North Dakota's thriving state bank makes a mockery of Wall Street's casino banking system—and that's why financial elites want to crush it:
|In 1919, the Non-Partisan League, a vibrant populist organization, won a majority in the legislature and voted the bank into existence. The goal was to free North Dakota farmers from impoverishing debt dependence on the big banks in the Twin Cities, Chicago and New York. More than 90 years later, this state-owned bank is thriving as it helps the state's community banks, businesses, consumers and students obtain loans at reasonable rates. It also delivers a handsome profit to its owners -- the 700,000 residents of North Dakota. In 2011, the BND provided more than $70 million to the state's coffers. Extrapolate that profit-per-person to a big state like California and you're looking at an extra $3.8 billion a year in state revenues that could be used to fund education and infrastructure.
One of America's Best Kept Secrets
Banks are supposed to serve as intermediaries that turn our savings and checking deposits into productive loans to businesses and consumers. That's how jobs are supported and created. But the BND, a state agency, goes one step further. Through its Partnership in Assisting Community Expansion, for example, it provides loans at below-market interest rates to businesses if and only if those businesses create at least one job for every $100,000 loaned. If the $1 trillion that now flows to Wall Street instead were deposited in public state banks in all 50 states using this same approach, up to 10 million new jobs could be created. That would effectively end our destructive unemployment crisis. [...]
As state government employees, BND executives have no incentive to gamble their way toward enormous pay packages. As you can see, the top six BND officers earn a good living [...]
Eric Hardmeyer, President and CEO: $232,500
The very existence of a successful BND undermines Wall Street's claim that in order to attract the best talent big banks need to offer enormous pay packages. Yet somehow, North Dakota is able to find the talent to run one of the soundest banks in the country? The BND is living proof that Wall Street's rationale for sky-high executive pay is a self-serving fabrication.
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010—Insurers Say They Don't Have to Cover Sick Kids Yet:
|The NYT's Robert Pear continues coverage of the key story coming out of last week's passage and signing of health insurance reform: the contention by insurers that a key part of the law that is supposed to take effect immediately will not. That is, they are asserting that the provision that prevents them from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions--intended to begin with policies that begin on or after Sept. 23, 2010--doesn't do that at all. [...]|
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin on CT's progress toward new gun measures, and new polling saying fervor for reform hasn't dimmed. "Moms Demand Action" draws a counter-protest: guys with AR-15s. Just one of the weird meta issues arising from protesting about guns by showing up with guns. City council declares all future gun restrictions unconstitutional, because they love the Constitution except for supremacy and also the separation of powers. Despite her CPAC railing against consultants, most of Sarah Palin's PAC money went to... consultants. WalMart now wants you to pay them to work there.