PAUL JAY: Welcome to The Real News Network.
I’m Paul Jay in Baltimore. There’s been a debate about what to do about
banks that are too big to fail, too big to prosecute, too big to regulate. And the debate
goes that the big banks should be broken up, or some people are suggesting the only real
solution is public banking, banks that are big, of scale, and have public interest mandates,
publicly owned. Now weighing in on this debate and joining
us in the studio is Michael Hudson. Michael was a Wall Street financial analyst, and he’s
now a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas
City. His recent books are The Bubble and Beyond and Finance Capitalism and Its Discontents. Thanks for joining us again. MICHAEL HUDSON: Thank you. JAY: So what’s your take? Break up the banks
vs. public banking. HUDSON: Well, for one thing, in your very
first question you left out the point that Elizabeth Warren has made earlier this week:
too big to fail means too big to jail. JAY: I said too big to prosecute, but yeah. HUDSON: Okay. Too big to jail. When you had
the head of the Justice Department for finance last week saying, well, we can’t prosecute
the banks, ’cause if we did, they already are so insolvent that we’d essentially have
to take over the banks, and if we fined them, they wouldn’t have any reserves left, and
we’d have to make them into public banks, and that would be socialism, well, the fact
is that 200 years ago, when the Industrial Revolution was taking off, all of the bank
reformers in England, in France (the Saint-Simonians), in Germany, they all believed that industrial
capitalism was going to develop banking. And instead of banking being predatory, as it
had been for thousands of years, instead of banks lending against real estate and assets
and foreclosing and putting people in debtors prisons, for the first time in history banks
were going to begin to make loans to actually create new means of production, to create
industry, to finance factories and equipment that weren’t already there. And this is what
happened in Germany, it’s what happened in central Europe with the Reichsbank. Leading
up to World War I, you had the German banks working with the German government almost
as semi public entities–along with the military and industrial complex, to be sure, but you
had banking taking industrial form. World War I changed everything. You had a reversion
to the English-Dutch-American kind of banking that was called merchant banking. Banks would
make loans to ship goods that are already produced, or they’d make loans against real
estate. So today you have 80 percent of bank loans in America and England and Scandinavia
are all loans for real estate. So essentially the function of the financial sector has been
simply to load down the economy with debt without helping the economy grow. What you
really want is for banks, instead of loading the economy down with debt, to be able to
finance economic growth instead of just eating into growth as an overhead. Well, suppose that the government were to
do what Sheila Bair, head of the FDIC, recommended her agency do in 2008. When Citibank went
under, Bank of America, she said, look, we’re in the business of taking over banks. It’s
not really socialism. It’s what we do. When a bank is insolvent, the government takes
it over. Now, imagine what America government, the public sector, could have done with Citibank
and Bank of America. These were the two largest mortgage holders in America. What actually
happened was that President Obama said, gee, I hope the banks write down the mortgages
to what people can afford so that we can take off again. Instead, Citibank, Bank of America
that bought Countrywide Financial, refused to write the loans down. And so what you have
now is 10 million Americans in the foreclosure process or already losing their homes. What
you’re having is the banks having a predatory process. And all of a sudden, the banks are
part of the problem, not part of the solution. JAY: Isn’t this, like, inevitable? What I
mean by that is if you go back to the early 20th century where banks start to play this
role of lending money to create new means of production–and it’s a massive need for
this, with big industrialization, with tens of thousands of workers in one factory. They
need large amounts of capitla. As banks become more and more powerful, don’t they then find
that it starts becoming more profitable manipulating the stock market, speculating? And you get
this whole period, up to the ’29, ’30 crash, where you have so much banking is parasitical.
And then the whole thing replays itself out again over and over again. But isn’t it inherent
that as long as you have private banking so powerful, it will be also parasitical? HUDSON: This is–the key word that you just
said is private banking. Yes. If the government would have taken over Citibank, it would not
have done the kind of things that Citibank did. The government would not have used its
depositors’ money and borrowed money to gamble with. It wouldn’t have done casino capitalism.
It wouldn’t have played the derivatives market. It wouldn’t have made corporate takeover loans.
Suppose the government ran a bank. It would make loans for long-term purposes to serve
the economy and help the economy grow, which is what governments are supposed to do. That’s
not what banks are supposed to do. Banks are supposed to make money. And, unfortunately,
they can make money most easily, as you point out, by being parasitic, not by being productive.
So if you want banking to play the productive role of financing infrastructure, of financing
growth, then the only way of doing this is for the government to run the banks. Some
recognition of this has come by real estate lobbyists, mainly from Wall Street, saying,
ah, we need a public-private partnership. The partnership is where the private sector
basically will screw the public sector. JAY: Yeah, they make the profit; the public
can take the risk. HUDSON: Yeah, takes all the loss. So that
won’t work. A public-private partnership really means you’re leaving banking in the hands
of the private sector, and the last time that was tried was in the educational loans system,
where the government underwrote all of the education loans made by the banks. And you
see the problem now with the defaults there. You would find that in a vaster scale. The
problem is that infrastructure shouldn’t be funded by banking. If you fund road-building
and other bridge fixing up with a private partnership, then you’re going to have to
charge money for the bridges, you’re going to have to charge money for the roads, you’re
going to turn America’s roads into toll roads, you’ll turn the bridges into toll bridges,
and all of a sudden you’re going to increase the cost of living, increase the cost of doing
business, all to squeeze out the money for the people who run the toll booths to these
roads, to pay the banks for the money they borrow to buy the privatization of the roads.
And you’re going to end up looking like England looked up after Margaret Thatcher and her
Labour Party and Tony Blair. The financialization of the economy is going to end up cannibalizing
the industrial sector. And that’s already happened. So instead of what textbooks describe
is industrial capitalism of the cartoons, where the banker will give money to the industrialist
to build a factory and happy workers are coming in, the banker gives money to the corporate
raider who buys the factory that’s already there, lays off half the labor force, works
the remainder more deeply, takes the pension fund for himself, replaces it with a defined
contribution program instead of defined benefit, so all you know is what’s–is docked from
your paycheck every month, not what comes out. And the role of private banking is predatory
finance, takeover loans, shrinking employment, worse working conditions. And they call that
rising wealth creation because the wealth is being sucked up to the top. And when they
talk about wealth creation, they mean wealth to the 1 percent, not prosperity for the [crosstalk] JAY: And the rest of the economy gets paralyzed. HUDSON: So as long as that kind of finance
is left in private hands, you’re going to have austerity and America ending up looking
like Greece and Ireland. And imagine how different it would have been if the government would
have taken over Citibank and the big banks and said, okay, we’re going to make loans
now and extend credit to our own economy to build bridges and roads, like they do in China,
for instance. And we don’t have to charge interest. We’re providing the credit for it.
We don’t have to pay executive salaries. We don’t have to make finance into the ripoff
system it’s become. JAY: Thanks very much for joining us, Michael. And thank you for joining us on The Real News
Network.

