Step #9 of the Ten Steps To Prosperity reads:

FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click: The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)

Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts.

This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.

Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.

The above-referenced link, “The end of private banking” (written in 2012) ends with the following,  prophetic words:

(Banks) cannot be trusted to work in the best interests of the public.  Their motive is profits, not service to the public.

Their misdeeds have caused the recession, damage to the economy and the growing gap between those people with high income (1%) and the rest (99%).

Congressional conservatives will not supervise the bank’s insatiable thirst for profits, which motivates all bank activities. Damage control by the federal government has become an increasing need.

All bank problems boil down to the profit motive. Rather than breaking up the TBTF banks into smaller, (hopefully) more controllable pieces, we should eliminate their fundamental problem, the profit motive.

And, what better way to eliminate the profit motive, than to put banks under total government control, i.e. ownership?

All of the above came to mind when I read an article in Time Magazine. Here are a few excerpts:

Wells Fargo Customer Fraud Deals Political Setback to Banks
Massimo Calabresi @calabresim Sept. 22, 2016

For the enemies of big banks, it was a dream come true. John Stumpf, the CEO of what until recently had been the most valuable bank in the world, Wells Fargo, sat alone under the bright lights of a Senate hearing on Sept. 20, meekly receiving a three-hour public flogging–from industry-friendly Republicans, no less.

Pennsylvania’s Pat Toomey, who is up for re-election, called the bank’s behavior “unbelievable” and “deeply disturbing.”

The committee’s GOP chair, Richard Shelby of Alabama, broke out Watergate language: What did Stumpf know, and when did he know it?

The outrage was real.

Actually, the outrage was phony — a bit of Broadway showmanship to calm the public. If the outrage were real, laws would be passed and  Stumpf would be on his way to prison.

Soon, the GOP will be back to cutting supervision of the TBTF banks, in return for nice, juicy bribes  . . . er, ah . . . campaign contributions and promises of lucrative employment later.

On Sept. 8, government officials revealed that Wells had opened more than 2 million bank and credit-card accounts for customers without their permission from 2011 through 2015, resulting in $2.6 million in unwarranted fees for tens of thousands of unsuspecting clients.

If you pass one bad check, you will go to jail. When Stumpf supervises the opening of 2 million fake accounts, he receives a bonus.

Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren offered her opinion to a visibly uncomfortable Stumpf: “The only way that Wall Street will change is if executives face jail time when they preside over massive frauds.”

Yes, the fines mean nothing. They are pocket change to the banks, and have zero impact on bank management — virtually an invitation to future corruption. (“Steal millions, and we’ll fine the bank and give you a tongue-lashing.”)

Stumpf had built the bank’s much admired success on a business strategy that fostered such fraud. “Cross-selling,” or pushing account holders to open new accounts with Wells, was his pride and joy.

Stumpf touted his company’s success with the tactic. The value of Stumpf’s personal holdings jumped by $200 million.

The man made an extra $200 million based on criminality. Give me one reason why he would want to be honest in the future.

Regional bosses set daily quotas for tellers and personal bankers, requiring them to stay late and work weekends or risk being fired.

In a criminal enterprise, the least criminal (or heaven forbid, honest) workers will be punished.

Wells’ management learned of the problem in 2011, but when the city of Los Angeles raised concerns in 2013, Wells said it didn’t give customers any accounts or services they didn’t need.

Stumpf was being paid an extra $200 million to do what? Claim ignorance of complaints? Claim ignorance of malfeasance? What exactly was he being paid to do, if not to condone criminality?

In the world of private banking, the Sergeant Schultz defense (“I know nothing; I see nothing”) not only works, but is rewarded handsomely.

Over time, Wells fired some 5,300 employees and claimed to be rooting out the problem. “This type of activity has no place in our culture,” Stumpf testified.

But the cross-selling push continued until the day of the settlement in early September.

Worse, even as talks were under way, Stumpf and the bank’s board gave a lavish retirement package to the executive in charge of community banking, Carrie Tolstedt, who walked away with $124.6 million in stock and options.

