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.)

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending July 22, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending July 27, 2017; Macroeconomics and “Colorblindness” = Wickedness


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.”)

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[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.

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Sheila Clark’s letter to the EEOC (printed in Robert D. Auerbach’s book, “Deception and Abuse at the Fed,” page 123).

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.

Key quote–

“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

Category Action Taken
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

(A/C)

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

-Approved, July 3, 2017

(A/C)

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.)

 

Federal Reserve Board: H.2 Release for Week Ending July 15, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending July 20, 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 July 15, 2017, 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 12 and the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on July 13, 2017, on the semiannual monetary policy report to the Congress.

-Published, July 12, 2017

Bank Branches, Domestic Regions Bank, Birmingham, Alabama — to establish a total of 19 branches in Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Texas.

-Approved, July 14, 2017

Forms Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Financial Statements of U.S. Nonbank Subsidiaries of U.S. Holding Companies (FR Y-11); Abbreviated Financial Statements of U.S. Nonbank Subsidiaries of U.S. Holding Companies (FR Y-11S); Financial Statements of Foreign Subsidiaries of U.S. Banking Organizations (FR 2314); and Abbreviated Financial Statements of Foreign Subsidiaries of U.S. Banking Organizations (FR 2314S).

-Proposed, July 10, 2017

 

Forms — initial 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).

-Proposed, July 10, 2017

Regulations and Policies Appraisal Requirements — publication for comment of a proposed interagency rule to increase the dollar threshold at or below which appraisals are not required for commercial real estate transactions.

-Approved, July 14, 2017

 

Regulatory Flexibility Act and Small-Entity Compliance Guides — (1) principles for a handbook on the act and the development of compliance guides and (2) related delegations to approve and publish the guides and submit required reports to Congress.

-Approved, July 14, 2017

Enforcement BNP Paribas S.A., Paris, France; BNP Paribas USA, Inc., New York, New York; and BNP Paribas Securities Corp. — issuance of a consent cease-and-desist order and assessment of a civil money penalty.

-Approved, June 26, 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 20, 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 19, 2017):  $4,523,637 (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 1, 2017; H.4.1 Release (Balance Sheet) for Week Ending July 6, 2017; July 2017 MPR Press Release


 

The semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress will begin in the House of Representatives on July 12, 2017.  Senate testimony will be on July 13, 2017.

The Board announced on June 29, 2017, that it would release the Monetary Policy Report several days before the hearing (a new procedure–previously, the MPR was released to the Congress less than 24 hours before the first hearing).

Monetary Policy Report, July 2017

The Monetary Policy Report hearings will be held on July 12 and 13, 2011.

Monetary Policy Report (July 7, 2017): https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/20170707_mprfullreport.pdf

Testimony:  https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/yellen20170712a.htm

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
July 12, 2017, 10:00 a.m., House Financial Services Committee July 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m., Senate Banking Committee
Press release: https://financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=402097 Press release:

https://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/7/the-semiannual-monetary-policy-report-to-the-congress

 

 

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 1, 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 without revision the Government Securities Dealers Reports (FR 2004, composed of: FR 2004A, FR 2004B, FR 2004C, FR 2004SI, FR 2004SD, FR 2004SD ad hoc, FR 2004WI, FR 2004FA, FR 2004FB, FR 2004FC, and FR 2004FM).
-Proposed, June 29, 2017

Forms — initial Board review to extend with revision the Weekly Report of Selected Assets and Liabilities of Domestically Chartered Commercial Banks and U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks (FR 2644).
-Proposed, June 29, 2017

Forms — final Board review to extend without revision the Annual Daylight Overdraft Capital Report for U.S. Branches and Agencies of Foreign Banks (FR 2225).
-Approved, June 30, 2017
Regulations and Policies Host State Lending Ratios — interagency release of the host state loan-to-deposit ratios used by the banking agencies to determine compliance with the Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act.

-Announced, June 21, 2017

Supervision and Regulation Regulation TT (Supervision and Regulation Assessments of Fees) — 2016 supervisory assessments, assessed companies, and related matters, pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and Regulation TT.
-Approved, June 30, 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 6, 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 June 28, 2017):  $4,513,790 (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: July 2017 Monetary Policy Report Released Before Hearing for the First Time; MPR Hearing Info

The semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress will begin in the House of Representatives on July 12, 2017.  Senate testimony will be on July 13, 2017.

The Board announced on June 29, 2017, that it would release the Monetary Policy Report several days before the hearing (a new procedure–previously, the MPR was released to the Congress less than 24 hours before the first hearing).

Monetary Policy Report, July 2017

The Monetary Policy Report hearings will be held on July 12 and 13, 2017.

