The futility of “Colorblindness: Eric Blankenstein’s View Would Allow White People to Deem Verbal Anti-Black Insults as Mere “Mind Games”

Eric Blankenstein, head of the supervision, enforcement, and fair lending division at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), wrote for a blog, in 2004, in which he asserted that dehumanizing words against black people (“boy”, the “n-word”) are just words or “mind games”. Such mind games are not hate crimes, he asserted. He continued stating that a hate crime occurs if there is physical injury or damage to property.

This blog came up again in 2018, because of the position that Blankenstein holds at the CFPB. Some staffers there did not appreciate Blankenstein’s musings.

Blankenstein is free to hold any view he likes, but these views are contrary to the position he holds. As a result, all his actions in that office must be scrutinized to ensure their fairness and equitableness. He must not be allowed any discretionary authority, as he has demonstrated antagonism with the idea of the law he is in charge of enforcing.

Specifically, Blankenstein’s view is an apology for white hegemony. This situation of allowing the aggressor to determine how a victim should perceive attacks on their racial characteristics is peculiar to the United States, as the statutes against discrimination do not define racism but rather permit an aggrieved person to sue if a white person prevents them from doing something. However, a critical element in these cases is that the accused are allowed to demand the victim to define racism.


 


A quote from Reverend Thomas Merton’s book, “Seeds of Destruction” (Letters to a White Liberal), page 19-20, demonstrates the weakness of reliance on a definition from the aggressor:

We have been willing to grant the Negro rights on paper, even in the South. But the laws have been framed in such a way that in every case their execution has depended on the good will of white society, and the white man has not failed, when left to himself, to block, obstruct, or simply forget the necessary action without which the rights of the Negro cannot be enjoyed in fact. Hence, when laws have been passed, then contested, dragged through all of the courts, and finally upheld, the Negro is still in no position to benefit by them without, in each case, entering into further interminable lawsuits every time he wants to exercise a right guaranteed to him by law.

(Note: Emphasis, above (in bold), the blog author’s.)

In contrast, in the United Kingdom, racial abuse is defined in the law and punished with jail. Notably, the perception of the victim of the abuse is the primary factor for the crime.

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Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending October 6, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 11, 2018

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending October 6, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Testimony and Statements Regulation and Economic Growth — statement by Vice Chairman for Supervision Quarles before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on the Federal Reserve’s implementation of the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

-Published, October 2, 2018

Regulations and Policies Bank Secrecy Act Compliance — issuance of an interagency statement about banks and credit unions sharing resources to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Bank Secrecy Act compliance.

-Announced, October 3, 2018

Presidential Coins — Annual report to the Congress on the Presidential $1 Coin Program.

-Approved, September 19, 2018

(A/C)

Reserve Bank Operations Foreign Bank International Cash Services (FBICS) Program — requests by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York under Regulation N (1) to establish a program (and standard agreement templates) to permit certain foreign banks to open limited-purpose accounts at the New York Reserve Bank for the purpose of distributing U.S. dollar banknotes internationally, and (2) to negotiate with foreign banks and related parties regarding participation in the program.

-Approved, September 18, 2018

(A/C)

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 11, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 10, 2018):  $4,224,609 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 29, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending October 4, 2018

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 29, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Branches, Domestic Compass Bank, Birmingham, Alabama — to establish a branch at 12525 Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas.

-Approved, September 25, 2018

Personnel Division of Consumer and Community Affairs — appointment of Angelyque Campbell as assistant director.

-Approved, September 24, 2018

Regulations and Policies Interbank Settlement of Faster Payments — notice requesting public comments on potential Federal Reserve actions to facilitate interbank settlement of faster payments.

-Approved, September 28, 2018

Enforcement Presidential Holdings, Inc., Bethesda, Maryland — supervisory agreement issued by the Office of Thrift Supervision dated May 3, 2010, terminated September 25, 2018.

-Announced, September 27, 2018

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for October 4, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of October 3, 2018):  $4,222,393 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 22, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 27, 2018

Of Note

(1) The blog added an entry on the one-percenter economists page for Jerome Powell. Powell is not a Ph.D. economist-but he is a deficit hawk (and multimillionaire)).

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The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 22, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Procurement Solicitation Package (FR 1400).

-Proposed, September 19, 2018

Regulations and Policies High-Volatility Commercial Real Estate (HVCRE) Exposures — interagency notice of proposed rulemaking with request for comment to amend the definition of “HVCRE exposure” in the agencies’ capital rules, in accordance with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

-Approved, September 17, 2018

 

Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (S.A.F.E. Act) — notice of proposed rulemaking with request for comment to repeal the S.A.F.E. Act provisions in the Board’s Regulations H and K, in connection with the transfer of rulemaking authority to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

-Approved, September 19, 2018

 

Swap Margin Rule — interagency final rule to amend swap margin requirements to conform with recent rule changes that impose new restrictions on certain qualified financial contracts of systemically important financial institutions.

-Approved, September 18, 2018

Enforcement Beach Community Bancshares, Inc., Fort Walton Beach, Florida — written agreement dated June 1, 2010, terminated September 14, 2018.

-Announced, September 18, 2018

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for September 27, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of September 26, 2018):  $4,240,392 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 15, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 20, 2018

Of Note

(1) The (unelected, multimillionaire) Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, should not discuss fiscal policy (page 26). He can quit and run for Congress if he wants to make comments on fiscal policy. It is galling that the 1 percent (that received so much support from the government) get upset the instant the 99 percent gets a fiscal crumb.

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Note: This rich-person angst about non-one percenters getting something from their government is not isolated to Powell.


The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 15, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Bank Holding Companies Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council — announcement of members and designation of Christopher D. Maher as president and Joe Quiroga as vice president for 2019.

