Playing Devil’s Advocate: “Auditing the Federal Reserve Is a Frightening Idea” by Sheila Tschinkel (epochtimes.com)

Some conservative lawmakers have been arguing for years that Congress should audit the Federal Reserve and take a more active role overseeing monetary policy. Now that the GOP is in full control of the Capitol, the issue has taken on new urgency—as Fed Chair Janet Yellen learned last month during a combative hearing with senators.

The argument goes that the depth and length of the recent recession, the slow pace of recovery, the Fed’s failure to prevent the crisis in the first place, and its unconventional responses all support the view that it needs more oversight. The central bank’s independence, they say, isn’t doing the trick.

Nothing could be further from the truth. It betrays a misunderstanding of what it means for a central bank to be independent and how monetary policy is crafted and carried out.

In my 20 years working at the Fed, first in New York where I helped implement monetary policy on the trading desk and then in Atlanta as the senior officer in charge of research, I learned that dealing with the unexpected is the day-to-day reality of the job. And it’s best if your hands aren’t tied.

If the Fed loses its independence, then its policy will become less sensitive to what’s going on in the real world and more of a hostage to people who know far less about designing and implementing monetary policy. That would be a significant step backward.

What Fed ‘Independence’ Really Means

Social scientists of all political persuasions no longer even debate the question of whether the central bank should be “independent.”

They recognize the term refers only to how policy is implemented—free of political pressure—and that independence does not give the central bank the ability to set its own goals, as some lawmakers seem to think.

In fact, Congress has established various mandates for the Federal Reserve to follow since the latter’s creation in 1913. And central bankers place public interest at the center of their deliberations when carrying out monetary policy.

At present, the Fed follows a dual mandate of keeping inflation within its target range of around 2 percent while maximizing employment. Congress set these goals, but the Fed itself needs the freedom to choose which instruments it employs to meet them.

A good analogy is building a house. The owner takes part in drafting the plans but doesn’t worry which type of hammer is used. Similarly in an operating room, the surgeon must be able to quickly choose which scalpels and other instruments will help her save the patient (in the Fed’s case, the U.S. economy). While she follows the guidelines learned in medical school and past clinical experience, there is no time for excessive deliberation when someone’s life is on the line.

Monetary Policy Is Neither Simple Nor Fixed

The demand for an audit rests on the notion that there is a simple way to carry out monetary policy, as if there were one rule to follow. In the economics profession, the discussion of sticking to policy rules has quieted down as we learned, over and over again, that constant changes in the way people and companies behave and continuous innovation undercut the foundation for rigid rules.

For example, during parts of the ’70s and ’80s, the Fed tried a “money supply rule” that aimed to keep the expansion of currency in circulation and bank deposits within a range of growth rates.

At first it looked as if this would work well. That is until everyone could “create money” on a whim by using a credit card. Whenever you use credit to buy a new computer or pay for groceries, you’re getting a bank to lend you “money” that did not exist a second ago but suddenly does once the transaction clears. It did not make sense to target something that could not be controlled with precision.

The rule was fortunately phased out during the 1990s. Similar rules such as the gold standard and fixed exchange rates also bit the dust, but in the process caused considerably more economic upheaval.

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Berkeley Post Office occupation — March 21, 2015

First they came for the homeless's photo.
First they came for the homeless's photo.
First they came for the homeless's photo.
First they came for the homeless's photo.

The Saturday gardening continues. The water is still off so we are having 20 gallons dropped off twice a week.

We will be setting up a sprout table soon. Garden sprouts for free. If you can help with donations of organic soil, seeds, and sprouting cups.

'This is our free box. It is located at the downtown Berkeley Post Office on Allston Way at Milvia. The community is using it as it was intended.  Every Post Office needs one. Publicly owned for the common good.'

First they came for the homeless

This is our free box. It is located at the downtown Berkeley Post Office on Allston Way at Milvia. The community is using it as it was intended.

Every Post Office needs one. Publicly owned for the common good.

–Mike Zint

“Falsehood of Democracy” by Ayat Bryant-Jalal

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It was all over the news

In the streets

Some becoming mad

To others it was sad

Others turning just as bad,

Those who laughed

Wishing they swung the clubs

Having the power police had

Hiding behind their shields

With one of us in hand…

While we cried for love

In a way, they were there

Being the false courage of the cop

The one who shot

Private Olsen, Scott

They fed the officers fears

Who beat Orion?