Employees were fired for doing exactly what their bosses told them to do. The little guys always are expendable. Foot soldiers die so generals can receive promotions.

The Justice Department has reportedly issued subpoenas and begun a criminal probe.

U.S. federal prosecutors are vying for the right to go after the bank, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is weighing penalties for managers.

Criminal probe? Hah! No executives will go to jail.  At most, some mid-level chumps will be fined and fired. The top dogs will receive the Carrie Tolstedt bonus treatment.

Democratic staffers on the Hill have discussed the unlikely prospect that special powers could be triggered, allowing regulators to break up Wells.

It won’t happen, but even if it did, it would mean nothing. The result would be smaller, even more crooked banks, rule by additional crooked executives.

And by the way, no “special powers” are needed. The RICO statutes provide ample power and punishments for members of criminal enterprises, which the big, privately-owned banks have proven to be.

Meanwhile, GOP staffers and their allies at other banks are as angry at Wells as anyone.

They say the revelations, coming amid the current populist atmosphere, have at least temporarily derailed efforts to roll back the Dodd-Frank act, which imposed new oversight rules on Wall Street.

Yes, the GOP thinks the rules are too strict, and are angry at Stumpf, not for stealing from the public, but for getting caught.

As for rolling back bad behavior there, says Richard Cordray, head of the powerful but politically embattled Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which imposed $100 million of the federal fine on Wells, “it’s a big project to change the culture at the banks.”

Fines mean nothing. They are treated as a cost of doing business. The only way — the ONLY way — to change the culture is jail the top executives.

Unfortunately, that will require a President and a Congress who actually care more about protecting the public than about protecting the banksters.

GOP attempts to cut Dodd-Frank are not a good omen.

If money is the root of evil, the profit motive is the path to the root of evil. Federal ownership of banks eliminates the profit motive.

There is no consumer value provided by private ownership of banks.  None.

Crooked bankers should be fired and jailed. Their replacements should be federal employees, paid a reasonable salary, based not on any measure of profitability, but rather on providing efficient, honest service to the American public.

Banks, being the primary creators of America’s sovereign currency, should be federal agencies, not private money troughs for the bankster pigs.

And the criminals should be jailed.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
Monetary Sovereignty

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The most important problems in economics involve the excessive income/wealth/power Gaps between the rich and the rest.

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics.

Implementation of The Ten Steps To Prosperity can narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:
1. ELIMINATE FICA (Ten Reasons to Eliminate FICA )
Although the article lists 10 reasons to eliminate FICA, there are two fundamental reasons:
*FICA is the most regressive tax in American history, widening the Gap by punishing the low and middle-income groups, while leaving the rich untouched, and
*The federal government, being Monetarily Sovereign, neither needs nor uses FICA to support Social Security and Medicare.
2. FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICARE — PARTS A, B & D, PLUS LONG TERM CARE — FOR EVERYONE (H.R. 676, Medicare for All )
This article addresses the questions:
*Does the economy benefit when the rich afford better health care than the rest of Americans?
*Aside from improved health care, what are the other economic effects of “Medicare for everyone?”
*How much would it cost taxpayers?
*Who opposes it?”
3. PROVIDE AN ANNUAL ECONOMIC BONUS TO EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD IN AMERICA, AND/OR EVERY STATE, A PER CAPITA ECONOMIC BONUS (The JG (Jobs Guarantee) vs the GI (Guaranteed Income) vs the EB) Or institute a reverse income tax.
This article is the fifth in a series about direct financial assistance to Americans:

Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Employer of Last Resort is a bad idea. Sunday, Jan 1 2012
MMT’s Job Guarantee (JG) — “Another crazy, rightwing, Austrian nutjob?” Thursday, Jan 12 2012
Why Modern Monetary Theory’s Jobs Guarantee is like the EU’s euro: A beloved solution to the wrong problem. Tuesday, May 29 2012
“You can’t fire me. I’m on JG” Saturday, Jun 2 2012

