Futility of “Colorblindness” & White Hegemony: Mere CEO Repudiations of the 45th President’s Comments–Insufficient, Useless

FeaturedFutility of “Colorblindness” & White Hegemony: Mere CEO Repudiations of the 45th President’s Comments–Insufficient, Useless

It is insufficient for corporate CEOs to denounce the words of President Donald Trump, while doing absolutely nothing to eradicate the stain of “colorblind” discrimination.

With the actions in Charlottesville, Va., in August 2017, the nation recoiled at the open display of racial hatred. However, the events in Charlottesville served as the culmination of the grinding microaggressions–covert, exclusionary, discriminatory-and “colorblind” systemic discrimination–that occur daily.

Into this systemically discriminatory reality (for some members of the U.S. society) enter corporate chief executive officers (CEO), many of whom, perhaps, are active or passive participants in the systemic discrimination. It is not enough to proclaim the words of the civil rights laws and then pursue reckless programs that permit the exclusionary practices, which the neo-nazis, kkk-ers, and other white hegemons stated openly in Charlottesville as well as uttered in other places in the United States.

merck ceo leaves council 2017

Dick Grote, Harvard Business School, corporate America, & “Rank and Yank”.  Systemic discrimination is involved in the practice of forced-distribution “performance management”. This blog has covered Dick Grote’s “rank and yank” (aka forced distribution) program, which many corporations follow in order to dump employees should the financial numbers be insufficient to satisfy Wall Street. Other organizations have followed suit, some covered in this blog. Indeed, Harvard Business School, from which many corporate-executive MBAs come, publishes Grote’s materials.

Bucket (rank)

Percentage [“vitality curve”] (amounts can be adjusted)

Effect

A

20

Lavish rewards, encouragement

B

70

Little to paltry increase

C

10

Pressure to quit, firing

rank_yank
Artist: Michael Sloan

A quote from Grote (discussed previously at this blog):

But what if a company’s forced ranking procedure, honestly and objectively done, reveals that the blacks or women or disabled employees just aren’t as talented as the white ones? Should they do what some Harvard professors are said to do and award A’s to all the blacks, just to keep them from squawking?” (Grote, page 4 (a quote from a previous post)).

(Note: Consider this statement from Grote with the ever-present and persistent legacy of slavery and Jim Crow subjugation in the United States of America.)

White hegemony in the government. This questionable fidelity to white hegemony extends to the government. The Federal Reserve (its former Artis v. Greenspan Bernanke Yellen was covered in this blog), the Secret Service, and the U.S. Capitol Police Department have had or have long-term employment discrimination cases. The Federal Reserve acts grudgingly and haughtily towards any action that would threaten the mostly white workforce it has created. (Note: After 104 years of Federal Reserve inaction, Dr. Raphael Bostic became President of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.)

Black/African American Permanent Board Employees, Table C-2, in whole numbers (in numerical order of significance), 2011–2013
2011 2012 2013
Total Black/African American employees 567 573 573
All other pay grade, FR-16 to FR-25 434 418 400
Mid-level professional pay grades, FR-26 to FR-28 106 125 136
Senior managers and officers pay grade, FR-29 to FR-00 27 30 37
Total employees of the Federal Reserve Board 2,187 2,279 2,353
Source: Board OIG Audit Report, 2015-MO-B-006, page 65.

The same is true for the U.S. Supreme Court, which lectures for a “colorblindness” (see John Marshall Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson) that practically means that most nonwhites are not welcome (for example, Antonin Scalia). The proof of this is the composition of a homogeneous law clerk workforce, who in turn apply their elite, majority life experiences into law. (For example, Graham v. Connor, Tennessee v. Garner, and all affirmative action cases.)

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Confirmation bias in the workplace and management. Discrimination extends into supervision, with writing being judged by high standards, exclusively (Reeves, Dr. Arin N. (2014, April). “Written in Black and White:  Exploring Confirmation Bias in Racialized Perceptions of Writing Skills.” Nextions Yellow Paper Series, 2014-0404.)  for the nonwhite subordinate. Such middling or low evaluations seriously hobble or end careers.

Conclusion. So, in closing, while the words of Trump were hard to hear, they are the result of covertly practiced and rampant systemic discrimination.

It is far past time for the United States to eradicate all discrimination from the society. Mere words from wealthy CEOs, who have lives of exclusion, are not enough. Only positive and definitive institutional action will satisfy the people of the United States.

