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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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.)

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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.)

Futility 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.

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending August 5, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending August 10, 2017; Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier Quits Presidential Council, “Colorblindness” Must End


Of Note items

(1) Cannot find a job? Move! Billionaire Donald Trump (the 45th president who often travels to his properties) and economist Tyler Cowen (professor of economics at George Mason University) advise you to move, forgetting at-will employment, lack of relocation-cost reimbursement, effect of child custody agreements, underwater mortgages, or other real-life (not academic economist’s) considerations (for example, unemployed people do not have money).

(2) Detestable overt and implicit “colorblind” racial violence. It is commendable that Kenneth Frazier, CEO, Merck & Co., stated that he quit from Trump’s President’s Manufacturing Council as a result of Trump’s lack of response to the tragedy in Charlottesville, Va. (Image is from Frazier’s tweet (link above).)

merck ceo leaves council 2017

However, while the racial violence was overt in Charlottesville, the everyday implicit racial bias is equally corrosive to a fair society. The everyday silent, hidden “colorblind” violence continues. It would be far more helpful for Frazier to start a CEO-led committee to expose and eradicate all discrimination in the workplace.

The Supreme Court, through Antonin Scalia and John Marshall Harlan, demonstrated its institutional loyalty to the racial status quo–white-race societal dominance. The Federal Reserve, in its completed , almost 20-year employment discrimination case, Artis v. Greenspan Bernanke Yellen, also demonstrated its institutional fidelity to “colorblind” racial discrimination.

(See Auerbach, Robert (2008). “Deception and Abuse at the Fed,” chapter 8, and Merton, Rev. Thomas (1964). “Seeds of Destruction” (Letters to a White Liberal).)

2014-03-04-auerbach
Sheila Clark’s letter to the EEOC (printed in the Auerbach book, page 123).

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 5, 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 — initial Board review to extend with revision the Application for Employment with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FR 28, FR 28s, and FR 28i).
-Proposed, July 24, 2017Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in and Relationships with Covered Funds (Regulation VV) (FR VV).
-Proposed, July 27, 2017
Enforcement Barclays Bank PLC, New York Branch, New York, New York — issuance of a consent order of prohibition against Michael Weston, a former institution-affiliated party.
-Announced, July 24, 2017M&T Bank Corporation, Buffalo, New York, and Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company — written agreement dated June 17, 2013, terminated July 25, 2017.
-Announced, July 27, 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 10, 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 9, 2017):  $4,515,817 (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 July 29, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending August 3, 2017; Three Of Note Items


Of Note items

(1) On Friday August 4, 2017, it was declared that the United States had reached the same level of jobs as before the 2008 financial crash. There is no joy because many people still suffer from the financial aftermath of the Wall-Street-created crash.

(2) So much for “full employment”:  Baltimore Business Journal. “Thousands wait to apply for 1,200 new Amazon jobs in Baltimore”. Keep in mind that Amazon is a demanding employer (also, the fulfillment job people were lining up for is physically taxing), yet this was the response to a job fair. (Baltimore is within the jurisdiction of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.)

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(2(a.)) Update-7-August-2017: Kenneth Rapoza with Forbes provided details about these Amazon jobs people lined up for (and jobs which the Labor Department and the Federal Reserve counts as replacement jobs for the ones lost with the 2008 financial crash.

Rapoza’s article was titled “China-Like Wages Now Part of U.S. Employment Boom“:

Starting pay at the Amazon warehouse, carved out of a large lot with a new road called Innovation Way designed for Amazon-bound trucks, is at $12.75, no degree required. For inventory managers with warehousing experience, the pay is $14.70 an hour and requires a bachelor’s degree.

Hopefully, those hires do not have any student loans, or they will have to choose between rent, health insurance, a car, or Fannie Mae.

Some of the jobs are temporary hires through Integrity Staffing. The job description for one of the $12.75 an hour gigs includes the ability to stand for 10 to 12 hours straight in a fulfillment center where the temperature will occasionally exceed 90 degrees.

(3) An August 2, 2016 article in the Harvard Business Review asked “Why Americans Are So Angry Despite America’s Strong Economy?” A comment there said it all:

“Americans are so angry because they are tired of the endless propaganda, constantly telling the masses that things are different than observed, witnessed reality. They’re tired of cruddy, low wage jobs. They’re tired of being over-worked, just to see their rewards directed only towards the corporate bosses, the CEO’s. They’re tired of CEO’s making 400-1000 times their wages. They’re tired of the Transnational Capitalist Class (TCC), the .001% realizing most of the economic gains.”

Makes one think about the effect of the Board’s bloated balance sheet and who was helped by the extraordinary ($4.5 trillion) Board action.


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 29, 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 — initial Board review to extend with revision the Application for Employment with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (FR 28, FR 28s, and FR 28i).

-Proposed, July 24, 2017

 

Forms — initial Board review to extend without revision the Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Disclosure Requirements Associated with Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in and Relationships with Covered Funds (Regulation VV) (FR VV).

-Proposed, July 27, 2017

Enforcement Barclays Bank PLC, New York Branch, New York, New York — issuance of a consent order of prohibition against Michael Weston, a former institution-affiliated party.

-Announced, July 24, 2017

 

M&T Bank Corporation, Buffalo, New York, and Manufacturers and Traders Trust Company — written agreement dated June 17, 2013, terminated July 25, 2017.

-Announced, July 27, 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 3, 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 2, 2017):  $4,513,405 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)

“Health Insurance” Companies: Profit Motive is Contrary to the Interests of Medical Care and of the Insured’s Health; Single-Payer, Universal Health Care Is Needed in the United States

Health care cannot be for profit:  The profit-motive-oriented organization does not care about the health of its insureds but rather only its profit. It is the reason why single-payer, universal health care is the only rational solution.

There was a short blurb in the Washington Post stating that Aetna’s profit increased [note: see Aetna’s 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission] after leaving the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA, or ObamaCare) insurance exchanges. The increase in profit was due to the reduction of “health care costs.” Such a disgusting statement raises the question of Aetna’s existence to make money alone or to pay the insured’s health care costs.

Named Executive Officer for Aetna Inc. Title Net Worth Total Compensation
Mark T. Bertolini Chairman and CEO $180 million [Forbes (2016)] 2016- $18,662,306 [Aetna’s 2017 proxy statement, page 41]

Clearly, Aetna favors the money-making aspect (ensuring as many claims are not paid or at the smallest cost) while claiming to be a health-insurance company (payment of medical expenses on behalf of its insureds). The “health insurance” companies are simply extremely expensive middlemen, who do not even want to do their job–paying for health care. The ACA cannot fix this problem.

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