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95 thoughts on “Public Banking Needed to Stop “Cannibalization” of the Economy”

  1. It's good to hear a different opinion. Canada thrived under the Bank of Canada from 1935 to 1974 under this scenario. I've put up a video response to show how it did, what happened, and what must be done to correct it called "Canada Under Siege – The Economy"

  2. Outstanding is the evaluation of a face to face commentary in this age of network. I don't care if it is true or not true. Real News is Real reporting and I am a "true believer" in Real News Reporting. I am sorry but I really like this reporting. You guys tell comment and tell me I am crazy if you have good reason to tell me I am crazy.

  3. What's so wrong with tolling the roads? We don't let people ride trains for free. We don't let people ride public buses for free. Why should we poor people in the city have to pay for your free roads when we're stuck too poor to buy a car and have to pay for the trains?

    Where does the money come from to pay for those 'free' roads? Seems some of it comes from us poor folks paying for trains and subway fares.

    Pay your way, stop stealing from the poor to give yourselves free roads.

  4. 3:00 I, for one, don't want banks loading down the 'economy' with debt AND i don't want banks to finance economic growth. This growth-fetishism is as UN-sustainable as anything can get, and may be a major factor in exterminating humankind (within a century or two), and is a major factor in exterminating currently some 200+ species per day.

    (If someone survives to erect it,) The gravestone of capitalism will read: " Tooo much was not enough. "

  5. This seems radical today but this was infact what Conservative Free-market economists from Chicago School like Henry C. Simons,and Frank Knight proposed back in the 1930s.When market don´t work and create unbreakabel monopolies and olicharchy that you can´t regulate, the Public owning is the only way to deal with the problem.