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Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending September 16, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 21, 2017; Three Of Note Items

Of Note

(1) Former Vice President Joe Biden held a panel discussion at the University of Delaware on September 19, 2017. One of the panelists, Dr. Byron Auguste, president and co-founder of the tax-exempt organization, Opportunity@Work, stated something that not even Federal Reserve Board (Board) Chair Janet Yellen could utter–that there is no skills gap, rather it is the institutions not permitting job applicants to demonstrate their ability to learn the job.

Some comments–

Dr. Auguste’s opinion was refreshing. (Dr. Auguste is an economist.)

The fact that Chair Yellen did not mention this reality at her testimonies for the Monetary Policy Report is profoundly disappointing. The Board is failing at its mission, and it seems that the Board is only focused on making policy for the rich.

Note: Also, at this panel discussion, Biden mentioned his disagreement with the idea of a universal basic income (UBI), saying that having a job provides “dignity.” For a person who is wealthy, and a recipient of Social Security and Medicare, it is unclear how those programs destroy dignity. (UBI essentially would extend Social Security to younger people.)

UBI is worthy of further study and should be considered with a job guarantee. Biden provided no way forward except criticizing UBI. I expect more from Biden, who says that he looks out for the (former) middle class.

(2) Hiring discrimination continues (a fact already known by the targets of discrimination).

See the paper, “Meta-analysis of field experiments shows no change in racial discrimination in hiring over time,” by Lincoln Quilian, Devah Pager, Ole Hexel, and Arnfinn H. Midtbøen.

(3) On the so-called skills gap (cont.): Economists, excepting, it seems, Chair Yellen are beginning to recognize that a skills gap does not exist. Also, the op-ed by Ben Tarnoff in the Guardian stated that the push for coding by Silicon Valley firms is to lower the wages of those doing the computer programming (as the current high salaries hurts company profit).

Indeed, every president since Bill Clinton has talked about training American workers to fill the “skills gap”. But gradually, one mainstream economist after another has come to realize what most workers have known for years: the gap doesn’t exist. Even Larry Summers has concluded it’s a myth.

The problem isn’t training. The problem is there aren’t enough good jobs to be trained for. The solution is to make bad jobs better, by raising the minimum wage and making it easier for workers to form a union, and to create more good jobs by investing for growth. This involves forcing business to put money into things that actually grow the productive economy rather than shoveling profits out to shareholders. It also means increasing public investment, so that people can make a decent living doing socially necessary work like decarbonizing our energy system and restoring our decaying infrastructure.

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 16, 2017, 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 The Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto, Canada; TD Group US Holdings LLC, Wilmington, Delaware; and TD Bank US Holding Company, Cherry Hill, New Jersey — to acquire Scottrade Financial Services, Inc., Town and Country, Missouri, and to merge Scottrade Bank into TD Bank, National Association, Wilmington, Delaware; and for The Toronto-Dominion Bank and TD Group US Holdings LLC to acquire additional shares of TD Ameritrade Holdings Corporation, Omaha, Nebraska.

-Approved, September 13, 2017

Forms Forms — modification of the proposed implementation date from September 30, 2017, to March 31, 2018, for the Board’s proposals to extend with revision the FR Y-9, FR Y-7N, FR Y-11, and FR 2314 families of reports and the FR 2886b report.

-Approved, September 11, 2017

Personnel Office of Inspector General — appointment of Gerald L. Maye as assistant inspector general for investigations.

-Approved, September 12, 2017

Regulations and Policies Regulation BB (Community Reinvestment) — publication for comment of interagency amendments to the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations to update the existing definitions of “home mortgage loan” and “consumer loan” and the public-file content requirements to conform the CRA regulations to recent changes to Home Mortgage Disclosure Act regulations.

-Approved, August 29, 2017

(A/C)

Enforcement First Nebraska Bank, Valley, Nebraska — issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Announced, September 14, 2017

Markesan State Bank, Markesan, Wisconsin — written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

-Announced, September 12, 2017

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 21, 2017, 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 20, 2017):  $4,505,355 (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 9, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 14, 2017; Three Of Note Items


Of Note

(1) The Fed’s respondents in Beige Book informed Fed Banks of their difficulty in getting workers. (See the article at Yahoo Finance by Myles Udland, “It’s Never Been Harder to Fill a Job in America.”)

A comment:  What these anecdotes do not feature, as labor’s views are not collected: The instability of jobs, low pay, no relocation reimbursement. Why would someone move for a job and then possibly lose it after so much stress? Why don’t the companies cultivate talent in the places where they are located?

Yet again, the Fed has fallen down on the job, with its wealthy-economist staff.

