Public Banking Works is ...

​The founders of Commonomics USA also helped found the Public Banking Institute. We provide public policy expertise on public banking, postal banking, cooperative economics, and other matters involving public finance. Our projects include the Cost of Wall Street GIS Mapping Project, Public Banking Workshops, and the Campaign for Postal Banking.

What is Public Banking?

​​A public bank is a simple and proven concept. It is essentially a nonprofit organization, owned by the government and chartered by the state to accept deposits and make loans. Many people don't realize this, but governments are already in the lending business -- most have a portfolio of loans (provided to small business, farmers/ranchers, homeowners, etc.) scattered among different governmental organizations. A public bank will consolidate these loans and serve as a way to fund them with a lower cost of money. For example, the North Dakota Treasurer places all tax and fee revenue in the ND state bank and uses the credit to provide low cost funding for consolidation of student loans, housing and other infrastructure, commercial loans, and projects that generate cash but are not included in government budgets.

Campaign Overview

The Public Banking Works campaign is primarily focused on California and includes the charter cities of Oakland and Santa Rosa. Resolving the lack of banking services provided to the cannabis industry is a priority, as is ensuring that affordable credit is extended to small businesses, students and infrastructure projects. 

Oakland City Council

Oakland City Council unanimously passed Councilmember Kaplan’s Resolution calling for the City Administrator to look into the process of establishing a public bank for the City of Oakland.

Please click here to read the Resolution and accompanying Memo


​The Resolution, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Kalb, and Guillen, directs the City Administrator to look into the scope and cost of conducting a feasibility study for public banking in Oakland and possibly the larger region. It also directs City Staff to solicit input from community stakeholders about the feasibility study, including suggestions of potential contractors and funding sources; and makes it clear that the study should cover the legality and feasibility of banking the cannabis industry.

​Public Banking Action Corner:

2017-09-20 Summary Public Banks and renewable energy policy.pdf
click to download
Oct 25, 2017
2017101917+Carbon Neutral:… via @YouTube
Oct 25, 2017
20171019 WORLD+OF+ECONOMICS:… via @YouTube
Oct 25, 2017
20171018+JUST+AS+BANKS:… via @YouTube
Aug 24, 2017
Read Commonomics USA's #publicbanking CA proposal here, and get some additional insight from @commonomicsUSA 's pol……
Aug 10, 2017
RT @MattJStannard: Regardless of outcome of this historic mtg on #publicbanking, everyone's thinking differently about banking now. We (the…