How can we create and sustain a civic society? An immigrant from Argentina, Sergio Lub founded not only a robust speakers series in the San Francisco Bay Area but also, in 1999, a computer-based network of trust, Friendly Favors, where. real friends can vouch for and meet real friends. One of these friends is Ellen Brown. Trained as an attorney, Brown proposes banks that are based not on private investors but on various levels of government, as in North Dakota: banks as "public utilities." This is typical of the hundreds of alternatives showcased by Friendly Favors.

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