A Banking Blueprint For Dissidents
There is only one government-owned general-service bank in the United States.
Only one has the title of state-run and state-owned.
And contrary to what you may initially presume, it is actually a great bank and is incredibly well run.
That institution is known as the Bank of North Dakota:
The Bank of North Dakota (BND) is a state-owned, state-run financial institution based in Bismarck, North Dakota. It is the only government-owned general-service bank in the United States. It is the legal depository for all state funds in North Dakota, and uses these deposits to fund development, agriculture, and small businesses.
The bank was established in the early 20th century to promote agriculture, commerce, and industry in the state. It has received praise and media attention in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2008. and for their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to available data, the bank has turned a profit every year since its founding. The BND has a favorable reputation among North Dakotans. Other states have tried to replicate the BND elsewhere, but have been limited by political gridlock and the power dynamics in banking.
Under state law, the bank is the State of North Dakota doing business as the Bank of North Dakota. The bank is the only legal depository for all state funds. The state and its agencies are required to place their funds in the bank, helping it hold 15% of the total deposits of banks operating within the state. Profits from the bank are either deposited in North Dakota’s general fund, or are used to support economic development in the state. $585 million of profits have been deposited into the North Dakota general fund since the bank’s inception.
The bank is overseen by the North Dakota Industrial Commission, which is composed of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Agriculture Commissioner (formerly the Agriculture and Labor Commissioner) of North Dakota. Various chapters in the North Dakota Century Code deal with the bank’s role within the state. Additionally, the bank is overseen by an advisory board of seven members appointed by the Governor, two of which must be officers of banks who are majority-owned by North Dakotans and one of which must be an officer at a state-chartered or federally-chartered financial institution.
The Bank of North Dakota (BND) uses its funds in three basic ways: short-term loan and bond financing for local and state infrastructure projects, direct lending to private borrowers, and banking services for local banks.
I know the libertarian types like to incorrectly assume that everything the government manages is horrendous, but they are simply wrong. This bank proves that point regarding the financial sector. They’ve been thriving since the early 1900s.
The Bank has an impressive track record of success (If interested, look up its history, specifically: the return of foreclosed farmland in the 30s, actions with participation loans, and support during the covid pandemic).
This bank functions exactly like a true state bank should. It was created by populists, supports the state, seeks to benefit the state’s citizens (not solely acquire profit), is accountable to the state, and has no private owners/influencers.
Of course, the BND is limited by the financial realities of the greater American federal system (it still is subordinate to the Federal Reserve’s money printing, for instance), but it’s the best we can do on the state level for now. Even with that major restriction, it is has still done great work in the past.
It is these kinds of institutions that we should strive to create, if at all possible. North Dakota paved the way, but I would love to see it in more states.
It’s an institution that could easily be rapidly reconfigured in the event of a partition/secession of American nations. Financial institutions like these would be essential under such a condition, or the new state(s) would quickly fail financially.
The BND is a blueprint for state-level dissidents on how to organize a state bank in their own interests. If we could ever secure a state, one of the very first moves we should make is the creation of something similar to the BND.
Because the BND is public, accountable to the people, directly tied to the state itself, and has no gold-backed currency (which can be manipulated by those who control gold prices), it fixes many of the banking problems we experience today from private bankers.
Additionally, under a sane national state, something like this could prevent usury and mint its own currency (to acquire seigniorage, instead of private institutions receiving it).
This is what we need. This is what every nation needs.
It is not often we get such a clear example of a winning institution that would be massively beneficial for dissidents, but here you go. Sometimes the answer really is staring us in the face.
Read Next: How To Fix The Banking System: 15 Steps
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