State-Owned Banks: A Win-Win for State Budgets and Local EconomiesSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Sat, 03/26/2011 - 08:01
7 ways state-owned banks could help states overcome budget deficits and boost their local economies.
by Ellen Brown
Cut spending, raise taxes, sell off public assets—these are the unsatisfactory solutions being debated across the nation, but the budget crises that nearly all the states are now suffering did not arise from too much spending or too little taxation. The crises arose from a credit freeze on Wall Street. In the wake of the 2009 financial market collapse, banks curtailed their lending more sharply than in any year since 1942, driving massive unemployment and causing local tax revenues to plummet.
The logical solution, then, is to restore credit to the local economy. But how? The Federal Reserve could provide the capital and liquidity necessary to create bank credit, in the same way that it provided $12.3 trillion in liquidity and short-term loans to the large money center banks. But Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke declared in January 2011 that the Fed had no intention of doing that—not because it would be too costly (the total deficit of all the states comes to less than two percent of the credit advanced for the bank bailout) but because it is not part of the Fed’s mandate. If Congress wants the Fed to advance credit to local governments, he said, it will have to change the law.