Founder of the Public Banking Institute and the author of a dozen books and hundreds of articles, Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In the first half, she discussed various financial issues related to banking and debt, as well as alternative health treatments, particularly related to cancer. It's not the government that creates our money, she explained, it's actually banks which generate funds when they issue loans. But that doesn't include the paying back of interest. In the private system we have, this money, she noted, doesn't go back into the local economy, but rather into speculative markets where the 1% are bidding up their own asset prices.
This system, she continued, leads to a chronic shortage of the money supply, "and that is how we are trapped in a web of debt." As a replacement for this model, she envisions a national community currency system which could be done sustainably with banking considered as a public utility like highways or electricity. Brown also addressed the ballooning student loan problem, where people remained mired in endless debt for years. In addition, she detailed the life and work of Jimmy Keller, a Tijuana-based alternative healer, who had a remarkable success rate in helping people with cancer but was jailed on fraud charges in the US.
Senior pastor of the 20,000-member Church of the Resurrection, Kansas City, the largest and most influential United Methodist congregation in the United States, Adam J. Hamilton spoke about the growing problem of fear ruining lives and well-being. He has become deeply involved with helping people who are struggling with fears of failure, irrelevance, finances, death, and illness—even FOMO (fear of missing out)-- to name a few. A certain amount of fear is wired into us, he said, and this can be healthy in terms of keeping us safe from danger, but other fears can cause people to become paralyzed and unproductive.
He outlined a four-step plan to combat and deal with them:
1) Facing your fear with the bias of hope
2) Examining your assumptions in light of rational facts
3) Attacking anxieties with action
4) (for people of faith) Releasing your fears to God
People in different age groups tend to report specific fears-- for instance, those over 50, start fearing for the loss of their memory. Hamilton also cited the use of exposure therapy (tackling fears a little at a time) as a valid approach.