California Becomes Second State to Allow Public Banks

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed AB 857 into law on Wednesday, authorizing California cities and counties to establish public banks. These banks would be operated by individual municipalities and finance loans for local businesses, affordable housing, infrastructure and other projects at lower interest rates than commercial banks. Proponents of the new law point to rising economic inequality and predatory lending practices by private banks. Those opposed to it emphasize the high start-up costs and lack of government expertise in banking. In this hour, we'll break down how public banking works, how feasible it is and how it could impact Californians.


Sushil Jacob, senior staff attorney for economic justice, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area; part of the California Public Banking Alliance, which advocated for the new law

Joel Fox, editor-in-chief of the website Fox and Hounds Daily, which offers commentary and news on California business and politics

Dean Baker, senior economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research and a Visiting Professor at the University of Utah; His most recent book is Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Are Structured to Make the Rich Richer