Ellen Brown

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Ellen Brown
Born (1945-09-15) September 15, 1945 (age 71)
Pleasanton, California
Occupation author, activist, attorney
Genre nonfiction, economics, medicine, public policy
Notable works Web of Debt, The Public Bank Solution

Ellen Hodgson Brown is an American author, political candidate, attorney, public speaker, and advocate of alternative medicine and financial reform, most prominently public banking. Brown is the founder[1] and president[2] of the Public Banking Institute, a nonpartisan think tank devoted to the creation of publicly run banks. She is also the president of Third Millennium Press,[3] and is the author of twelve books, including Web of Debt and The Public Bank Solution, as well as over 200 published articles. She has appeared on cable and network television, radio, and internet podcasts,[4] including a discussion on the Fox Business Network concerning student loan debt with the Cato Institute's Neil McCluskey,[5] a feature story on derivatives and debt on the Russian network RT,[6] and the Thom Hartmann Show's "Conversations with Great Minds."[7] Ellen Brown ran for California Treasurer in the California June 2014 Statewide Primary election.[8]

Life and career[edit]

She attended law school at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she was Book Review Editor of the UCLA Law Review and obtained her J.D. in 1977.[citation needed] Her law review article, “Restrictions on Alternative Medical Practitioners in California: A Legal and Economic Analysis,” published in the UCLA Law Review in 1977,[9] was cited in the dissenting opinion in People v. Privitera, 23 Cal.3d 697 (Cal. 1979) by California Supreme Court Chief Justice Rose Bird, who called it “an excellent and exhaustive review of case and statutory law” on alternative medicine.[10]

Brown was a civil litigation attorney in Los Angeles for ten years,[11] and served on the defense team for Jimmy Keller, a popular Tijuana cancer therapist who was targeted by the National Council Against Health Fraud. The case was the basis of her 1998 book Forbidden Medicine.[12] Brown published ten books on alternative medicine, women's health, and the pharmaceutical industry, before publishing Web of Debt in 2007. In Web of Debt, she argued that the privatization of the creation of money has resulted in its exploitation against the public good, through a private banking system primarily concerned with its own profit.

In 2011, Brown founded the Public Banking Institute (PBI) to promote research and advocacy of public banks.[1] In 2013, Brown published The Public Bank Solution, revisiting her arguments in Web of Debt, tracing the history of public banking, and discussing various options to implement it in the contemporary economy.

2014 campaign for California Treasurer[edit]

In 2013, Brown announced her candidacy for California State Treasurer on the Green Party ticket in the 2014 election. On December 27, 2013, the Green Party of California endorsed Brown’s candidacy.[13] Brown received 6.5% of the vote during the June primaries, putting her in third place among three candidates, and thus not qualifying her for the general election due to California's "top two" primary system.[14]


  • With the Grain: Eat More, Weigh Less, Live Longer (1990)
  • The Informed Consumer’s Pharmacy (with Dr. Lynne Walker) (1990)
  • Menopause and Estrogen: Natural Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy (formerly Breezing through the Change: Managing Menopause Naturally) (with Dr. Lynne Walker) (1994, 1996)
  • Forbidden Medicine: Is Safe, Non-Toxic Cancer Treatment Being Suppressed? (1998)
  • The Alternative Pharmacy: Break the Drug Cycle with Safe Natural Treatments for 200 Everyday Ailments (with Dr. Lynne Walker) (1998), republished in paperback as Nature’s Pharmacy (1999)
  • The Key to Ultimate Health (with Richard Hansen) (1998)
  • Healing Joint Pain Naturally (2001)
  • Nature’s Pharmacy for Children (with Lendon Smith and Dr. Lynne Walker) (2002)
  • A Woman’s Complete Guide to Natural Health (with Dr. Lynn Walker) (2003)
  • Web of Debt (2007)
  • The Public Bank Solution (2013)


Brown has published over 200 essays, mostly on finance and political economy, thematically centered on big banks, debt and interest, the corruption of private banks, and possible alternatives such as public banking. A list of Brown’s essays is available on her Web of Debt blog.[15] On October 1, 2013, her piece on public banking, "Public Banks are Key to Capitalism", appeared in a debate on public banking in the New York Times.[16]


  1. ^ a b Diamond, Ricky. "An Economy of Our Own: Avoiding Another Jack-Ass Monetary Crisis". Vermont Woman. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ellen Brown". TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved 2014-02-16. Ellen Brown is an attorney and president of the Public Banking Institute. 
  3. ^ "Third Millennium Press LLC". Manta.com. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  4. ^ "Interviews and Presentations by Ellen Brown". Web of Debt Blog. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Should Students Receive a Loan Bailout". Fox Business News. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Trapped in a web of debt and Derivatives time bomb, with Ellen Brown". RT. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  7. ^ "Hartmann: Conversations with Great Minds - Ellen Brown, Web of Debt". Conversations with Great Minds. Retrieved 2014-05-14. 
  8. ^ "California's top-two financial posts are up for grabs in 2014". Conversations with Great Minds. Retrieved 2014-05-18. 
  9. ^ Hodgson, Ellen (1977). "Restrictions on Unorthodox Health Treatment in California: A Legal and Economic Analysis". UCLA Law Review. 24: 647. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  10. ^ "People v. Privitera, 23 Cal.3d 697 (Cal. 1979)". Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Public Banking Institute Board and Staff". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "Ellen Brown's Home Page". Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  13. ^ Brenner, Keri (27 December 2013). "Green Party Announces Statewide Endorsements for June Primary Elections". Napa Valley Patch. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  14. ^ http://graphics.latimes.com/calif-primary-election-results-2014/
  15. ^ "Articles by Author". Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  16. ^ Brown, Ellen (1 October 2013). "Public Banks are Key to Capitalism". The New York Times. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 

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