Monetary Policy Report (July 7, 2017):  https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/files/20170707_mprfullreport.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives U.S. Senate
July 12, 2017, 10:00 a.m., House Financial Services Committee July 13, 2017, 10:00 a.m., Senate Banking Committee
Press release: https://financialservices.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=402097 Press release:

https://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2017/7/the-semiannual-monetary-policy-report-to-the-congress

 

 

 

 

Federal Reserve Board: President of Richmond Fed Admits to Confirming Confidential FOMC Information to a Reporter, Resigns

This blog has covered a leak to Medley Global Advisors, which had occurred with Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) information. According to Reuters, the person claiming to be responsible for the leak was a member of the FOMC, Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. He has resigned on April 4, 2017.  (He had planned to retire in October 2017.)

Lacker has come up in another story of the blog, the story of laughter at the vulnerable at FOMC meetings in 2011. (Lacker did not seem to participate in the laughter.)

That the Fed’s Office of Inspector General did not uncover this information shows again the fraility of an non-independent inspector general. As stated in a previous blog post–

“In addition, the leak situation demonstrates the weak position of the IG. Sadly, the Board’s IG is akin to a toothless tiger.

  • The Board selects its [Inspector General] IG. The IG is not nominated by the President and approved by the U.S. Senate. Thus, an immediate conflict of interest and lack of independence is created.
  • Further, the IG submits a budget to the Board for its approval (See Board Annual Report, 2013, page 314 (paragraph 3)). Again, the IG instantly is subservient to the head of the agency. As a result, the IG cannot function.”

Federal Reserve: Laughing at the Vulnerable is Cruel, Inhuman–Callous; FOMC 5-Year Meeting-Transcript-Release Sched is Being Abused

To whom great independence is granted, an extreme level of accountability and responsibility is required. The Federal Reserve Board (Board) and the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has failed miserably with managing its service to citizens. Reform of the Board is needed immediately; FOMC transcripts must be released much earlier than five years.

The Board is an opaque, insular federal agency. The constant calls for “independence” and for secrecy of FOMC meetings make me suspicious.


Author’s note: I have covered other aspects of the Board’s inhuman spirit and cruelty in other posts–for example, the now-closed case of Artis v. Greenspan Bernanke Yellen. That this attitude would spill over into its policy work (or inform of its treatment of certain employees at the Board) is thus not surprising, but, at the same time, it is deeply hurtful.

In addition, the revelation that economists are indifferent to human beings serves as a confirmation point for previous posts.


Rightly so, it seems. An article by Matthew Stoller of the Intercept, demonstrating the utter lack of conscience against vulnerable citizens–those suffering unemployment as a result of the Great Recession–shows the corrosive effect of extreme secrecy and a total lack of accountability at the high levels of the Board and the FOMC. The reform proposals being considered must be given immediate attention.


[The current chair of the Board, Janet Yellen, was at the FOMC meetings mentioned in Stoller’s article.]


Only the comfortable can afford to laugh at those who suffered financial stress. The following quote comes from transcripts of the Nov. 1-2, 2011, FOMC meeting. That the laughter and joy at other people’s suffering comes from high-level public-service policymakers is galling.

“I frequently hear of jobs going unfilled because a large number of applicants have difficulty passing basic requirements like drug tests or simply demonstrating the requisite work ethic,” said Dennis Lockhart, a former Citibank executive who ran the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank. “One contact in the staffing industry told us that during their pretesting process, a majority—actually, 60 percent of applicants—failed to answer ‘0’ to the question of how many days a week it’s acceptable to miss work.”

The room of central bankers then broke into laughter.”

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At an April 2011 FOMC meeting, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank, Jeff Lacker, had the following to say about vulnerable people in West Virginia–within his own jurisdiction–at least he tried to stifle the laughs (although his statements were similarly shallow, and lacked depth–he did not go the unemployment office to speak with the unemployed directly (!)):

In an April meeting that year, Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeff Lacker told participants that “Several firms told us of difficulty finding adequate workers, because they preferred to collect unemployment benefits or can’t pass drug tests.” He reiterated that point in November, saying that in West Virginia he was told by an employment agency that “unquestionably the biggest problem in hiring skilled and unskilled workers was the inability to pass a drug test.”

Lacker’s Federal Reserve district includes West Virginia. In August, he again spoke of “widespread reports about hard drug use, OxyContin and methamphetamine, in Appalachia and other rural parts of our District—in particular, Appalachia.”

Apparently his colleagues responded with laughter again, because he then said “Drug abuse and the hardship involved in unemployment aren’t really laughing matters.” Usage, he noted, isn’t higher than the national norm in West Virginia. “It’s hard to pin this down quantitatively,” he continued, wondering if there was “something meaningful there as a contributor to impediments to labor market functioning.”


Note: The New York Fed published a paper in 2014, which justified the end of extended long-term unemployment benefits. Stoller’s article gives context to the paper’s approach toward the unemployed.


The President and Congress must take action to correct the errors going on at the Board and FOMC that the management there seem unwilling to address with “their friends.”

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