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.

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.)