Tag Archives: Craig Barnes

Public Banking in the Press: Public bank advocates gain advice from experts – A Report from the Banking On New Mexico Symposium

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:


Public bank advocates gain advice from experts

Posted: Saturday, September 27, 2014 10:00 pm | Updated: 11:18 pm, Sat Sep 27, 2014.


By Ed Moreno
For The New Mexican

The path to establish a publicly owned bank will be scattered with legal and political obstacles, but scores of citizens, public officials and public finance experts gathered in Santa Fe on Saturday to make the case that it can, and should, be done.

The spirited gathering, organized by “We Are People Here,” brought local, national and international perspectives on why it is necessary to try to establish publicly owned and operated banks that serve local communities, and not the “plutocracy” that controls the nation’s wealth, the event’s organizer said.

“We are gathered here because we recognize to the degree greater than in any time in the last 40 years that we are on our own,” said Craig Barnes, the founder of the organization. He cited the concentration of wealth and power and said “the life’s blood is being sucked away from our local communities.”

“We’re not here to blame, we’re not here to complain. We’re here to get up off our knees, because it’s in our nature as Americans to be on our feet,” he said.

Continue reading Public Banking in the Press: Public bank advocates gain advice from experts – A Report from the Banking On New Mexico Symposium

Public Banking in the Press – Symposium on public banking planned today as city explores feasibility

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:


Symposium on public banking planned today as city explores feasibility

Posted: Friday, September 26, 2014 7:00 pm | Updated: 12:30 am, Sat Sep 27, 2014


By Daniel J. Chacón

The New Mexican

Mayor Javier Gonzales says that while he was on the campaign trail, an old friend told him about a local movement to create a public bank.

Gonzales had already heard about a public bank in North Dakota but hadn’t given much thought to one in Santa Fe or even New Mexico.

“As I got more into the campaign and learned the stories and the challenges of Santa Fe and recognized that access to capital and new funding sources were limited, the idea of a public bank became more and more important to me,” he said Friday.

If he was elected mayor, Gonzales told himself back then, he would explore the idea further.

Continue reading Public Banking in the Press – Symposium on public banking planned today as city explores feasibility

Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzalez: Public banking worth exploring in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Mayor, Javier Gonzalez, talks about the importance of the Banking on New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies for the City of Santa Fe.

The Symposium is happening today, Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm, at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Registration for the Symposium starts at 9:30 am at the door. The registration fee is $40.

Continue reading Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzalez: Public banking worth exploring in Santa Fe

Craig Barnes in the Press — Public bank can make sense for NM

From the Op-Ed pages of The Albuquerque Journal:


Public bank can make sense for NM


By Craig Barnes / Founder, We Are People Here!

PUBLISHED: Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 12:02 am

According to recent reports, of all the states in the union, last year New Mexico had the second-highest poverty rate. More than 20 percent of us, one out of every five, lived below the poverty line.

Surely New Mexicans are no less hard working, no less intelligent, no less innovative, but still general prosperity is elusive. Something is not working.

Listening to voices from across the state, to small business, to the Native American community, to the un-banked, to city councilors and mayors, a constant report is that we are experiencing consistent needs that our current system of financing cannot or does not reach. The state has substantial oil and gas revenues, a massive federal presence and a robust tourist industry. Still, for some reason, the money does not reach enough of us to keep us from coming in second among all the states as the most poor.

Continue reading Craig Barnes in the Press — Public bank can make sense for NM

Public Banking in the Press — Report from Finance New Mexico about Public Banking and Banking on New Mexico Symposium

From The Santa Fe New Mexican:


Finance New Mexico: Public banking gets a hearing at symposium

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2014 7:00 pm


For The New Mexican

With tighter credit standards that have resulted in fewer loans since the recession of 2008, some are backing an effort to open a publicly owned and managed bank in New Mexico. These advocates are holding a symposium starting 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center to educate the public and decide how to proceed.

State Rep. Brian Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat, has pushed for a statewide public bank for years, arguing it would keep more money at home and make it easier for businesses to secure capital. Fellow legislators have rejected the idea for two successive years, so backers have scaled down the idea to a publicly owned bank in just one New Mexico community: Santa Fe. They have the support of Mayor Javier Gonzales, who sees it as a resource for cash-strapped local businesses.

Other speakers include Richard Wolff of the University of Massachusetts; Gwendolyn Hallsmith of the Public Banking Institute; Craig Barnes, founder of We Are People Here!; as well as other city leaders and financial experts.

Continue reading Public Banking in the Press — Report from Finance New Mexico about Public Banking and Banking on New Mexico Symposium

Craig Barnes in the Press — Bringing Democracy to Banking

From the New Mexico Mercury:


Bringing Democracy to Banking

September 15, 2014


By Craig Barnes


Inequality has returned to the United States. Americans are now faced, not only with huge disadvantages in economic competition; politically, we are faced with the rise of a new ruling class. This year’s elections will feature cascades of money from billionaires, dwarfing the contributions of individuals for whom politics used to be, but no longer is, a way to seek revival.

