Above Photo: Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Lance Anderson.
People from all hues of the political spectrum are recognizing that having local transparent control over the creation of credit through a publicly-owned bank not only saves money, but also gives communities the keys to the most important engine running an economy. Advocates see that this engine could be directed effectively to serve those whom Wall Street has continually exploited. A new report by the Action Center on Race & the Economy (ACRE) calls for a public bank in Chicago to serve the people who live there, instead of the financial elite.
A related article by Saquib Bhatti, Co-Executive Director of ACRE, in In These Times explains:
“[Mayor Richard M. Daley and Rahm Emanuel’s] version of turning Chicago into a ‘world-class city’ typically meant passing policies to attract wealthy, white professionals and big, multinational corporations to the city—at the expense of the city’s communities of color. … Chicago should be governed for the people who live here. … Establish a public bank and declare our independence from the big banks on Wall Street. A public bank could help Chicago and city agencies … save more than a billion dollars a year on financial fees and interest payments. …”
The report continues:
“Chicagoans deserve a city with world-class services and infrastructure—a city that takes care of its residents and makes a deliberate plan to right historical inequities. This report offers a blueprint for the financial policies that will help put Chicago into a class of its own. … Chicago’s new elected leaders need to follow a new blueprint for investing the city’s wealth back in our neighborhoods.”