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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2-17-2010 (Ash Wednesday)

Good morning folks. I hope you have good day regardless of whether or not you decide to do anything for Ash Wednesday.

Well as everyone seems to know we are in an economic downturn or recession. I have been reading a lot lately about a state in America that is doing pretty well. That state is North Dakota now every state is different and they all have different products that allow for different levels of income. But the biggest difference that North Dakota has is that they have a bank that is totally run and owned by the state of North Dakota. Now, according to the Huffington Post

"The Bank of North Dakota serves as an economic development agency and "banker's bank" that lessens the loan risks of private banks and helps them finance larger projects. It offers cheap loans to farmers, students and businesses.

The bank had almost $4 billion in assets and a $2.67 billion loan portfolio at the end of last year, according to its most recent quarterly financial report. It made $58.1 million in profits in 2009, setting a record for the sixth straight year. During the last decade, the bank funneled almost $300 million in profits to North Dakota's treasury.

The bank has the advantage of being the repository for most state funds, which can be used for loans and occasional relief for private banks that need a jolt of cash during sluggish credit markets."

Also another mention in the article is that North Dakota has an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent. That is the lowest in the nation and something that my home state of Oregon could only dream of. Now I am sure there are other things that makes North Dakota different then Oregon and also makes them more successful then Oregon in terms of jobs and state budget issues. But what I wonder is what is working about their bank. One of the biggest difference is that they are not part of the FDIC so if the bank were to lose money the residents of North Dakota would be on the hook for it. But, so far that has not happened. The bank is running a surplus.

I am just wondering what makes North Dakota special? Is this a model that could work in other states? Should it be something that is attempted? Should it be something that we totally write off as a cursed socialist idea that would fail and hurt the state in the end? Any thoughts out there folks?
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