  6. 7th minute:
    "..for the gvt to run the banks"
    wrong, should be:
    for the gvt to run ABOUT HALF OF the banks … like a gender battlefield pacified into a mere forcefield, a balance of power, or that, traditionally speaking, between gold and paper; the former to pursuade the suspicious .. but unfortunately abusable by the suspect … we need to grow trust enough to phase out all bookkeeping before we can tackle the holy bookery shite.

  7. End the Fed and reinstate Glass Stiegel. Money creation is a public function. Merchant banks and savings banks need to operate differently.

  8. We do NOT loan money from banks! In pretending both "to lend" from a necessarily prior legitimate possession of entitlement, and yet while likewise pretending "to issue" the same previously non-existent "money," never therefore in the preposterous contemporary lie of economy do purported banking systems give up property commensurable to debts which are therefore only falsified to the banking system.

  9. No interest, no banks, no capitalism,…whatever that was. But a true free and sustainable economy because it is free of bankexploitation. Mathematically Perfected Economy

  10. The indians apparently had a saying about the european invaders – only after the last tree is felled and the last river poisoned will they realize that they can't eat money!

  11. No inflation, no deflation, no irreversable multiplication of valsified debts to a so called banking system into insoluble debt (by interest). Mathematically Perfected Economy

  12. This video is an abomination, its one step removed from the reality of the situation. The irrefutable because its irreducible is the fact that the obliged creates money giving it value equal to the obligation, comprehend. Sheer simplicity. People For Mathematically Perfected Economy.

  13. Great interview. I agree 100%.. I would still suggest watching everything like a hawk given the history of government run services.

  14. See pfMPE's comments. "PRIVATE" banking? NOT the BIGGEST crime of banking! Casino banking? 2nd degree offense. The 1st Crime of Banking is obfuscation of Loan Procedure. Banks DO NOT "loan" money, neither THEIR OWN nor THEIR DEPOSITORS. They ONLY re-publish evidence of OUR promissory obligations to each other, fraudulently claiming to "loan money". The Bond market? Ditto just a different scale Ergo "Interest" too is fraud where NO risk exists. MPE=The ONLY Solution gg[dot]gg/4dxz gg[dot]gg/4dxx

  15. Banks came into existence to impose a currency that would overshadow the intrinsic characteristic of any preexisting form of money, allowing bankers, ‘money changers’, to intervene on our industry and commerce, seizing for itself all the money ever created into circulation. Public banks cant possibly give up consideration of their own equivalent to the value of property & money, mathematically impossible, which applies to a private bank ALSO. Banks don't loan anything of value, they STEAL VALUE.

  16. Very likely public banks would not do the "same" thing private banks do but there is no doubt in my mind that public banks would find a way to cheat the system, game it with similar effects.

  17. Usury used to be considered a sin, making something from air that was thin, presuming to lend that thin air on out, and charging the earth like a bull was about to bear a warm atmosphere that so few could share as it stumbled on back to hibernate lair, leads one to wonder if blood from a stone is the next thing they'll want to insure a loan, or simply the keys to the doors of one's home.

  18. WHAT I DON'T UNDESRTAND IS ALL THIS "BANKSTER" TALK. IM SICK OF IT. THE BANK DIDN'T TAKE YOUR MONEY MORONS. THE GOVERNMENT DID. THE FEDERRAL RESERVE DOES NOT ARREST YOU IF YOU USE AN ALTERNATE CURRENCY, THE GOVERNMENT DOES! AND SOME PEOPLE ARE ASKING FOR "MORE GOVERNMENT REGULATION" ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING? HOW ABOUT BETTER REGULATION OF THE GOVERNMENT BY THE PEOPLE!

  19. and even then they wont care. it is in teh nature of the ruling rich to disregard anything except their obsession with property and rule

  20. Yeah how about that. Hundreds and hundreds of Bibble references against usury but they focus on the six that frown upon gayness. And I'll betcha the only reason gay marriage is being discussed at all is because the banks realized they'd have two people to chase down. Go figgur.

  21. Perhaps but any gains would go back to the people, and they would be democratically controlled so it would be more possible to change these behaviors should Americans ever develop a serious political will.

