Of Note items—
(1) From the Guardian Newspaper (United Kingdom)
One quote about “balanced budgets”–
“Despite these significant shifts, myths about the economy refuse to go away and hamper a more productive debate. They concern how the government manages public finances – “tax and spend”, if you will.
The first is that there is an inherent virtue in balancing the books. Conservatives still cling to the idea of eliminating the budget deficit, even if it is with a 10-year delay (2025, as opposed to George Osborne’s original goal of 2015). The budget-balancing myth is so powerful that Labour feels it has to cost its new spending pledges down to the last penny, lest it be accused of fiscal irresponsibility.
However, as Keynes and his followers told us, whether a balanced budget is a good or a bad thing depends on the circumstances. In an overheating economy, deficit spending would be a serious folly. However, in today’s UK economy, whose underlying stagnation has been masked only by the release of excess liquidity on an oceanic scale, some deficit spending may be good – necessary, even.”
(2) From the Board’s working paper series “Finance and Economics Discussion Series (FEDS), Economists Tomaz Cajner, Tyler Radner, David Rattner, and Ivan Vidangos authored a staff working paper titled “Racial Gaps in Labor Market Outcomes in the Last Four Decades and over the Business Cycle.”
My observation: In summary, the effect of persistent, systemic discrimination has terrible effects on black people in the labor market. This paper shows why economist-consensus talk of “full employment” level being reached is patently unfair and dangerous to black people in the United States. The United States was built on the backs of black people, forced to work for free and under inhuman conditions. The legacy lives on even with so-called civil rights acts. (See Reverend Thomas Merton (1964), “Seeds of Destruction,” pages 19-20, and this blog’s posts on “colorblindness.”)
[Note: The Board itself is not excluded from discriminatory behavior. See this blog’s posts on the former case of Artis v.
Greenspan Bernanke Yellen. Eighteen years of the plaintiffs’ lives were lost because of Board obstinancy.
A quote from a previous blog update–“On June 20, 2016, the plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari (No. 15-1543). On October 3, 2016, the Supreme Court announced that it denied cert for TERRELL, GEORGIANNA, ET AL. V. YELLEN, CHAIR, BD. OF GOVERNORS (page 15 of pdf).”]
(3) Related to item (2), there was a column on Bloomberg.com by Narayana Kocherlakota (2017), “Macroeconomists Can’t Keep Ignoring Race and Gender.” July 27.
“Economics is supposed to be concerned with figuring out what makes people better off, and how we can have more of it. For decades, macroeconomists have operated with the (largely unspoken) presumption that such questions are best addressed using models that ignore race and gender differences. The more we learn about these differences, the clearer it becomes that this is a mistake. The models need to change.”
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 July 22, 2017, is below.
H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received
|Forms||Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Recordkeeping and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Regulation R (FR 4025).
-Approved, July 17, 2017
Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Application for Exemption from Prohibited Service at Savings and Loan Holding Companies (FR LL-12).
-Proposed, July 17, 2017
|Regulations and Policies||Covered-Fund Seeding Period — delegation of authority to the Federal Reserve Banks to approve requests for extensions of time to conform certain “seeding” investments in hedge funds or private equity funds under the Volcker Rule, provided certain criteria are met.
-Approved, July 17, 2017
Minority Depository Institutions — annual report to Congress on preserving minority depository institutions, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act.
-Approved, June 30, 2017
Prepaid Cards — annual report to Congress on government-administered, general-use prepaid cards, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act.
-Approved, July 3, 2017
Volcker Rule — interagency coordination of reviews of the treatment of certain foreign funds under the Volcker Rule.
-Announced, July 21, 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 July 27, 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 July 26, 2017): $4,512,020 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).
(See the release for further information.)