3893340-handless-facepalm
The handless facepalm

(2) The immorality of neoliberalism. Op-ed by Daniel K. Reece, “Mind over Managing:  When Neoliberalism Eats Itself.”

Key quote:

In global economic terms, one theme of the past 30 years has been the undeniable triumph of ‘neoliberalism’ – the idea that economics is a system independent of ethics or normative judgements, and instead one where markets are the supreme moral arbiter, independent of pesky human subjectivity and argument.

Yet whilst ‘markets’ in isolation may be objective concepts, anything which involves us homo sapiens certainly is not. Economic policy that places our actions in an amoral sphere – dictated by the whims of the market, whilst undoubtedly creating enormous wealth for a few – has caused phenomenal wealth disparity whilst downgrading subjective, reasoned argument derived from conscience.

(3) The continuing wealth gap. In a Washington Post article about the falling average salary in high cost-of-living Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, there was a stunning, yet unsurprising, fact—the low level of wealth for black people compared with the wealth of whites.

Key quote:

Frey [William Frey, a demographer in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution] pointed out that the changing fortunes of District residents did not affect everyone equally. White residents, who make up 36 percent of the District, actually saw their median household income rise $2,568, to $127,369, while black residents, who make up 46 percent, saw median incomes fall $3,631 to $37,891.

This drastic inequality was mirrored in some but not all of the largest cities in the nation; the median black family makes $104,722 less than the median white family in San Francisco, but $16,809 less in Jacksonville, Fla.


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 9, 2017, is below.

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

Category Action Taken
Bank Mergers Synovus Bank, Columbus, Georgia — to acquire substantially all the assets and assume the deposit liabilities of World’s Foremost Bank, Sidney, Nebraska.
-Approved, September 5, 2017
Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with the Guidance on Response Programs for Unauthorized Access to Customer Information (FR-4100).
-Proposed, September 5, 2017
Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Compensation and Salary Surveys (FR 29a, FR 29b).
-Approved, September 5, 2017
Enforcement Regions Bank, Birmingham, Alabama — issuance of a consent order of prohibition against Daniel X. Brennan, a former employee and institution-affiliated party.
-Announced, September 5, 2017

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 14, 2017, 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 13, 2017):  $4,518,062 (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 2, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending September 7, 2017; Stanley Fischer Announces His Resignation


Of Note

(1) On September 6, 2017, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board, Stanley Fischer, announced his intention to resign on or about October 13, 2017.


 

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 2, 2017, 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 Gilda M. Nogueira as president and Christopher D. Maher as vice president for 2018.
-Announced, August 30, 2017
Bank Holding Companies Sterling Bancorp, Montebello, New York — to acquire Astoria Financial Corporation, Lake Success, and thereby indirectly acquire Astoria Bank, a federal savings association, Long Island City.
-Approved, August 29, 2017 
Board Operations Fed History Vision Project — for the Fed History Vision Phase II team to proceed with the “proof of concept” exercise.
-Approved, August 29, 2017
Forms Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Notification of Nonfinancial Data Processing Activities (FR 4021).
-Approved, August 29, 2017Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Government-Administered, General-Use Prepaid Card Surveys (FR 3063a and FR 3063b).
-Approved, August 30, 2017

 

Personnel Division of Monetary Affairs — appointment of Rochelle Edge as deputy director.
-Announced, September 1, 2017
Regulations and Policies Regulations Q, WW, and YY — final rule to enhance financial stability by requiring U.S. global systemically important banking institutions (GSIBs) and the U.S. operations of foreign GSIBs to amend qualified financial contracts to prevent their immediate cancellation or termination if the firm enters bankruptcy or a resolution process.
-Approved, September 1, 2017
Reserve Bank Services Payment System — to publish jointly with the Federal Reserve Banks a paper, Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System: Federal Reserve Next Steps in the Payments Improvement Journey.
-Approved, August 29, 2017
Enforcement Four Oaks Bank and Trust Company, Four Oaks, North Carolina — issuance of a consent order of prohibition against James M. Riley, a former employee and institution-affiliated party.
-Announced, August 29, 2017
The State Bank of Geneva, Geneva, Illinois — written agreement dated September 10, 2012, terminated August 29, 2017.
-Announced, August 30, 2017

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 7, 2017, 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 6, 2017):  $4,500,007 (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 August 26, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending August 31, 2017; Two ‘Of Note’ Items


Of Note

(1) Computers do not have brains; the machines do as they are told (by human beings—programmers—with all the positives and negative biases that come with human beings). As a result, people should not get carried away with “artificial intelligence” or over rely on computer results with investigating how the computer achieved its result (that is, the program).

