June 2011 Featured Activist Ellen Brown

Ellen Brown, J.D., developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. She is the author of 11 books, and will be releasing another in 2011 focused on public banking.

In Web of Debt, her latest book, she turns those skills to an analysis of the Federal Reserve and “the money trust.” She shows how this private cartel has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back.

Brown developed an interest in the developing world and its problems while living abroad for eleven years in Kenya, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua. She returned to practicing law when she was asked to join the legal team of a popular Tijuana healer with an innovative cancer therapy, who was targeted by the chemotherapy industry in the 1990s.

That experience produced her book Forbidden Medicine, which traces the suppression of natural health treatments to the same corrupting influences that have captured the money system. Brown’s eleven books include the bestselling Nature’s Pharmacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Walker, which has sold 285,000 copies.

The Tower of Basel: Secretive Plans for the Issuing of a Global Currency

Do we really want the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) issuing our global currency? by Ellen Brown

In a May 2002 article in The Asia Times titled “Global Economy: The BIS vs. National Banks,” economist Henry C K Liu observed that the Basel Accords have forced national banking systems “to march to the same tune, designed to serve the needs of highly sophisticated global financial markets, regardless of the developmental needs of their national economies.” He wrote:

“[N]ational banking systems are suddenly thrown into the rigid arms of the Basel Capital Accord sponsored by the Bank of International Settlement (BIS), or to face the penalty of usurious risk premium in securing international interbank loans. . . . National policies suddenly are subjected to profit incentives of private financial institutions, all members of a hierarchical system controlled and directed from the money center banks in New York. The result is to force national banking systems to privatize . . . .

“BIS regulations serve only the single purpose of strengthening the international private banking system, even at the peril of national economies. . . . The IMF and the international banks regulated by the BIS are a team: the international banks lend recklessly to borrowers in emerging economies to create a foreign currency debt crisis, the IMF arrives as a carrier of monetary virus in the name of sound monetary policy, then the international banks come as vulture investors in the name of financial rescue to acquire national banks deemed capital inadequate and insolvent by the BIS.”

Ironically, noted Liu, developing countries with their own natural resources did not actually need the foreign investment that trapped them in debt to outsiders:

“Applying the State Theory of Money [which assumes that a sovereign nation has the power to issue its own money], any government can fund with its own currency all its domestic developmental needs to maintain full employment without inflation.”

When governments fall into the trap of accepting loans in foreign currencies, however, they become “debtor nations” subject to IMF and BIS regulation. They are forced to divert their production to exports, just to earn the foreign currency necessary to pay the interest on their loans. National banks deemed “capital inadequate” have to deal with strictures comparable to the “conditionalities” imposed by the IMF on debtor nations: “escalating capital requirement, loan writeoffs and liquidation, and restructuring through selloffs, layoffs, downsizing, cost-cutting and freeze on capital spending.” Liu wrote:

“Reversing the logic that a sound banking system should lead to full employment and developmental growth, BIS regulations demand high unemployment and developmental degradation in national economies as the fair price for a sound global private banking system.”

In Web of Debt, Ellen Brown’s most recent book, she traces the history and evolution of the current private banking system. She shows how it has usurped the power to create money from the people themselves, and how we the people can get it back.

Ellen has written nearly 100 articles on this subject since Web of Debt was first published, and is the inspiration and thought leader behind the Public Banking Institute, where she serves as Chairman and President. She has degrees from UC Berkeley and UCLA School of Law.

The Public Banking Institute (PBI) is a non-partisan think-tank, research and advisory organization dedicated to exploring and disseminating information on the potential utility of publicly-owned banks, and to facilitate their implementation.

PBI was formed in 2011 as an educational non-profit organization by a group of citizens including past and present community and civic leaders, businesspeople, educators, political economists, writers, and banking and other professionals. The group shares a concern over the destabilizing actions of a private banking industry that, through its corporate business model, has precipitated the economic imbalances now witnessed across the US economy.

PBI seeks to explore the possibilities for, and to facilitate the implementation of, public banking at all levels — local, regional, state, national, and international. Its approach is informed by the historic role of public banks in fostering access to cheap and readily available credit for governments, businesses, and individuals, particularly with respect to creating productive capacity.

PBI’s mission is to analyze U.S. and global financial events in order to explore and facilitate implementation of public banking options. In the process, we are looking to quantify the true costs of financing government and public services, including the costs of potential systemic risk, business cyclicality, and monetary instability imposed by particular methods of banking and government financing.

Our goal is to leverage the historic role of publicly-owned banks nationally and internationally in fostering access to cheap and readily available credit, particularly as used for increasing productive capacity. Best practices and lessons learned from our research and experiences will be shared through PBI’s online resources, website, webinars, blog, and in-person conferences. Resources will include:

  • Publication of research involving the actions and effects of the US private banking system over the past decade.
  • Evaluation of existing and past public banking institutions, from the first U.S. public bank founded in colonial Pennsylvania, to the Bank of North Dakota, to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and other public models abroad.
  • Publication of research regarding the legal requirements, structure, and daily operations of proposed public banking and financing systems.
  • Publication of a semi-annual legislative guide and presentations to guide local public banking initiatives.
  • Provision of internet platforms and guidelines necessary for effecting change.

 

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