shaping the new financial architecture…

Bank locally!

Posted in Uncategorized by Kitty on March 6, 2010

From Huffington Post comes good news of a developing “bank locally” movement… it’s really an organic extension of eating local foods… 🙂    

~~~”Another landmark piece of legislation was passed today.

The City Council of Los Angeles voted 12-0 to pass Councilman Richard Alarcon’s motion 09-0234, also known as the “responsible banking practices” motion. This will set the City on a path to require banks doing business with the City, or seeking to do business with the City, to report on the details of their local reinvestment in the community. The ordinance to be drafted will tie a bank’s involvement in the community to contracts for the City’s operating funds and pension programs worth up to $28.9 billion dollars.

The legislative template, based on a 2006 act by the City of Philadelphia, calls for an updated approach to measuring banks, along the lines of a locally focused version of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), with special near-term emphasis on tracking foreclosure prevention and outreach to unbanked and underbanked persons. The ordinance also calls for a review of certain swap agreements entered into by the City in the past.

Unlike New Mexico’s initiative to shift its funds to local banks within state, the Los Angeles law doesn’t preclude any bank, large or small, from doing business with the city. Instead, it places a premium on banks that can deliver tangible proof that they are locally involved. Both approaches are designed to concentrate the local circulation of money.

Alarcon took up the motion as Agenda Item #11 for the day, starting with a short public hearing limiting speakers, including myself, to one minute statements. All oral statements given to Council were supportive. Rising rather eloquently to speak in support of the Alarcon measure were councilmembers Janice Hahn, Ed Reyes, Paul Koretz, fellow Jobs and Business Development Committee member Bernard Parks, and finally Tom LaBonge. Interestingly, LaBonge referenced the metaphor of George Bailey versus Mr. Potter that the Move Your Money campaign used in its video introduction.

After accepting a few friendly amendments calling on the city staff to make sure to cross all t’s and dot all i’s, Council Alarcon called for the vote. The electronic screen indicated a straight up, unanimous yes vote.

You don’t see truly groundbreaking events like this very often. This template — the effort of a major U.S. city to codify how measuring “investing local” works as a means to leverage local economies — represents a major systemic step as governments awaken to the need to ensure regional economies are sustainable in the 21st Century. Everyone on the planet should study it.”~~~

Political truthtelling about the economic crisis and Ben Bernanke

Posted in Uncategorized by Kitty on December 18, 2009


“Dr. Bernanke is a dedicated and honorable public servant…however those factors in my mind do not outweigh my concerns on regulation and rebuilding the economy…

Dr. Bernanke’s approach helped set our economic house on fire. That fire has destroyed the jobs, the healthcare, the retirement savings, of millions of American working families.

Since then Dr. Bernanke has shown himself to be quite adroit with the fire hose, helping to put that fire out.
But as we look to the future, and we look beyond the stage of putting the fire out, I think we need to look to leadership that will be adept at rebuilding our economic house.”

Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley at the Senate Banking Committee hearing to vote on Ben Bernanke’s confirmation

11 Downing Street

Posted in Uncategorized by Kitty on December 10, 2009

Pre-Budget Report statement to the House of Commons, delivered by the Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer…

~~~ “… I am determined that any tax increases will continue to be guided by our values of fairness and responsibility.

Mr Speaker, the banks last year made collective losses of ÂŁ80bn in this country alone.

This would have been much higher without the unprecedented level of support from the taxpayer.

There is no bank which has not benefited, either directly or indirectly, from this help.

This should be a time for banks to rebuild their capital base and become stronger.

A tax on profits, as has been suggested, will prevent them from doing this.

So I have decided against a windfall tax.

However, there are some banks who still believe their priority is to pay substantial bonuses to their already high-paid staff.

Their priority should be to rebuild their financial strength and increase their lending.

So I am giving them a choice.

They can use their profits to build up their capital base.

But if they insist on paying substantial rewards, I am determined to claw money back for the taxpayer.

I have decided to introduce from today a special one-off levy of 50 per cent on any individual discretionary bonus above ÂŁ25,000.

This will be paid by the bank not the bank employee. Anti-avoidance measures will be introduced with immediate effect.

(more…)

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