-Announced, September 7, 2018

Forms Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Interagency Guidance on Managing Compliance and Reputation Risks for Reverse Mortgage Products (FR 4029).

-Approved, September 11, 2018

Personnel Management Division — appointment of Tim Ly as assistant director.

-Approved, September 10, 2018

Regulations and Policies Supervisory Guidance — interagency statement reaffirming the role of supervisory guidance.

-Announced, September 11, 2018

 

Supervisory Practices — interagency statement on supervisory practices on financial institutions affected by Hurricane Florence.

-Announced, September 14, 2018

Reserve Bank Operations Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco — appointment of Mary C. Daly as president.

-Approved, September 13, 2018

Enforcement Higher One, Inc., New Haven, Connecticut — cease-and-desist order dated December 23, 2015, terminated September 10, 2018.

-Announced, September 11, 2018

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for September 20, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of September 19, 2018):  $4,255,789 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 8, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 13, 2018

Of Note

(1) Ten year anniversary of the 2008 financial crisis. The effects of the financial crisis are still being felt. Washington Post | New York Times

The comments from those adversely affected were poignant.


 

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 8, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Advisory Councils Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council — announcement of members and designation of Christopher D. Maher as president and Joe Quiroga as vice president for 2019.

-Announced, September 7, 2018

 

Bank Branches, Domestic Origin Bank, Choudrant, Louisiana — to establish a branch on La Branch Street, Houston, Texas.

-Approved, September 4, 2018

 

Extensions of Time “Volcker rule” — extension to October 17, 2018, of the comment period on the proposed interagency rule to simplify and tailor compliance requirements for the Volcker rule.

-Announced, September 4, 2018

 

Forms Forms — temporary revision of the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies (FR Y-9C) and Complex Institution Liquidity Monitoring Report (FR 2052a) to comply with the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act.

-Approved, September 4, 2018

 

Personnel Division of Research and Statistics — appointment of Lacey Dingman-Woodsmall as senior associate director.

-Approved, September 4, 2018

 

Regulation and Policies Regulation CC (Availability of Funds and Collection of Checks) — final amendments to address disputes between banks about whether an electronic check has been altered in certain cases of doubt, when an original paper check is not available for inspection.

-Approved, September 4, 2018

Enforcement The Bank of New York Mellon, New York, New York — consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty, pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act, dated August 28, 2018.

-Announced, August 30, 2018

 

UCB Financial Group, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia (now known as ABB Financial Group, Inc.) — written agreement dated August 19, 2010, terminated August 27, 2018.

-Announced, August 30, 2018

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for September 13, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of September 12, 2018):  $4,258,450 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 1, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September, 2018; Two Of Note Items

Of Note

(1) Robert Edward Rubin: A faulty exemplar & a standard bearer for the 1 percent, who wrote a column concerned about the deficit (a credit to the people).



 

Rubin’s net worth: $100 million (approx.)

Former partner, Goldman Sachs.

After serving as Secretary of the Treasury, Rubin served as director and senior counselor of Citigroup. From Nov. to Dec. 2017, Rubin was temporary chairman of Citigroup. Rubin resigned in early 2009. He received about $126 million during his tenure, which included the U.S bailout of Citigroup.

Rubin is a pro-austerity “deficit hawk” (for the 99%) through the Hamilton Project, “a centrist policy shop that promoted small-bore strategies for weak forms of social insurance, and had little interest in such progressive causes as full employment or a high wage economy. (http://prospect.org/article/end-austerity-crusade)

Notably, he is silent on the extreme cost of empire (aka funding for the Department of War/ Defense).

 

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(2) Oversupply of labor. Via Truthdig: “The Gig Economy and Outsourcing: A Dark Net of Near Slavery,” by Julian Vigo.

Key quote–

More and more, jobs in the commercial sector have been farmed out by outsourcing websites such as Indeed, Upwork, BloggingPro, MediaBistro, FlexJobs, ProBlogger and many others. While Indeed tends to work with local talent, which keeps the job pool within a rational economic boundary, other sites, like Upwork, do not. For instance, here is a job I applied to a few weeks ago and tried to make work—until I realized that this job would, if properly executed, pay only about $30 per day:

I’m looking for an experienced writer, with in-depth knowledge of travel and photography equipment, to write review articles. For the first project you’ll be writing a total of 12 000 words spread over 10 review articles. You’ll be covering popular travel and photography equipment topics. You should be able to do your own research.


 

The Federal Reserve Board (Board) publishes a weekly digest of its activities on its website. The digest is called the H.2 Release and is published every Thursday. The release for the week ending September 1, 2018, is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Supervision and Regulation Resolution Plans — joint determination to move the next resolution-plan filing dates (1) to July 1, 2020, for four large, complex foreign banking organizations and (2) to December 31, 2019, for Prudential Financial, Inc.

-Approved, August 27, 2018

 

Enforcement The Bank of New York Mellon, New York, New York — consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty, pursuant to the National Flood Insurance Act, dated August 28, 2018.

-Announced, August 30, 2018

 

UCB Financial Group, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia (now known as ABB Financial Group, Inc.) — written agreement dated August 19, 2010, terminated August 27, 2018.

-Announced, August 30, 2018

Federal Reserve Board: Balance Sheet (H.4.1 Release)

The Board publishes data of factors affecting reserve balances. The digest is called the H.4.1 Release, and they are published every Thursday (or the next business day if the publication date falls on a federal holiday). The release for September 6, 2018, is below.

[Note: The blog will cover the line titled “Total Factors Supplying Reserve Funds.”]

H.4.1 Release–Factors Affecting Reserve Balances

Total factors supplying reserve funds (as of September 5, 2018):  $4,255,799 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)