Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Visiting Occupy Wall Street We Hear “Eliminate the Fed!”: OR Maybe Just Federal Reserve Directors Backing Mega-Monopolies For the Super-Connected?

(Photo above from this link.)

There are provocative ideas circulating among the Occupy Wall Street protestors. Maybe with respect to one idea, a very powerful one, we can take heed, but start small by considering a basic essential: Is the Federal Reserve on the public’s side?

Visiting Occupy Wall Street you will probably see, as I did, the placards calling for elimination of the Fed, (aka the “Federal Reserve” or “Federal Reserve System”). That’s also something that Ron Paul, more frequently thought of as closer to the Tea Party side of things, is calling for. Indeed, hostility toward the Fed is a theme that is also circulating amongst the Tea Party activists and activists invoking the Tea Party label (how does one differentiate and how critical is it to do so?).

From Tea Party Advocates, Anger at the Federal Reserve, by Sewell Chan, October 10, 2010

Tea Party Rallying Cry: Abolish the Federal Reserve! By Liz Peek, The Fiscal Times, November 10, 2010

End the federal reserve - American Tea Party Constitutional Coalition
The Federal Reserve - A Scam!

The Tea Party vs. the Federal Reserve, by Michael Tennant, Wednesday, 13 October 2010

AUDIT THE FEDERAL RESERVE (New Hampshire Tea Party Coalition)
That's not to say that all those out to earn Tea Party credentials and endorsement are opposed to the Fed. Herman Cain was chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank in the mid-1990s. (See: Herman Cain: Federal Reserve Chairman, Tea Party Champion, by Joshua Green, May 27 2011.)

Eliminate the Fed? GULP! That would be a big step. It’s really hard to get one’s mind around what it would mean in terms of the economy. And the belief of some that eliminating the Fed would be good because it would be better to regulate the money supply by a return to the gold standard is scary: How much gold you have isn’t a measure of true societal wealth. Among other things you can’t eat it.

(Below an interfaith protest arrives Sunday with their version of Wall Street's "bull" being the bible's Golden Calf idol.)

We understand concerns that the Fed has a lot of power, that while it functions as if it is one of the most powerful organs of government it is not readily accountable as other branches of government are supposed to be, that it is in technical terms essentially a private entity.

Although it is embedded in the nation’s political history the Fed is a entire branch of government you can’t find in the Constitution.

The origin’s of the Fed go back to the creation of federal central banking via the famous Hamilton, Jefferson Dinner Table Bargain of June 1790 whereby the other side of the agreement was to locate the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. (The Constitution also doesn’t say where the capitol of the U.S. should be. Before D.C. it was located in Philadelphia and New York City.) Though the compromise may have traded away New York City’s then status as the official political capital of the U.S. via the compromise, Hamilton, then the Treasury Secretary (Jefferson was Secretary of State) secured for New York the de facto status as the nation’s financial capitol from then on.

Take the big step of eliminating the Fed? Maybe we could start with the smaller step of looking at who are the Federal Reserve Directors and whether they can be counted upon to serve the public interest. As mentioned above: Herman Cain?

(Above Federal Reserve Directors Kathy Wylde and Lee Bollinger both of whom are key backers of neighborhood-seizing eminent domain abuse to benefit government assisted monopolies.)

More important, I have previously pointed out with some anguish that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has on its board two directors, Kathy Wylde and Lee Bollinger, both with one thing conspicuously in common: They have both been key in backing the neighborhood-destroying seizure of land through eminent domain abuse. At the expense of community interests they have endorsed those seizures for the sake of governmentally assisting politically-connected private mega-monopolies. This is some of what I previously wrote:
Regarding Director Wylde:
Kathy Wylde, whose most high-profile recent actions have been to go out of her way to promote Atlantic Yards, the megadevelopment on track to be one of New York’s most conspicuous money-losing failures. (See the July 27, 2009 story in Crain’s.)

* * * *

Ms. Wilde has been president and chief executive of the Partnership for New York City for some time and was prominently in the news in the (pre-fiscal crisis) summer of 2008 as a supporter amongst the inner business circle strategizing for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s overturn of term limits to get a surprise third term. Wylde effused that the business world was “primed” to help him. (See: Bigs Back Law Change to Keep Mike, By Angela Montefinise, July 27, 2008.) . . .

Wylde Support of Economic Mega-Losses for NYC

A spectacularly flawed project in almost all respects, New York City’s Independent Budget Office has concluded that the Atlantic Yards arena, the only part of the Atlantic Yards project currently designed or for which any kind of enforceable, documented deal exists will be a net money loser for the city to the tune of $220 million($39.5 million in direct losses and $180.5 million in opportunity losses). The megadevelopment’s guaranteed inadequacies flow principally from the fact that it was set up and concocted by the developer, Forest City Ratner, as a subsidy-infusion system intended to deliver maximum benefit to the developer at the expense of the public. The IBO has conservatively calculated that on the arena alone the city will be giving the developer$726 million in no-bid giveaways.
Regarding Director Bollinger:
Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University. One of the three highest paid presidents at a private university ($1.4 million annual compensation package), Mr. Bollinger has spearheaded Columbia’s usurpation of West Harlem using eminent domain to gain a multi-decade monopoly shut-out on the real estate there, very much like Atlantic Yards.
(For more of what I said then- and I had a lot of points to make- See: Saturday, September 19, 2009, Really Wylde? New NY Federal Reserve Bank Director Supported Major NYC Net Loss ($220 Million) Megadevelopment.)

The Tea Party tends to focus its anger at government. Occupy Wall Street is focusing anger more directly at Wall Street. Both groups ought to be properly directing their anger at the double-whammy you get whenever government steps in to support Wall Street and/or to specially benefit politically connected monopolies and elites. We see it far too often. Indeed, the shared objections to the Fed is that it is a private entity usurping government prerogatives and functions to favor private interest over public interests.

So, if the Fed is going to be kept around do we want it to have directors like Wylde and Bollinger who readily endorse the kind of abuse favoring the 1% over the 99%?

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