“Those who steal from private individuals spend their lives in stocks and chains; those who steal from the public treasure go dressed in gold and purple.”
– Marcus Porcius Cato (234 – 149 B.C.)
Let me first thank the man in the following video, Mr. Scott Baker, for delivering one of the most, if not the most, articulate presentations on Public Banking that this writer has ever seen. Any man or woman who views this video, and especially those who are trained/experts in Public Accounting/Finance, will come out on the other end of this slightly less than 50-minute presentation and immediately begin planning, which leads to establishing, Public Banks in every state of America.
The President of Iceland, Dr. Olafur Grimsson, is interviewed in this video by Ms. Oksana Boyko on RT’s “Worlds Apart”. Dr. Grimsson does not come across like the average politician. Instead he is a statesman.
This is an excellent interview which describes the events which the country of Iceland and President Grimsson faced, as well as all countries which have privately owned central banking systems, in the year 2008 when the worldwide financial crisis negatively affected the national economies of the Earth.
President Grimsson describes an “almost revolutionary situation” in his country, which threatened the 1,000 year-old democracy of Iceland. He says that “banks and markets have an enormous democratic responsibility in every country”, and that if the citizens of Iceland had accepted austerity-if they had decided to pay for the failures of private banks-the citizens of Iceland would have had to pay for that decision for decades.
He describes how his decision to hold a referendum, to allow the average citizens of Iceland to decide their future, was the most difficult decision he had ever made. He asked himself who was more important-banks or people-and decided to trust the people, who gave their trust to him. All the while he faced down the negative views and judgments of the status-quo telling him, and the people of Iceland, that their country would become a “pariah state” and suffer extreme isolation.
The issues discussed in this interview go to the heart of problems faced by the people of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the United States (not austerity-but the kinder, gentler “sequestration”) and other nations.
The people of Iceland, led by President Olafur Grimsson, have provided the ideal model for every other country now suffering under the same harsh austerity measures that Iceland, with 98% of the people in agreement, voted down.
The people of Iceland, by an overwhelming majority, chose democracy and human rights over banks.
Matt Taibbi speaks here at the Public BankingInstituteon June 2, 2013. His description of how he came to research matters financial is an example that those interested in creating a more just, peaceful world can learn from.
He talks about casual conversations with other journalists which sparked his desire to know how things worked on Wall Street. During one of those casual conversations he asked his fellow journalists why gas prices were rising in 2008, and nobody could answer the question. It was an innocent question which led to Matt Taibbi being one of the most recognized journalists around delving into the complexities of Wall Street transactions.
He researched Wall Street and has since written informative, lengthy articles in Rolling Stone magazine exposing corrupt practices and law-breaking in the financial industry. In those articles he has given many men and women readers an accurate view of what he calls “that other, more complicated reality.” This scenario of Matt Taibbi’s journalism career, where seemingly mundane, trivial chat leads to his speaking at this Public Banking Instituteevent, is an example of how our life sometimes turns on a dime and leads us to previously unplanned destinations.
From “why are gas prices rising?” in 2008 to becoming involved with a whole new banking framework for the United States of America is the road traveled by Matt Taibbi. His description of his journey down that road is inspiring in that it shows fellow journalists, bloggers, and all those involved in communicating ideas, that always asking questions does indeed lead to answers.
The first word in Taibbi’s transformational question was “why.”
why, adv., n., pl. whys. —adv. 1. for what reason. —n. 2. cause or reason.
Journalists and communicators learn to research their subjects and issues by answering the questions “who, what, when, why and where.” Given Matt Taibbi’s experience here perhaps writers should throw out who, what, when, and where and focus like a laser on “why.”