Economic growth should include the “bottom” 99.9%, not just the .1%, the only question being, how best to accomplish that. Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) favors giving everyone a job. Monetary Sovereignty (MS) favors giving everyone money. The five articles describe the pros and cons of each approach.
4. FREE EDUCATION (INCLUDING POST-GRAD) FOR EVERYONEFive reasons why we should eliminate school loans
Monetarily non-sovereign State and local governments, despite their limited finances, support grades K-12. That level of education may have been sufficient for a largely agrarian economy, but not for our currently more technical economy that demands greater numbers of highly educated workers.
Because state and local funding is so limited, grades K-12 receive short shrift, especially those schools whose populations come from the lowest economic groups. And college is too costly for most families.
An educated populace benefits a nation, and benefiting the nation is the purpose of the federal government, which has the unlimited ability to pay for K-16 and beyond.
5. SALARY FOR ATTENDING SCHOOL
Even were schooling to be completely free, many young people cannot attend, because they and their families cannot afford to support non-workers. In a foundering boat, everyone needs to bail, and no one can take time off for study.
If a young person’s “job” is to learn and be productive, he/she should be paid to do that job, especially since that job is one of America’s most important.
6. ELIMINATE CORPORATE TAXES
Corporations themselves exist only as legalities. They don’t pay taxes or pay for anything else. They are dollar-transferring machines. They transfer dollars from customers to employees, suppliers, shareholders and the government (the later having no use for those dollars).
Any tax on corporations reduces the amount going to employees, suppliers and shareholders, which diminishes the economy. Ultimately, all corporate taxes come around and reappear as deductions from your personal income.
7. INCREASE THE STANDARD INCOME TAX DEDUCTION, ANNUALLY. (Refer to this.) Federal taxes punish taxpayers and harm the economy. The federal government has no need for those punishing and harmful tax dollars. There are several ways to reduce taxes, and we should evaluate and choose the most progressive approaches.
Cutting FICA and corporate taxes would be a good early step, as both dramatically affect the 99%. Annual increases in the standard income tax deduction, and a reverse income tax also would provide benefits from the bottom up. Both would narrow the Gap.
8. TAX THE VERY RICH (THE “.1%) MORE, WITH HIGHER PROGRESSIVE TAX RATES ON ALL FORMS OF INCOME. (TROPHIC CASCADE)
There was a time when I argued against increasing anyone’s federal taxes. After all, the federal government has no need for tax dollars, and all taxes reduce Gross Domestic Product, thereby negatively affecting the entire economy, including the 99.9%.
But I have come to realize that narrowing the Gap requires trimming the top. It simply would not be possible to provide the 99.9% with enough benefits to narrow the Gap in any meaningful way. Bill Gates reportedly owns $70 billion. To get to that level, he must have been earning $10 billion a year. Pick any acceptable Gap (1000 to 1?), and the lowest paid American would have to receive $10 million a year. Unreasonable.
9. FEDERAL OWNERSHIP OF ALL BANKS (Click The end of private banking and How should America decide “who-gets-money”?)
Banks have created all the dollars that exist. Even dollars created at the direction of the federal government, actually come into being when banks increase the numbers in checking accounts. This gives the banks enormous financial power, and as we all know, power corrupts — especially when multiplied by a profit motive.
Although the federal government also is powerful and corrupted, it does not suffer from a profit motive, the world’s most corrupting influence.
10. INCREASE FEDERAL SPENDING ON THE MYRIAD INITIATIVES THAT BENEFIT AMERICA’S 99.9% (Federal agencies)Browse the agencies. See how many agencies benefit the lower- and middle-income/wealth/ power groups, by adding dollars to the economy and/or by actions more beneficial to the 99.9% than to the .1%.
Save this reference as your primer to current economics. Sadly, much of the material is not being taught in American schools, which is all the more reason for you to use it.

The Ten Steps will grow the economy, and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and you.

MONETARY SOVEREIGNTY