Author Archives: Alex W.

About Alex W.

"We, who believe in freedom, cannot rest." Sweet Honey in the Rock Twitter: alexwdc

Futility of “Colorblindness”: Meme of White Hegemony and Black Inferiority Still Exists–Unacceptable

Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston

In have written about the meme prevalent in the United States of America–white hegemony and black inferiority–in this blog, mostly under the title “futility of “colorblindness.”

It seems to be a continuing topic because of the formation of the #BlackLivesMatter group. Effectively, the group seeks to remove the white hegemony and black disadvantaged paradigm from policy making in the United States. This goal is a tall order but it is necessary to start moving towards it.

The United States of America: A Culture of Discrimination

Antiblack sentiment

Examples

A culture developed to subjugate nonwhite people (and the poor of all races). Matthew Cooke’s YouTube presentation, Race Baiting 101
“Colorblind” racism. https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=colorblindness

Nathan Newman and J.J. Gass, A New Birth of Freedom: the Forgotten History of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments

http://www.nextions.com/wp-content/files_mf/14151940752014040114WritteninBlackandWhiteYPS.pdf

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=justice+harlan

Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo (2006). “Racism without Racists:   Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States.”

President Barack Obama’s punishing slams on Black people. https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=obama+colorblind

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/president-barack-obama-governance-is-slightly-different-from-the-previous-administration-other-than-style-administration-may-be-a-carbon-copy/ (see note on Ms. Shirley Sherrod)

Pervasive antiblack sentiment in the workplace Federal Reserve Board (FRB), federal financial regulatory agencies—

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=maxine+waters

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=federal+reserve+oig

Artis v. Bernanke (FRB employment discrimination case)

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=artis

Dick Grote, “pay for performance,” “rank and yank”—systematic removal of nonwhite persons from workforce

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=dick+grote

https://alexwdc.wordpress.com/?s=mspb

Overall encouragement of dangerous self-hate and punishment in order to satiate the majority culture while ignoring the systems of white hegemony Courtland Milloy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/institutional-racism-isnt-killing-blacks-by-itself-it-is-the-enemy-within/2015/08/25/4b9f1d98-4b50-11e5-bfb9-9736d04fc8e4_story.html

Barbara Reynolds: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/08/24/i-was-a-civil-rights-activist-in-the-1960s-but-its-hard-for-me-to-get-behind-black-lives-matter/

President Barack Obama (see link above)

Hilary Clinton and several members of #BlackLivesMatter:

http://nyti.ms/1E3xkNZ

It will not be easy. For example, the Honorable Muriel Bowser, Mayor of the city of Washington, D.C., witnessing an increase of violent crime occurring in the city, announced a proposal of more police and increased fines, in addition to other social service legislative policy ideas, to address the issue. Disagreement during the speech was heard.

There is good reason for concern, the events of the recent past (relative to the date of this post) should inform everyone that reliance on the police alone is insufficient–and dangerous. Regardless of the intentions of the Mayor, how that policy is enforced is the greater concern. The Mayor should consider these effects in her planning as well as committing herself to supervising enforcement activity for fairness.

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending August 8, 2015

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 8, 2015, 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 without revision the recordkeeping and disclosure requirements associated with the regulations implementing the Fair Credit Reporting Act (Regulation V).

-Proposed, August 3, 2015

Monetary and Financial Policy Term Deposit Facility — floating-rate offerings of 14-day and 7-day term deposits on August 6 and August 13, respectively, each with an early withdrawal feature, same-day settlement, and a maximum tender amount of $5 billion.

-Announced, August 3, 2015

Regulations and Policies Regulation II (Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing)publication of a clarification to provide further explanation of the inclusion of transaction-monitoring costs in the interchange fee standard.

-Approved, August 4, 2015

Enforcement Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company, Four Oaks, North Carolina — written agreement dated July 30, 2015, with the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

-Announced, August 4, 2015

Four Oaks Fincorp, Inc., Four Oaks, North Carolina, and Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company — written agreement dated May 24, 2011, terminated July 30, 2015.

-Announced, August 4, 2015

OSB Community Bank, Brooklyn, Michigan — written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

-Announced, August 6, 2015

Dick Grote: “Rank and Yank” at Amazon; Firm Unlikely to Break Cycle of Forced Ranking’s Failure

Artist: michael sloan

By Michael Sloan

The staying power of Dick Grote’s forced ranking is confusing considering its record of failure:

  • Enron
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • General Electric
  • Microsoft
  • Yahoo.
Bucket (rank) Percentage (amounts can be adjusted) Effect
A 20 Lavish rewards, encouragement
B 70 Little to paltry increase
C 10 Pressure to quit, firing

According to an article in the August 16, 2015, New York Times, “Amazon’s Bruising, Thrilling Workplace,” Amazon.com (a sales and marketing organization) can be added to the list. A list of 14 leadership principles, which were developed by the chief executive officer (CEO), Jeff Bezos, fuels a demand of perfection of delivering for the customer with high standards of performance (long hours, being subject to withering criticism and backstabbing–in short the worst behavior humanity can deliver short of physical violence).

