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‘Rescuing Cities, Schools and Students: New Models for Municipal Banking’ Forum at Drexel, May 23

May 14, 2013

Wall Street
A forum entitled “Rescuing Cities, Schools and Students: New Models for Municipal Banking” will be held at Drexel on May 23

A public forum entitled “Rescuing Cities, Schools and Students: New Models for Municipal Banking” will be held at Drexel University on Thursday, May 23, sponsored by Drexel's Center for Public Policy, the Pennsylvania Project and the Public Banking Institute.  

The forum will explore steps that can be taken to strengthen local banks, get affordable credit into communities, refinance student loans and end the reliance on Wall Street.

Panelists include Public Banking Institute Director Marc Armstrong, Director of the Center for Public Policy Director and a professor of history and politics in the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University Dr. Richardson Dilworth, Founder and Chair of the Pennsylvania Project Mike Krauss and New England municipal finance advisor Tom Sgouros.

The forum begins at 7 p.m. in the Stein Auditorium in Nesbitt Hall (3215 Market St.). It is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and can be reserved here.

Sessions will include:

How the Trap Was Set: Mike Krauss
Founder and Chair of the Pennsylvania Project, Krauss is a former officer of Bucks County and Pennsylvania government, a 27-year veteran of the international logistics and distribution industry and a writer and columnist whose byline has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Philadelphia Inquirer, Bucks County Courier Times and numerous online publications.

Moving Municipal Banking from Wall Street to Main Street: Tom Sgouros
A public policy researcher and consultant specializing in economics, finance and development policy, Sgouros has advised a wide range of municipalities, elected officials, public policy organizations and institutions, and has created innovative solutions to problems currently being faced by stressed local governments.

The Public Banking Option - Moving From Scarcity to Prosperity: Marc Armstrong
A business development and communications expert who has consulted extensively with nonprofits and small and medium-sized businesses, Armstrong holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and worked with IBM Finance and Europe-based SAP Technical Development Partners. He is executive director of the Public Banking Institute.

The event will be moderated by Frank Nuessle, affiliated faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches graduate courses in sustainability in the Organizational Dynamics Department. Nuessle’s paper, “Distributed Capitalism – a Scientific Validation for Going Local” will appear in the quarterly publication, World Future’s Journal.

“Municipalities and school districts throughout Pennsylvania and the country are trapped between declining tax revenues, resulting from a tidal wave of unemployment and home foreclosures and declining federal and state support,” said Dilworth. “And college students who took on debt in the hopes of a better future now face unemployment at unprecedented levels,” he said.

“The root of the problem is a banking system dominated by the so-called ‘Too Big to Fail Banks’ that now control 75 percent of American banking,” said Krauss, citing a recent move by the City of Philadelphia to award custody of the city’s payroll accounts to Well Fargo Bank as evidence of the need for new municipal banking models.

“Wells Fargo is among the most abusive of the big banks, everything from mortgage fraud to the interest rate swaps that cost the city and its schools almost half a billion dollars. Nobody wants to do business with banks like that,” said Krauss. “Presently City Council has few options except to deal with the biggest banks. In many cases, the local banks that are in fact well regulated and needed no bail out lack the technical capability to manage the city deposits and accounts, or lack the reserves to guarantee those deposits.”