(1) Senator Mark Warner’s (D-Virginia) bill (S.1251, “Portable Benefits for Independent Workers Pilot Program Act”) to provide portable benefits is only a start. Senator Warner does not understand the precariousness of having contingent work–no work is guaranteed. So just simply allowing people with precarious jobs to have portable benefits is insufficient.
What is needed is a comprehensive action (all of which are portable with the person with precarious employment)–
- Universal health care (Medicaid for all)
- Basic Income Guarantee (without dissolution of other social programs)
- Stronger labor protections (management cannot be trusted to take labor interests seriously on its own accord)–workers’ compensation, disability insurance, overtime and other wage protections.
Note: Senator Warner has an estimated net worth (2014) of $242,889,631. Senator Warner will need the support of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) to have any credibility in this area of addressing precarious work.
(2) The economist consensus, as spoken by Professor Daron Acemoglu on Bloomberg Radio’s “Masters in Business” program with host Barry Ritholtz. Acemoglu described the harm of high minimum wages, but out-of-control CEO pay is okay. Acemoglu described high unemployment due to work being done by robots or computers. It seems to be fine to discard human beings in pursuit of high “productivity.”
I respond simply: Let the *&$#!!^& robots and computers buy the products they make. It is shameful that economists like Acemoglu do not recognize the limitations of their (inhuman, immoral) “positions.”
(3) An interesting interview by New Economic Thinking: George DeMartino, professor, University of Denver. “Do Economists Have Social Responsibilities?”
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 June 3, 2017, is below.
H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received
|Bank Holding Companies||FirstSun Capital Bancorp (formerly Sunflower Reincorporation Sub, Inc.), Salina, Kansas — (1) to become a bank holding company by merging with Sunflower Financial, Inc., Salina, and thereby indirectly acquiring Sunflower Bank, National Association; (2) to acquire Strategic Growth Bank Incorporated, El Paso, Texas, and Strategic Growth Bancorp Incorporated, and thereby indirectly acquire Capital Bank, SSB, and First National Bank of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and (3) election to become a financial holding company.
-Approved, June 2, 2017
|Forms||Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Government- Administered, General-Use Prepaid Card Surveys (FR 3063a and FR 3063b).
-Proposed, May 30, 2017
|Personnel||Division of Financial Stability — appointment of William Bassett as associate director and Luca Guerrieri as deputy associate director, and transfer of Andrew Cohen from the Division of Research and Statistics to Financial Stability as assistant director.
-Announced, May 31, 2017
|Regulations and Policies||Appraiser Availability — issuance of interagency advisory to help insured depository institutions and bank holding companies address a shortage of state-certified and -licensed appraisers, particularly in rural areas.
-Announced, May 31, 2017
Volcker Rule Conformance Period — requests by Deutsche Bank AG, UBS Group AG, and SVB Financial Group for an extended transition period of up to five years to conform investments in certain “illiquid” funds under the Volcker Rule.
-Approved, May 31, 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 June 8, 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 June 7, 2017): $4,508,948 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).
(See the release for further information.)