Furthermore, the expectation of constant availability without compensation is thoroughly abusive. Amazon does not perform it service for customers for free; thus, Amazon should not expect overtime without compensation. The “salaried” designation is being abused, as low salaries are diluted every minute beyond a 40 hour work week.

I have written posts discussing Grote’s “rank and yank” system. I have a table with discussion of the Amazon system.

Dick Grote’s Forced Ranking Amazon.com (text in quotation marks are from the New York Times article)
Anytime Feedback Tool-allows co-workers to send feedback to one’s manager without the targeted employee’s knowledge. Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, is an investor in Workday, which seeks to bring this “gem” to other organizations which purchase it.
Manager sets tough objectives and expects the employee to figure out how to satisfy the manager’s expectations “Molly Jay, an early member of the Kindle team, said she received high ratings for years. But when she began traveling to care for her father, who was suffering from cancer, and cut back working on nights and weekends, her status changed. She was blocked from transferring to a less pressure-filled job, she said, and her boss told her she was “a problem.” As her father was dying, she took unpaid leave to care for him and never returned to Amazon.

“When you’re not able to give your absolute all, 80 hours a week, they see it as a major weakness,” she said.”

Callibration meeting “Each year, the internal competition culminates at an extended semi-open tournament called an Organization Level Review, where managers debate subordinates’ rankings, assigning and reassigning names to boxes in a matrix projected on the wall. In recent years, other large companies, including Microsoft, General Electric and Accenture Consulting, have dropped the practice — often called stack ranking, or “rank and yank” — in part because it can force managers to get rid of valuable talent just to meet quotas.”

“Preparing is like getting ready for a court case, many supervisors say: To avoid losing good members of their teams — which could spell doom — they must come armed with paper trails to defend the wrongfully accused and incriminate members of competing groups. Or they adopt a strategy of choosing sacrificial lambs to protect more essential players. “You learn how to diplomatically throw people under the bus,” said a marketer who spent six years in the retail division. “It’s a horrible feeling.” “

Unique to Discipline Without Punishment is the final step before an employee’s termination – the Decision Making Leave. The employee is suspended for a day with full pay. On this day he must make a final decision: either solve the problem and commit to fully acceptable performance, or quit and find more satisfying employment somewhere else. Performance Improvement Plan--confidential and among other expectations of the PIP is that the responsibility for bringing performance to the acceptable level rests with the targeted employee.

[Author’s Note: There was a statement from a Master of Business Administration degree holder who said that conflict brings about innovation. It depends how you view innovation. Amazon is a sales and marketing firm, and the innovations discussed in the article relate to sales and marketing not new ideas that can move humanity forward. Each has their place, but it serves as a caution before making broad statements without context.]

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending August 1, 2015

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 1, 2015, 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 FMS Wertmanagement, Munich, Germany — requests for (1) temporary exemptions from certain statutory and regulatory requirements and (2) an extension of the compliance date for the applicable enhanced prudential standards.

-Granted, July 16, 2015

(A/C)

Regulations and Policies Presidential $1 Coin Program — annual report to Congress on the Presidential $1 Coin Program.

-Approved, July 30, 2015

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending July 25, 2015

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 25, 2015 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 CIT Group, Inc., Livingston, New Jersey, and Carbon Merger Sub LLC, New York, New York — to acquire IMB Holdco LLC, Pasadena, California, and thereby indirectly acquire OneWest Bank, National Association.

-Approved, July 19, 2015

Banking Supervision & Regulation General Electric Capital Corporation (GECC), Norwalk, Connecticut — order to apply enhanced prudential standards and reporting requirements to GECC, a nonbank financial company that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated for Board supervision.

-Approved, July 20, 2015

Resolution Plans — joint Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guidance to 119 banking organizations concerning the updated resolution plans the firms will file in December 2015, in accordance with Regulation QQ and the Dodd-Frank Act.

-Approved, July 24, 2015

Resolution Plans — joint Board and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation guidance concerning the updated resolution plans to be submitted in December 2015, under Regulation QQ and the Dodd-Frank Act, by American International Group, Inc., New York, New York; Prudential Financial, Inc., Newark, New Jersey; and General Electric Capital Corporation, Norwalk, Connecticut.

