Money in a government-owned bank could give us the best of both worlds. We could have all the credit-generating advantages of private banks, without the baggage cluttering up the books of the Wall Street giants, including bad derivatives bets, unmarketable collateralized debt obligations, mark to market accounting issues, oversized CEO salaries and bonuses, and shareholders expecting a sizeable cut of the profits. A state could deposit its vast revenues in its own state-owned bank and proceed to fan them into eight to 10 times their face value in loans. Not only would it have its own credit machine, but it would control the loan terms. The state could lend at ½% interest to itself and to municipal governments, rolling the loans over as needed until the revenues had been generated to pay them off. According to Professor Margrit Kennedy in her 1995 book Interest and Inflation-free Money, interest composes, on average, fully half the cost of every public project. Cutting costs by 50% could make currently-unsustainable projects such as low-cost housing, alternative energy development, and infrastructure construction not only sustainable but actually profitable for the government.If all this seems too radical and unprecedented to venture into, consider that one state has had its own bank for 90 years; and it has not only escaped the credit crunch but is doing remarkably well…The Innovative Bank of North DakotaOnly three of 50 states are now solvent, meaning they have the revenues to meet their state budgets; and one of them is North Dakota. It is an unlikely candidate for the distinction. It is a sparsely populated state of fewer than 700,000 people, largely located in isolated farming communities afflicted with cold weather. Yet since 2000, the states GNP has grown 56%, personal income has grown 43%, and wages have grown 34%. The state not only has no funding issues, but this year it actually has a budget surplus of $1.2 billion, the largest it has ever had.
Archive for May, 2011