The Next System Project – This week on the Next System Podcast David Jette from Public Bank LA and Juleon Robinson from the New Economy Project, a member of Public Bank NYC, a broad-based coalition of community, worker rights, economic justice, and environmental groups to sit down to discuss the transformative potential of public banks. These institutions aim to hold finance publicly accountable, directing credit into the real economy with the public goods prioritized over profit.
Adam Simpson: I am here today with two guests to talk about two public banking campaigns, coast to coast. David Jette is the co-founder and legislative director of Public Bank LA. David is a financial analyst and consultant with 10 years in the tech real estate and start-up sector, as well as a life-long activist and organizer. David, welcome to the program.
David Jette: Thank you for having me.
Adam Simpson: We also have with us Juleon Robinson, a program associate at the New Economy Project, where he co-produces and hosts the organization’s podcast and conducts research to support campaigns like the ongoing campaign to establish a municipal bank in New York City. Juleon, welcome to the program.
Juleon Robinson: Thanks for having me as well.
Adam Simpson: Before we get into public banks, let’s talk about the problem first with our current system. Our current financial system is dominated by enormous, powerful intuitions. It’s owned by and operated for the benefit of a handful of shareholders. What are the consequences of such a system, and in your work what motivates you to pursue reform in this sector as you do?
Juleon Robinson: I think most people are aware of the consequences of the financial system, especially at the national level. We’ve seen companies like Wells Fargo commit widespread fraud and maintain most of its business. We’ve seen the government bail out banks despite their having caused a financial crisis only 10 years ago through their reckless profiteering. And in a place like New York City that’s both home to many communities of color, many immigrant communities, we’ve seen these mega banks that routinely extract wealth from those neighborhoods. The consequences are really present for our campaign, our coalition, and all the groups that we work with. The members of the public bank in the New York City coalition work in these neighborhoods all over New York City that are reeling from predatory lending, from foreclosures, from eviction, job loss, and other problems that are really caused by Wall Street.
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