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Banking on New Mexico is the primary initiative of WeArePeopleHere!
Our mission is to educate and advocate for the creation of a public bank to democratize our local economy and support the City in its stewardship of the peoples’ money. Our goal is to promote economic justice at the local level by putting the peoples’ money to work here at home, where it can be an engine for reducing debt and growing revenues for our community.

It Should Be Done.

Benefits of a Public Bank for Santa Fe

A Public Bank – owned by the City rather than by private stockholders – would keep Santa Fe’s public monies at home by:

  • Protecting the City’s Resources from the dangerous practices of Global Banks
  • Paying higher interest on City deposits
  • Charging lower interest on City borrowing
  • Retaining interest paid and interest earned within the Santa Fe economy
  • Assuring local control of the City’s resources,
  • Increasing lending to projects benefiting our local community
  • Partnering with locally owned Community Banks and Credit Unions to invest in Santa Fe’s economic growth.

It Can Be Done.

Managing a Public Bank in Santa Fe

A formal legal opinion by the Rodey Law Firm supports the legality of a Public Bank for Santa Fe. The bank would be governed and managed by a professional banking staff and Board of Directors totally independent of elected or appointed government officials. The bank’s policies, priorities and practices would be developed by the People of Santa Fe. Initially at least, the bank would provide banking services only to the City and other public institutions and governments.

public-bank-santa-fe-circle

It Has a Record of Success.

Creating a Public Bank for Santa Fe

The public bank would be chartered and regulated by the New Mexico Department of Licensing and Regulations, Financial Services Division. The state-owned Public Bank of North Dakota has been successful since it was founded in 1919. The Chickasaw Nation Bank2 has grown from $7.5 million to more than $100 million in assets since its founding in 2002, and public banks have thrived in Germany, Switzerland and other countries around the world for Centuries.

Banking on New Mexico Releases Five-Year Financial Model

A debt reduction, budget easing, income generating strategy for the City of Santa Fe

On January 22nd, BoNM released its Five-Year Model Supporting a Public Bank for Santa Fe, which we’ve had in development for the past several months.

The five-year financial model, created by BoNM’s Brass Tacks Team, working both with City officials and national public banking experts, supports the City of Santa Fe’s recently released Public Bank Feasibility Study, suggesting, among other benefits, that it would be possible to reduce the debt service burden confronting the City by refinancing some of the bond debt through the new public bank.

The Brass Tacks Team identified loans and bonds available for refinancing during a five-year proposed start-up period. The BTT also included a small amount of hypothetical community partnership lending. The model restructured

four existing loans and six bonds with two goals in mind: a) to lower the City’s Debt Service (principal, interest and fees associated with the loans and bonds) and b) to lower the City’s projected debt. BTT’s model supports the exceptional and comprehensive work completed in the City’s Feasibility Study, continuing the community discussion initiated by that economic study.

Our model indicates that should a Public Bank for Santa Fe “open for business” on July 1, 2017 with a loan portfolio of $45.5 million in loans to the City, plus a small amount of partnership lending, in its first year of operation the bank could help Santa Fe reduce its annual debt service costs by $1 million, while making a small profit of $.5 million. The model also projects that in five years the bank could reduce the City’s annual debt service costs by $1.3 million, reduce total City debt by $4.8 million and produce a $10.5 million dollar profit to benefit the public.

Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Elizabeth Dwyer and Nichoe Lichen
Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Nichoe Lichen and Elizabeth Dwyer.

On January 22nd, BoNM released its Five-Year Model Supporting a Public Bank for Santa Fe, which we’ve had in development for the past several months.

The five-year financial model, created by BoNM’s Brass Tacks Team, working both with City officials and national public banking experts, supports the City of Santa Fe’s recently released Public Bank Feasibility Study, suggesting, among other benefits, that it would be possible to reduce the debt service burden confronting the City by refinancing some of the bond debt through the new public bank.

The Brass Tacks Team identified loans and bonds available for refinancing during a five-year proposed start-up period. The BTT also included a small amount of hypothetical community partnership lending. The model restructured four existing loans and six bonds with two goals in mind: a) to lower the City’s Debt Service (principal, interest and fees associated with the loans and bonds) and b) to lower the City’s projected debt. BTT’s model supports the exceptional and comprehensive work completed in the City’s Feasibility Study, continuing the community discussion initiated by that economic study.

Our model indicates that should a Public Bank for Santa Fe “open for business” on July 1, 2017 with a loan portfolio of $45.5 million in loans to the City, plus a small amount of partnership lending, in its first year of operation the bank could help Santa Fe reduce its annual debt service costs by $1 million, while making a small profit of $.5 million. The model also projects that in five years the bank could reduce the City’s annual debt service costs by $1.3 million, reduce total City debt by $4.8 million and produce a $10.5 million dollar profit to benefit the public.

Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Elizabeth Dwyer and Nichoe Lichen
Core members of the Brass Tacks Team, from left to right: Dan Metzger, Nichoe Lichen and Elizabeth Dwyer.

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Across the United States, states and municipal governments struggle to provide essential public services, such as schools, public safety, courts and prisons, public health, transportation infrastructure and parks, while also trying to keep taxes down for a middle…read more

Santa Cruz County Won’t Do Business with Big Banks That Act Like Crooks

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Santa Cruz County, California, recently figured out a way to hold big banks who engage in illegal and destructive behavior accountable: Don’t do business with them…read more

A Revolutionary Pope Calls for Rethinking the Outdated Criteria That Rule the World

July 3, 2015
Ellen Brown
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Pope Francis’ revolutionary encyclical addresses not just climate change but the banking crisis. Interestingly, the solution to that crisis whom the Pope took…read more

Public Banks Could Break the Impasse Over Marijuana Money

Aug 24, 2016
Marc Armstrong
Truthout

With nearly a dozen state initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana on the November ballot, the market for legalized marijuana is certain to expand. But, because marijuana continues to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), private banks are effectively prohibited from fully participating in this market -- the compliance burden is too high and individual employees face the threat of prosecution. A network of city, county and state-owned public banks, sharing best practices, may be an effective way to offload the compliance burden so that marijuana-related businesses can confidently accept payments and deposits can be placed into a network of public banks, which could develop the systems needed for legal compliance with the Department of Justice and federal regulatory agencies. read more...

The High Toll of Being Poor in the U.S.A

Aug 22, 2016
Nick Chanko
McGill International Review

Officially, 14.8% of people in the United States live in poverty. Furthermore, 20% of Americans use alternative financial services to pay bills, get loans, and generally afford to live in the wealthiest country in the world. The most common alternative to a retail bank is a local check-cashing store, which charges a percentage fee on the cashed amount (for example, a store charges a 1.5% fee. This means that it will cost $15 to cash a $1,000 check). read more...

PBI Launches Public Banking Caucus

Aug 16, 2016
Shara Smith
PublicBankingInstitute.org

PBI Chair Walt McRee has announced the creation of a bi-partisan Public Banking Caucus, a strategic campaign to link together the many local and state elected and appointed officials (and candidates) already supporting public banking. read more...

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Public Banking — Funding Local, Sustainable Economies