PM

The credit card business is now the banking industry's biggest cash cow, and it's largely due to lucrative hidden fees.

You pay off your credit card balance every month, thinking you are taking advantage of the "interest-free grace period" and getting free credit. You may even use your credit...

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100 Years Is Enough: Time to Make the Fed a Public Utility

(5) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 7:56 PM

December 23, 2013, marks the 100th anniversary of the Federal Reserve, warranting a review of its performance. Has it achieved the purposes for which it was designed?

The answer depends on whose purposes we are talking about. For the banks, the Fed has served quite well. For the laboring masses...

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The Bank Guarantee That Bankrupted Ireland

(10) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 5:28 PM

The Irish have a long history of being tyrannized, exploited, and oppressed -- from the forced conversion to Christianity in the Dark Ages, to slave trading of the natives in the 15th and 16th centuries, to the mid-nineteenth century "potato famine" that was really a holocaust. The British...

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What We Could Do With a Postal Savings Bank: Infrastructure That Doesn't Cost Taxpayers a Dime

(3) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 3:09 PM

The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is the nation's second largest civilian employer after Walmart. Although successfully self-funded throughout its long history, it is currently struggling to stay afloat. This is not, as sometimes asserted, because it has been made obsolete by the Internet. In fact the post office...

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The Armageddon Looting Machine: The Looming Mass Destruction From Derivatives

(9) Comments | Posted September 18, 2013 | 2:25 PM

Increased regulation and low interest rates are driving lending from the regulated commercial banking system into the unregulated shadow banking system. The shadow banks, although free of government regulation, are propped up by a hidden government guarantee in the form of safe harbor status under the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Act...

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The Leveraged Buyout of America

(9) Comments | Posted August 28, 2013 | 12:54 PM

Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they...

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Not Too Big to Jail: Why Eliot Spitzer Is Wall Street's Worst Nightmare

(4) Comments | Posted August 20, 2013 | 4:42 PM

Before Eliot Spitzer's infamous resignation as governor of New York in March 2008, he was one of our fiercest champions against Wall Street corruption, in a state that had some of the toughest legislation for controlling the banks. It may not be a coincidence that the revelation of his indiscretions...

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The Detroit Bail-in Template: Fleecing Pensioners to Save the Banks

(1) Comments | Posted August 6, 2013 | 4:39 PM

The Detroit bankruptcy is looking suspiciously like the bail-in template originated by the G20's Financial Stability Board in 2011, which exploded on the scene in Cyprus in 2013 and is now becoming the model globally. In Cyprus, the depositors were "bailed in" (stripped of a major portion of...

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Green Light for City-owned San Francisco Bank

(6) Comments | Posted July 31, 2013 | 11:33 AM

When the Occupiers took an interest in moving San Francisco's money into a city-owned bank in 2011, it was chiefly on principle, in sympathy with the nationwide Move Your Money campaign. But recent scandals have transformed the move from a political statement into a matter of protecting the city's deposits...

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The Crime of Alleviating Poverty -- A Local Community Currency Battles the Central Bank of Kenya

(6) Comments | Posted July 1, 2013 | 1:08 PM

Complementary currencies can help eradicate poverty.

Proving that may be difficult in complex economies, due to the high number of factors influencing outcomes. But in an African slum with little of the national currency available, supplying residents with an alternative currency has a positive effect that is obvious, immediate and...

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