  22. Oh joy. Another bloke who thinks the 2008 crash was the FEDs fault.

    Did the FED exacerbate the problem? Yes. But would the crash not have happened without the FED? No… Regular crashes have always been part of capitalism, especially when speculators go crazy.

  23. Both govt. & banks are into the expansion of totalitarian control. We need real public banks owned & operated by those who bank within local jurisdictions like credit unions.

  24. Are you serious? So next time someone gets shot, it's not the shooters fault, b/c you know ppl die all the time anyway right?

    If the Fed didn't exist, the 2008 crash would have been impossible. It REQUIRED interest rates to be artificially low. The aftermath REQUIRED massive bailouts of printed money. Otherwise we would be complaining about Goldman and JP Morgan right now, we'd be discussing them as if they were Lehman Bros.

    The Fed was not correlative to the crash it was textbook CAUSAL.

  25. Public banking is repeating the exact same mistakes that lead to this mess.

    It makes the decision makers those who have no direct view of the transaction, and no direct benefits or detriments. How well are resources used by those who don't really gain lose or see from the direct result? Wastefully.

    It also consolidates power rather than diversifies it. This is exactly what powerful companies want. ONE or few target(s) to infiltrate isn't hard. Who chairs the regulatory agencies again?

  26. The only real solution is to let the banks fail and stop bailing them out.

    It's ludicrous that the same ppl who told you that Armageddon would happen if you didn't bail them out, are the SAME ppl that told you there couldn't be a housing crisis!

    You've been lied to by the same ppl and you're gluttons for punishment.

  27. China actually have the most toll road and bridges in the world. The state government and local government heavily taxed the people to death.

  28. Just go drive in China you'll know. There were cases poor people died in cold winter because they couldn't afford to pay the toll fees on their way home.

  29. Provide people with a public option in banking to ensure the too big to fail banks behave. Only the government can ensure competition.

  30. End the FED don't take it over! We need a free market like we have a free press. Nominally free but 95% controlled by a few corporations. Mises got a Rockefeller grant. The primus inter pares of Wall Street oligarchs, David Rockefeller was tutored by Hayek at the LSE. Ron Paul's PAC got $7 million from financier Peter Thiel who sits on the Bilderberg selection committee. End the FED! Derp Derp Derp!

  31. We don't have a free press!

    The world's "federal reserve" banks need to be closed; then we have our government's set up their own bank, who charge merely the few cents that it costs to make each transaction.

    The loaning system needs reform, and there may be more red tape/waiting time for loan approval, but the bank needs to be sure you can repay the loan/the economic viability of the business.

  32. Any nation that borrows from a bank – instead of creating its own money – abandons its sovereignty to the bank.

    The US is beholden to the Federal Reserve and the thieving banksters who run it. All the nations of the EU are beholden to the European Central Bank, also run by the thieving banksters. Our national governments have abandoned control of their own money – our money – and have allowed the Banks to run our nations.

    The US should print our own money, like when Abe Lincoln was president.

  33. The FED is a privately owned bank that the government borrows from at interest instead of creating their own dept free money like they are supposed to do according to the US constitution..
    Please watch "The Money Masters" (full length documentary) it's three hours long but it will educate you !!!

  34. does anyone want to mention credit unions? i think they are a good enough option they should be part of this discussion.

  35. You are right about 1 thing you "DON'T UNDESRTAND". The Banksters are the Govt. They own the politicians from Obama on down. Their lobbyists write the laws. They get loans from the Fed Res(which they control-look at who is on the boards of the Fed Banks) at virtual negative interest rates(considering inflation) + get bailed out with public $ to cover their bad bets. They create 97% of all $ by fractional reserve lending which in effect puts the whole world in debt to them.

  36. 88 Billion went to the Treasury from Fed profits last year.

    Sounds good until you realize that profits are income minus expenses.

    All member banks got 6% dividends last year too. The more important thing is that all member banks plus "friends" received well over a trillion dollars last year.

    More-over, member banks and friends have received nearly 20 trillion in total from the Fed since 2008.

    So yeah. Woo. 88 billion same year Gov paid 220 billion in debt repayments.

