Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending January 13, 2018; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending January 18, 2018; Four Of Note Items

Of Note–

(1) Job guarantee rather than universal basic income. The Black Agenda Report published a column by Daniel Zamora who argues against universal basic income, viewing the policy as an “ideological capitulation to neoliberalism” and noting that it could lead to abuse of labor. Instead, the author advocated for a job guarantee and reduction of work hours.

See also an article in Vox by Dylan Matthews. It seems that racial discrimination may affect the implementation and support of the program.

In the 1970s, amid economic malaise driven by the oil crisis, the federal government began funding job positions through the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA). The program got some $47 billion in funding from its passage in 1973 to its dissolution in 1982; in 1977, President Jimmy Carter started directing more and more of that money toward public sector jobs, until by 1978 some 725,000 people had public sector jobs through CETA.


“It also became intertwined with race,” Brown political scientist and sociologist Margaret Weir notes. Joblessness was seen as a black problem, and blacks were seen as primary beneficiaries of the public sector positions created by CETA in cities.

(2) Modern Monetary Theory (or MMT) explained. There are pros and cons to MMT, but it is worthy of discussion and thought because economic policy is developed by human beings, ideally to serve all human beings fairly and equitably.

(3) A curious (anti-labor) discussion on Bloomberg Surveillance. In the mornings, I sometimes listen to Bloomberg Surveillance on the radio. The show slants toward the rich and the right wing, often it is (subtly) excessively so. In a discussion about airport food between host Tom Keene and Bloomberg’s Peter Elliott, somehow the fault of poor quality airport food lies with an unionized workforce, not cheap, profit-focused management.

In discussing restaurants and the difficulty of finding workers, Keene did ask an economist and Elliott whether an increase of pay would be the solution to the issue. Elliott mentioned that restaurants have low profit margins and cannot afford to pay more.

Comment:  Well, if restaurants cannot pay to operate their business, would they ask their landlord, food suppliers or the linen service to provide free rent or to give their services for free to subsidize the restaurant? No. Likewise, labor should not be expected to subsidize a business which labor does not have any say in ownership or management.

(4) The GOP’s war on the poor continues. Medicaid “work requirements” & Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (who previously advised Kentucky and Indiana to include work requirements).

Comment:  Health care is a human right and should be available to all and never subject to any preconditions.

Author’s note:  Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, is a multimillionaire, so he is playing with the lives of the vulnerable.

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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 January 13, 2018, 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 NATCOM Bancshares, Inc., Superior, Wisconsin — request for reconsideration of the Board’s approval of the application by NATCOM Bancshares, Inc., to acquire shares of Republic Bancshares, Inc., Duluth Minnesota, and thereby indirectly acquire Republic Bank, Inc.
-Denied, January 12, 2018
Banks, State Member Huron Community Bank, East Tawas, Michigan — to acquire certain assets and assume certain liabilities of a branch of First Federal of Northern Michigan, Alpena, a federal savings association subsidiary of First Northern Michigan Bancorp, Inc.
-Approved, January 12, 2018
Forms Forms — final Board review to extend with revision the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies (FR Y-9C), Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Large Holding Companies (FR Y-9LP), Parent Company Only Financial Statements for Small Holding Companies (FR Y-9SP), Financial Statements of U.S. Nonbank Subsidiaries Held by Foreign Banking Organizations (FR Y-7N), and Consolidated Report of Condition and Income for Edge and Agreement Corporations (FR 2886b); and to extend without revision the Financial Statements for Employee Stock Ownership Plan Holding Companies (FR Y-9ES) and Supplement to the Consolidated Financial Statements for Holding Companies (FR Y-9CS), Abbreviated Financial Statements of U.S. Nonbank Subsidiaries Held by Foreign Banking Organizations (FR Y-7NS), and Capital and Asset Report for Foreign Banking Organizations (FR Y-7Q).
-Approved, January 12, 2018

Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Reporting Requirements Associated with Regulation QQ.
-Proposed, January 12, 2018


Personnel Division of Financial Stability — appointment of Elizabeth Klee as deputy associate director, Namirembe Mukasa as assistant director and chief of staff, and Chiara Scotti as assistant director.
-Announced, January 9, 2018
Reserve Bank Operations Reserve Bank Directors — designation of chairs and deputy chairs of the Federal Reserve Banks for 2018.
-Announced, January 10, 2018
Enforcement American Express Company, New York, New York, and American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. — consent order dated October 1, 2012, terminated January 8, 2018.
-Announced, January 11, 2018
Enforcement Action — determination denying the motion by Christopher Ashton, a former institution-affiliated party of Barclays Bank PLC, to vacate, void, and dismiss the Board’s final decision, notice of assessment, and order of prohibition against him.
-Approved, January 11, 2018
Enforcement Actions — termination of enforcement actions related to residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing against 10 banking organizations (Bank of America Corporation; CIT Group, Inc., as successor to IMB HoldCo LLC; Ally Financial Inc.; The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; HSBC North America Holdings, Inc.; JPMorgan Chase & Co.; Morgan Stanley; The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.; SunTrust Banks, Inc.; and U.S. Bancorp), civil money penalties against five banking organizations (Goldman Sachs; Morgan Stanley; CIT Group; U.S. Bancorp; and PNC), termination of two interagency orders against service providers (Lender Processing Services, Inc., succeeded by ServiceLink Holdings, LLC, and MERSCORP, Inc., now known as MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.) and other related actions.
-Approved, January 8, 2018
Goldman Sachs Bank USA, New York, New York — issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty.
-Announced, January 12, 2018
Liberty Bank, South San Francisco, California — written agreement dated August 5, 2016, terminated January 8, 2018.
-Announced, January 11, 2018
Mega International Commercial Bank Co., Ltd., Taipei, Taiwan — issuance of a consent cease-and-desist order and assessment of a civil money penalty against Mega International Commercial Bank Co. and its New York, Chicago, and San Jose branches based on deficiencies in compliance with Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering laws.
-Approved, January 12, 2018



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 January 18, 2018, 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 January 17, 2018):  $4,486,396 (in millions of dollars). (On September 26, 2007, this amount was $900,473 (in millions of dollars)).

(See the release for further information.)