See an interesting post at the Naked Capitalism blog:  Cathy O’Neil, “Algorithms are Opinions Embeded in Code.”

(2) Capitalism depends upon making some people poor in order to enrich others. People seek to defend this by blaming the poor for their suffering (defending the system that the critiquing person benefits from while justifying the precarious position in which the poor and other vulnerable people are placed in.) [Note:  The economists of the Federal Open Market Committee have done the same, according to 2012 FOMC transcripts.]

See an another interesting post at the Naked Capitalism blog:  Yves Smith, “If You’ve Never lived in Poverty, don’t tell People What They should do.”

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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 August 26, 2017, is below.

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

Category Action Taken
Personnel Division of Supervision and Regulation — appointment of Jennifer Burns as deputy director.
-Approved, August 23, 2017
Regulations and Policies Treasury Repo Rates — publication for comment on the proposed production and publication of three interest rates by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, based on data for overnight repurchase agreement transactions on Treasury securities.
-Approved, August 21, 2017

 

Enforcement The Bank & Trust, S.S.B., Del Rio, Texas — issuance of a consent cease-and-desist order.
-Announced, August 22, 2017
Santander Holdings, USA, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts — written agreement dated September 15, 2014, terminated August 17, 2017.
-Announced, August 24, 2017

 

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 August 31, 2017, 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 August 30, 2017):  $4,498,372 (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 August 19, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending August 24, 2017; Three ‘Of Note’ Items


Of Note

(1) More educated yet underemployed (or jobless). Fed Chair Janet Yellen often suggests the failure of people finding work is “lack of skills” and promotes education. However, people with lots of degrees still have difficulty finding work. For example, there is an article in the Guardian newspaper (United Kingdom).

(2) Economists and unjustified haughtiness. Economists have a reputation (undeserved) of being based on math and science. However, the inability for economists to predict or explain economic crises, while providing ample blame to (or scorn of) the suffering, justifies the criticism that the economics profession receives.

Also, the continued belief in neoliberalism, which died in the 2008 financial crisis, yet Ph.D economists continue on with the zombie theory to keep with the profession’s “consensus” opinion.

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paris_tuileries_garden_facepalm_statue

This comment is in response to an op-ed by Greg Ip, often called upon during Fed monetary policy press conferences, which may color this apology for economists–“In Defense of the Dismal Science” (Wall Street Journal (paywall)).

(3) Re: Political violence & the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and Great Recession. The Economist (paywall). “The link between poor harvests and violence,” an article that reviews a working paper by Robert Warren Anderson, Noel Johnson and Mark Koyama.

Comment:  All fault cannot be laid on economists alone. The massive failure of Congress to offer strong fiscal policy also contributes to the problem of financial suffering and political extremism.


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 August 12, 2017, 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 — final Board review to extend with revision the Ongoing Intermittent Survey of Households (FR 3016).
-Approved, August 14, 2017Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Quarterly Savings and Loan Holding Company Report (FR 2320).
-Proposed, August 17, 2017

Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Banking Organization Systemic Risk Report (FR Y-15).
-Proposed, August 18, 2017

Regulations and Policies Regulatory Capital Rules — publication for comment of interagency proposed rule to extend the current treatment under the regulatory capital rules for certain regulatory capital deductions and other requirements, as they apply to banking organizations not subject to the advanced approaches capital rules.
-Approved, August 14, 2017
Enforcement Heartland Bank, Little Rock, Arkansas — issuance of a prompt corrective action directive with the consent of the bank.
-Announced, August 17, 2017

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 August 24, 2017, 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 August 23, 2017):  $4,510,530 (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 August 12, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending August 17, 2017

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 August 12, 2017, 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 Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc., Tokyo, Japan — to acquire shares of Standard Life, plc, Edinburgh, United Kingdom, pursuant to section 163(b) of the Dodd-Frank Act.
-Approved, August 11, 2017
Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Notifications Related to Community Development and Public Welfare Investments of State Member Banks (FR H-6).
-Proposed, August 7, 2017

Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Reporting Requirements Associated with Regulation XX Concentration Limit (FR XX) and Financial Company (as defined) Report of Consolidated Liabilities (FR XX-1).
-Proposed, August 11, 2017

Personnel Management Division — appointment of Tameika Pope as senior associate director and chief human capital officer and Reginald Roach as deputy associate director.
-Announced, August 8, 2017

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 August 17, 2017, 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 August 16, 2017):  $4,509,755 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)