  37. M. Hudson thinks and says many logical things. No offense meant if you believe in a different view, but I am just saying he makes a lot of good points. I wish I had read more from him before starting college. My life would be entirely different.

  38. Public banking with all the incentives to make reasonable profit , BUT NOT THE GREED is the way to go. We don't want public banks to make too many bad loan and tax payers have to foot the bill either.

  39. The problem with what is being proposed in this video is that banks and lending is being viewed virtually in isolation from all of the other activities in the community. That was a large failing of the Freddy and Fanny / Acorn loan /sub prime crisis. i.e. government heavily promoted and backed loans for ONE sector of the community (housing) instead of loans for all sectors. That promoted a hosing construction bubble itself. '

  40. You have this wrong I believe. The US federal government is the printer of money which they provide to banks as agents to give loans. Have you heard of the US Federal Reserve? and Treasury – a government institution run according to US federal law and governor appointed by the president – Printing money – that's what they do!!. They are not a privately owned banking company like Walmart or K Mart.

  41. they are starting bank holidays.we should start work holidays.stop work for one week and see how fast you get the change you want.most everyone must participate,so spread the word and set a start date.now that's voting with your feet and you're wallet.

  42. I'm happy you asked where I got the numbers before you made any assumptions about them.

    Dividends – Go to Fed website, their balance sheet breaks the dividends down. They've been 6% since 1913. Dividends are calculated before profits.

    Nearly 20 Trillion – GAO-11-696 pdf – 16 Trillion in "emergency lending". 2.5 Trillion were to individuals and personal friends.

    Where is the other 4 trillion? Their non emergency yearly dispensation. Who got these? The same people.

  43. Honestly the "income" of the Fed doesn't even matter. 88 Billion compared matters little when you can print 20 trillion. Again GAO Fed investigation has most of it.

    To the original point, the Fed IS a private corporation entity. They are a special type, but there's no other gov agency that has no oversight, is owned via shares by banks, gives dividends to members.

    They don't have to be "for" profit as they can simply PRINT profit.

    That's not just a corporation. It's a Uber Corporation.

  44. OK? So the people who run the government are owned by the banks and the people from the government allow this institutions to operate ( which you voted for) who is your enemy? the people who are making deals with the politicians or the politicians who are coercing their banking policies on you? under what law? Do the police and IRS agents who take money from you work for the "BANKSTERS" OR DO THEY WORK FOR THE U.S GOVERNMENT?

  45. YOU SEE DALE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN NEANDORTHALS LIKE YOU LEARN TO PAROT WHAT SOME DOCUMENTARY SAYS. (IN YOUR CASE 97% OWNED) YOU PAROT BUT YOU DON'T SEE LOGIC. WE ALL KNOW ABOUT CENTRAL RESERVE BANKING…. THE QUESTION IS WHO ENFORCES THE LAW THAT MAKES IT LEGITIMATE? DO YOU SEE HOW THAT WORKS DALE. IF A BANK HAS LOUSY BANKING POLICIES, YOU SIMPLY TAKE YOUR MONEY SOMEWHERE ELSE. BUT IF THE GOVERNMENT FORCES YOU TO USE THAT BANK THAN IT IS THE GOVERNMENT THAT IS THE CRIMINAL. MORON

  46. Writing off private debts, self financed deficit spending on infrastructure & a shift of the tax burden off labour/industry and onto economic rents would all increase consumer demand. All Hudson proposals

  47. The original point which I was contesting is that the fed is in essence a corporation. (Someone else argued it wasn't) A special case perhaps, but far closer to that than a department or branch of government.

    And yes the banks own the gov. We do indeed live in Fascism. They've only been allowed to via the existence of the Fed.

  48. It is not about where you take your money, it is about who takes your money. That would be the big banks because they are creating money as debt. This is the biggest scam in history. They are the pimp daddies to basically every economic transaction in the world. The gov enforces this system, because they are owned but $ mostly gets it legitimacy because people accept it as such. If people weren't so stupid we could just stop paying our mortgages, there's no real reason to + crash the system

  49. I didn't vote for them. Yes the govt and IRS ostensibly work for the banksters. Income taxes were created in the same time frame as the Federal Reserve. This was no accident. Instead of $ being issued by the US Treasury as stipulated by the US Constitution, they have to go to the banks too when tax revenue is exceeded by expenditures-and it always is. This is what Treasury Bonds are for. So the banksters finance US debt and it is (by design) backed by the taxpayers.

