What Could Go Wrong? Washington State Democrats Want to Create State-Owned Bank

OLYMPIA — State government stores money at Bank of America, buys goods with U.S. Bank cards and distributes welfare aid through JP Morgan Chase ATMs.

Supporters of cutting such ties to big banks say the first step is to create a state-owned bank.

The idea of a state bank — a favorite of the Occupy movement that sees it as an alternative to Wall Street — has strong support among the Democrats who control the state House. Speaker Frank Chopp called it a top priority last week in a speech opening this year’s session of the Legislature.

“I think people see this as a form of empowerment, that we’re going to try to do something in our state to regain control over the safety of our finances,” said David Spring, a community-college instructor from North Bend who has spoken at Occupy rallies.

Skeptics wonder where the money would come from to accomplish the bank’s goals, such as making low-interest loans to college students and to local governments for public works.

Read more at The Seattle Times. Wonder who the bank would make loans to?