• Don’t cry for banks
    October 24,2013

    Don’t cry for banks

    Thanks so much for your reporting the attempts to silence Montpelier taxpayer and employee Gwen Hallsmith. Neither the Montpelier mayor nor the city manager cites Hallsmith’s job performance as city planner, but instead they focus on her independent work as a citizen, advocating public banking.

    Can Mayor Hollar actually intend to stop her volunteerism, while he is paid to lobby for two global banks that taxpayers just bailed out? I hate to think so, but how else to explain his actions?

    I want to correct one statement your reporter makes. Eric Blaisdell writes, “If Vermont were to adopt a public banking system, private banks such as Bank of America would be forced out.”

    The two 800-pound gorillas in Montpelier’s City Hall, Wells Fargo and Bank of America, would like you to think Gwen’s mouse of public banking will destroy them. A look at North Dakota’s public bank shows you not only a state tax savings, but more banking, not less. Public banks are a valuable counterbalance to private banking, especially in economic downturns. Many countries have them, and yet U.S. global banks grow larger.

    A story I did on public banking, Gwen Hallsmith’s work and her book, “Creating Wealth,” won Vermont Woman a National Newspaper Award last year and cited my atypical sources. I suppose they meant mere citizens, and women at that, instead of the usual pack of well-paid bankers, economists and lobbyists.

    Rickey Gard Diamond


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