End the Fed: Sunday's Festivities Plus a Monday Sneak Attack in Richmond
Atlanta (don't worry, we got rained out in SF too)
Houston (Ron Paul was out for that one)
I'm sure I'm missing a bunch (most of the groups may be found here). Birmingham fucking Alabama even - and I hope those poor Jefferson County people went out because the same folks who robbed their county blind (JP Morgan) are the Fed, that's a useful detail to have in this.
In Los Angeles they talked about Pakistan (?) and actually had more people come out than we did up here in San Francisco. I loved The Examiner's "Fed bashing on the rise" - one word, people. Someone ask Fake AP Stylebook because I'm not sure the real one got this right.
This gave me shivers:
The antiquated quality of this institution is reflected in the map of the Fed’s twelve regional banks. Five of them are located in the Midwest (better known today as the industrial Rust Belt). Missouri has two Federal Reserve banks (St. Louis and Kansas City), while the entire West Coast has only one (located in San Francisco, not Los Angeles or Seattle). Virginia has one; Florida does not. Among its functions, the Federal Reserve directly regulates the largest banks, but it also looks out for their well-being–providing regular liquidity loans for those caught short and bailing out endangered banks it deems “too big to fail.” Critics look askance at these peculiar arrangements and see “conspiracy.” But it’s not really secret. This duck was created by an act of Congress. The Fed’s favoritism toward bankers is embedded in its DNA.
But maybe I'm weird when it comes to this stuff. The San Francisco Fed building squats at the base of Market St and thousands walk across its plaza without knowing what they're walking past, obliviously shoving their strollers and sipping their lattes. "What are you guys doing here?" is a question I've gotten every time I've gone to an ETF, and today an angry old white guy came by and interrogated me about the Fed's government status. "The Board sort of is but these fuckers aren't" was my answer but that apparently pissed him off. "They're a private bank and you can't shut them down" was his parting comment. Yeah?
In a related note, I'm not sure what the author was smoking when they wrote Federal Reserve Bank Of San Francisco Accurately Sees The Future but I would have liked some of that today. We had rain for the morning but it cleared up quickly and the SFPD partook in cookies that were being passed around by protesters. Awww, aren't we a cuddly bunch?
Smaller regional Fed bank branches seemed to have better turnouts than the larger banks. Richmond's Tobacco Avenue is too busy trying to figure out if the Richmond Fed is made out of burrito meat or not (I'm not kidding) so I doubt they dispatched any ETF protesters. In fact I heard no one made it out to Richmond today? (We'll find out why in a minute)
Does anyone know how Minneapolis turned out?
A little over a week ago, Ron Paul went on CNBC to talk about this:
So I would say that we’ve embarked on the wrong course and whether you put the regulations in the Fed or outside the Fed, it’s not a whole lot different. But we certainly don’t want to give the Fed more power. It’s much easier for the Congress to assume the responsibility of oversight if it’s outside the Fed. For some reason up until recently the Fed was sacred. You weren’t even allowed to ask questions, let alone get the answers. And now, of course, the momentum is in the direction of “even the Fed ought to be transparent” and I think that, of course, is very important.
Just days before Dr Paul's appearance, our favorite Fedhead was on the same channel talking about different sorts of things on the Closing Bell:
Lacker instead seems to be focused exclusively on GDP. But GDP is a lagging indicator. Lacker and Fed policymakers should be focusing on forward-looking leading indicators, like inflation-sensitive market prices.
Unfortunately, all of this sounds eerily familiar to the Fed’s big mistake seven years ago — the one that unleashed an inflationary bubble that eventually destroyed the economy.
Sadly, if this were a contest, our favorite Fedhead would lose points for his obnoxiously macro view. I'm not surprised Richmond was an ETF flop. Oh wait, they're doing theirs tomorrow?
Also, not sure who Patricia is but her husband works for the Richmond Fed (yeah, I just called you out) and so she will not be making it to tomorrow's ETF in front of our favorite Fed bank. I'd have to agree I could see the conflict of interest that might arise in that situation.
Patricia! He's a
Anyway, have fun with that tomorrow, kids.
Former Dallas Fed President Bob McTeer thinks it is "repugnant" to burn dollar bills at these rallies (which some did) but I argue here that printing endless amounts of them trumps burning them any day. They may say "in God we Trust" but they are no more blessed by the divine touch than the front doors of the SF Fed (at least until tomorrow morning). No one show him the YouTube clip of Indiana University students' Death of the Dollar "vigil" ok? Or maybe someone should email him the Facebook group, that'd be cute. Is he on Twitter? He should be, blogging as prolifically as he does.
All in all, a productive day of protest. There's your wrap up, are we happy now? If I missed any and you have an End the Fed report, do let me know.
See you next year.