-Approved, July 24, 2015

Regulations and Policies Risk-Based Capital Surcharges (Regulation Q) — final rule to establish risk-based capital surcharges for global systemically important U.S. bank holding companies.

-Approved, July 20, 2015

Enforcement Atlantic Coast Financial Corporation, Jacksonville, Florida — supervisory agreement issued by the Office of Thrift Supervision dated December 10, 2010, terminated July 15, 2015.

-Announced, July 21, 2015

China Construction Bank Corporation, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; and China Construction Bank New York Branch, New York, New York — written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

-Announced, July 21, 2015

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending July 18, 2015

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 18, 2015 is below.

H.2 Release–Actions of the Board, Its Staff, and the Federal Reserve Banks; Applications and Reports Received

Category Action Taken
Testimony and Statements Monetary Policy — statement by Chair Yellen before the House Committee on Financial Services on July 15 and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on July 16, 2015, on the semiannual monetary policy report to the Congress.

-Published, July 15, 2015

Bank Holding Companies Cathay General Bancorp, Los Angeles, California — to acquire Asia Bancshares, Inc., Flushing, New York, and thereby indirectly acquire Asia Bank, National Association.

-Approved, July 16, 2015

Forms Forms — final Board review to extend with revision the Report of Selected Money Market Rates (FR 2420).

-Approved, July 14, 2015

Forms — final Board review (1) to extend with revision the Report of Transaction Accounts, Other Deposits and Vault Cash (FR 2900); and (2) to extend without revision the Annual Report of Deposits and Reservable Liabilities (FR 2910a), Report of Foreign (Non-U.S.) Currency Deposits (FR 2915), Allocation of Low Reserve Tranche and Reservable Liabilities Exemption (FR 2930), Supervisory and Regulatory Survey (FR 3052), and Consumer Financial Stability Surveys (FR 3053).

-Approved, July 16, 2015

Forms — initial Board review (1) to extend without revision the Registration of a Securities Holding Company (FR 2082) and (2) to extend with revision the Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Price Quotations (RFPQ).

-Proposed, July 16, 2015

Personnel Division of Financial Management — appointment of Stephen J. Bernard as deputy director.

-Approved, July 16, 2015

Regulations and Policies Prepaid Cards — annual report to Congress on government-administered, general-use prepaid cards, in accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act.

-Approved, July 6, 2015

(A/C)

Regulations Y (Bank Holding Companies and Change in Bank Control) and YY (Enhanced Prudential Standards) — publication for comment of a proposed rule to revise the capital plan and stress test rules for large bank holding companies and certain banking organizations with total consolidated assets of more than $10 billion, to take effect for the 2016 capital plan and stress test cycles.

-Approved, July 16, 2015

Enforcement Raton Capital Corporation, Raton, New Mexico — written agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

-Announced, July 14, 2015

Village Bancshares, Inc., St. Francis, Minnesota — written agreement dated December 1, 2010, terminated July 8, 2015.

-Announced, July 14, 2015

Federal Reserve Board: Inadvertent Release of Federal Open Market Committee Projections Disclosed; Information Now Available, Release Referred to IG

On July 24, 2015, the Federal Reserve Board (Board) explained that an inadvertent release of confidential staff projections provided to the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) for its June 16-17, 2015, meeting. The release of the projections occurred on June 29, 2015. However, the projections are based on publicly available data. The Board stated that the released information will now be made available to the public. [Note: On 7-25-15, the Board released a table, which provides the staff projections that were prepared for the June FOMC meeting as well as the projections issued with the press release discussed in this post.]

Because the information has already been released, the Federal Reserve is today providing general public notification and making those projections more easily accessible on our website within the FRB/US model package (ZIP) data folder.

(With economists working at the Board and then with some of them returning to academia or industry, it is likely that these projections are already known.)

The Board also noted that the release has been referred to its Inspector General for investigation under its Program for Security of FOMC Information policy.

[Author’s note: The Board’s IG is not truly independent, rather an arm of the Board’s Chair. The Board’s Chair appoints the IG. (See Auerbach, Robert D. (2008), Deception and Abuse at the Fed: Henry B. Gonzalez Battles Alan Greenspan’s Bank, Austin: University of Texas Press, pages 113-115 (esp. first full paragraph on page 114).) In addition, the Board funds the operations of the IG (see, for example, Board Annual Report, 2013, page 314 (paragraph 3)). So, the purpose of such referrals is unknown.

Also, there is a pending investigation of a more-serious previous release of information to Medley Global Advisors. Rep. Sean Duffy asked the Board’s Chair, Janet Yellen, at a July 2015 hearing, about the processs of investigation of this matter (now with the Justice Department).

http://player.cnbc.com/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=3000397798&size=530_298]