This coagulation of riches that now threatens to clog the politics of the country has rendered our national Congress inert.  The global banking system that used to provide financing for local business, for construction, for advances in health, education and welfare, has turned its attention to the Wall Street derivatives market; turned away from local requirements to prefer instead the global casinos of algorithmic chance. Community banks, locally owned banks, banks that had a direct relationship to the communities that they served, are becoming an endangered species while the big five banks no longer know the names of the families or businesses, the borrowers that they have packaged together in Collateralized Debt Obligations. To keep this whole scheme going, the financial industry, alone, has descended upon Washington DC with over 12,000 lobbyists. Any head-on assault by activists and concerned citizens, any resistance, runs into this overwhelming financial industry defense.

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An Invitation: To Be Inspired and Informed at the Banking On New Mexico Symposium – September 26-27, 2014

History suggests that at least two important conditions precede social change: One is education about society’s true conditions, an education that has to spread out from the elite to the general population. The very well established, of course, naturally delay or debunk such education because they don’t much like the change that may come with it. As a Kenyan activist once said when asked why he did not go after corruption at the highest levels, “The big fish don’t fry themselves.” The one thing that loosens plutocracy’s control, therefore, seems to be a deepening awareness of society’s true conditions that gradually spreads to the general public.

But there is another very important ingredient for social change to happen. From some source must come inspiration. A politician, a poet, a musician, draws up a vision and lifts the dream for all people of new possibility. “I have a dream today!” cries out Martin Luther King, and when that vision combines with broadly held information, or knowledge, then there may be something like a ripple or a wave that spreads through the culture and change may happen.

Continue reading An Invitation: To Be Inspired and Informed at the Banking On New Mexico Symposium – September 26-27, 2014

Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Executive Director, Public Banking Institute – Interviewed by Craig Barnes

Gwen Hallsmith, Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute, was interviewed this morning (Saturday, September 6, 2014) on Our Times with Craig Barnes. Gwen points out that actions to establish state and local municipal public banks are sweeping the country. She explains how interest income that normally goes to the Wall Street banks can be returned instead to serve local purposes in our own communities.

Gwen Hallsmith on Our Times with Craig Barnes, September 6, 2014

Gwen is one of the invited guests at the upcoming Banking On New Mexico Symposium that will be held at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Other internationally renowned invitees are listed in the sidebar to the right. The event is being jointly sponsored by WeArePeopleHere! and the Public Banking Institute. Information about the Symposium can be found at BankingOnNewMexico.org and in the Symposium section of this website. Registration for the Symposium is $40 for the General Public and $10 for Students with ID. Please join WeArePeopleHere! and the Public Banking Institute at this exciting and informative event.

Participate in the Banking on New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies – Saturday, September 27, 2014

Greetings friends:

Barnes-138x188

The evidence of the influence of money in politics is still all around us. Our upcoming elections will again demonstrate the power of billionaires.  Anyone could be excused if he or she felt powerless. But we are not.  After two years of study, WeArePeopleHere! is finding more and more promise in the idea of a local public bank as a way to re-create democracy here at home.  It is a way to keep our money at work locally, to reduce the interest stream that currently finances the derivative markets of Wall Street, and to support community purposes such as education, health, infrastructure and small business. A public bank can also be designed to partner with community banks and credit unions, to reinforce them, and to counter the squeeze that is forcing them out of business all over the country. To do all this we don’t have to attack the plutocracy head-on, or overcome it, or wage a struggle against overwhelming power. With a public bank we can take the initiative, become self-responsible and do a great deal to support our own needs here at home.

Mayor Javier Gonzales is behind the idea. Other officials from around the state have become interested as well. We have planned a major symposium to introduce the idea to the public on September 27th of this year and the national organization, Public Banking Institute, is so impressed with our plans that they are now joining the Santa Fe symposium for their national gathering.

Continue reading Participate in the Banking on New Mexico Symposium: Funding Local, Sustainable Economies – Saturday, September 27, 2014

Craig Barnes’ Interview of Public Banking Institute Experts

Craig Barnes, Gwen Hallsmith, Mike Krauss

Listen to Craig Barnes interview two experts on public banking, Gwen Hallsmith, Executive Director of the Public Banking Institute, and Mike Krauss, a director of the Public Banking Institute and chairman of the Pennsylvania Project–an organization dedicated to the formation of Public Banks at the state and municipal level in Pennsylvania. They recently visited Santa Fe on behalf of We are People Here! to meet and discuss, with Mayor Gonzales, City Councilors, and other civic leaders of Santa Fe, the benefits and the formation of a Public Bank for the City of Santa Fe.