  50. What this video sugggests is that the Gov't could, as in the Constitution, just issue what it needs and not go into debt. It is absurd that the Gov't goes into debt, it does not have to, it is a scam. There is no reason for income taxes too. For those who fear a giant all powerful Gov't – how would that be different from what we got now? But I get that point, it would be better if it all was decentralised and done at the State level. There is nascent Public Banking movement for State Banks.

  51. Dale read my last response again. Better yet answer this question. We all know how well informed on modern money mechanics, nevermind that for a while and the video too, just answer this question. WHAT INSTITUTION ENFORCES THE LAW UNDER THE THREAT OF VIOLENCE THAT LEGITIMIZES THE THE FEDERAL RESERVE? TRY USING ANOTHER CURRENCY, TRY USING GOLD FOR EXAMPLE. WHO WILL LABEL YOU A TERRORIST AND ARREST YOU? THE BANK OR A GOVERNMENT AGENCY? PLEASE ANSWER DALE…. PLEASE.

  52. I'm not for the Gov't. I think we can agree mega state planned society is ultimatley tyrannical. But the mistake that is made by many, tea partiers for instance, is that the free market is the solution to ordering society. This too is a myth. Certain players always gain monopolies and they take over everything to maintain + grow their advantage, govt, mass media. This is where we are at 2day, a fascist oligarchy.

  53. I think I see an anarchy symbol carved on your forehead, all structures + concentrations of power must be checked. This was the original intent of the US founders. It is not working out that way today though. We need radical decentralization and localisation. So challenge all power, to see just big gov't is just mostly a diversion to divide and confuse people.

  54. yeah. defenetly, and I apololgize for my rudeness but I get so frustrated with people some times. Specialy when they aproach me with sarcasms as you initially did.But dale look…No matter what path we take humanity is destined to destroy it self… Lets get away from the utopian view of society and lets aproach this in a moral an ethical way…. The only moral and ethical way to run a society is to not impose our will on any one else..Because slavery is unethical. Our only ethical choice is for

  55. all of us to respect each others natural rights, and when we do destroy our selves, there will be no monarch, despot, parliament or any form of government to blame but ourselves. As any adult should, we should start taking responsability for our choices and actions. With out the intervention of some outside party… specialy if its a detrimental entity. I don't know whats best for you Dale, only you do. And that is why I advocate for your right to make those decisions your self. just grant me

  56. i am a free market advocate as the weak do not survive. the gubbermint should only act as a referee to ensure ppl do not sell rank meat for example like in the 1800s america and kill ppl. the things that should be govt run are money supply at local level, roads, reservoirs, energy and transport. the rest should be open to the free market to compete. do u agree?

  57. But who ensures the free market? The Gov't? That would be paradoxical. Markets always become distorted. Big Corporations love big Gov't they go hand in hand + are one + the same. In our politics most often free market solutions are a ruse to control the market–make it unfree. A thing to consider is that not everything needs to be part of the market. If I have my own hen + just get my eggs out of my coop, no $ changed hands. The USA nothing but a bunch of hucksters who monetize everything.

  58. [cont.] So markets are good in principle, just like a well planned rational gov't makes sense in theory but they both never quite work out. I like your example of rank meat bcuz that's what we have 2day. Feedlot gmo corn gmo soy fed growth hormone livestock is rank. This is cuz Monsanto + agribusines + the Gov't are 1 well meshed entity. Gov't or Markets, if they are decentralized, localized + accountable each have possibilites but the current config is doing nothing but literally dooming us.

  59. Hey guys, you guys should try Firepa.com if you want to make money online! I am making over $3,000+ per month! Visit FIREPA.COM and start making money now! FIREPA.COM Is paying me and my wife $10.000 / Month

    The liquid recognizes the building.

    The stretch broadens the snobbish ice.

  60. Imagine if partisanship disappeared, & we could talk to conservatives about how the private banks are screwing the workers left right & center, without the distractions of party alignment & politicians policies. Man that'd sure be something…

    Same goes for democrats ofc, I bloody hate those democrats on TV talking about how Obama fixed the housing market, just always siding with their party & conveniently missing out on the facts behind those numbers…

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