Leaving him with death so near

As the beds we made to sleep

So too became our understanding of humanity

Concrete

Like the bonds that grew

In the man-made jungles we upkeep

Where citizens live in chosen cells

Because

Societal conditioning

Has designed hidden jails

With subliminal bars so no one can tell

So we chose to yell…

HUMAN NOT CITIZEN

We The People, REBELED

For every Ancestor failed

For the senseless deaths

And all that wars entailed

For every elder, parent, son and daughter

For every nation’s Forefathers

Every Sister and Brother

Regardless of color

To defend the poor and fatherless

To serve justice to the afflicted

Deliver the poor and the needy

To rid them out of the hands of the wicked

To the streets

Again and again

Against the wall of laws and mandates

Against the riotous cops told which freedoms to take

Against the programmed responses we were gave

We fought within ourselves, with one another’s help

We fought without worry for self

For others safety and health

…some didn’t just watch the news

But bruised on the street

Lost their voices to yelling

Healing to every hearts’ beat

With every march, from so many issues

Fearless for the children’s’ future

Against the given powers

Governments had misused

..Death of democracy

Our realizations of that cover up

That caused corporations to run amuck

Those who realized, nothing had changed

Showed up, to show out

Made signs and things

Themselves made stronger through, love they gave

We called politicians by other names,

Our mayor, an Ass-hat

Every time police took our things away

Phones, cloths, tents, sleeping bags

They took almost everything!

Except our rights to fight back,

To show up and show out

They couldn’t get that.

Nor take the qualities we have as humans

Our ability to amass synergy,

Through communication

Nor our collective conscious energy

We insisted on everyone’s survival

Not just the selfishness of titles

We manifested with good intentions

Not some devised scheme

Not an old outdated plan

But a new dream

For the poor who were failed with cruelty

For the youth who are raped

And stripped of opportunity

Told….

This is the Amerikkkan dream

No!

This is racism at work

This class-ism of jerks

Child slave labor

With pornographic perks

Corporate Person-hood

Austerity, Gentrifuckation

Darkness and ignorance at work

So who will stand?

Beside for those who were withheld,

Banned!

Who will go into the courts?

Out onto the streets…

Again and again

Against the wall of laws and mandates

Against riotous cops told which freedoms to take

Against the programmed responses we were gave

Fighting within themselves

With others help

Fighting without worry for self

Fighting for others safety and health

Against the falsehoods of democracy

Action Council – Meeting Reminder & 3 Announcements

Action Council is starting to focus on creating an event(s) for the Conference of Mayors in June (19-22) in San Francisco. 

SF and Mayor Ed Lee will be hosting the 83rd U.S. Conference of Mayors.

This is an opportune time to raise issues that are of concern to us, THE PEOPLE, that the mayors have resisted and refused to act upon. For instance “Black Lives Matter”, militarization of police, surveillance, privatization  of education & postal services, homelessness, gentrification of our communities, racism,  immigration, the People’s taxes being spent on wars enriching the 1% and not serving the people – and more.

Official website to the US Conference of Mayors :  http://usmayors.org/  check this out and note all the committees.

All are welcome to help plan for action(s) as equal participants.

If you are not able to attend meetings, please feel free to send someone(s) who represents your organization / interest.

Info contact: bob71947@aol.com

Occupy SF

~ ACTION COUNCIL ~

Next Meeting

Sunday, March 22, 2015

2:00pm – 4:00pm 

UNITE / HERE (Local 2)

215 Golden Gate Ave

(Nr. Civic Center BART)

San Francisco

Websites:

OccupySF Action Council: http://occupyactionsf.org

OccupySF: http://occupysf.org

Friday, March 20

M 20, Friday, 1:00pm, Support Tom and Patricia in battling their eviction and landlords appeal.

400 McAllister St.
SF

Long time San Franciscans Tom Rapp and Patricia Kerman have been battling their eviction for over a year. After many direct actions and a hearing, they had their Ellis Act eviction thrown out of court. Now their landlord Kaushik Dattani is appealing the decision. Come protest the landlord and support these great folks at the court house.

FB Host: Eviction Free San Francisco

Info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1003817376315507/

Saturday, March 21

M 21, Saturday, 12 Noon,  12th Anniversary of “SHOCK  and AWE” – U.S. INVASION of IRAQ(Action Council has Endorsed)

Powell & Market Sts.
SF

NO MOREU.S. War on Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen

U.S. INTERVENTION Fuels the Islamic State

NO GOOD Can Come of Military Action in the Middle East

Close to 2,500 people have been killed by U.S. drone strikes outside declared war zones since Obama’s inauguration in 2009. nearly six times more deaths than under the Bush regime.

The US continues to wage military interventions, sanctions and covert operations against any country that seeks an independent path of economic and social development. From Syria to Venezuela.

“Stop Pres. Obama’s AUMF” – the proposed new 3-year Authorization for Use of Military Force.

-“End U.S. War and Occupation” In the Middle East and Central Asia

All are welcome to Sign-On to this letter to the People of Iran:

http://org.salsalabs.com/o/1170/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=17389

(info for this announcement excerpted from World Can’t Wait & ANSWER)

Info / RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1413287058975110/

Monday, March 23

M 23, Monday 6:00pm – 9:00pm, Occupy Forum-  “My Brooklyn” Film and discussion with SF anti-gentrification activists

Global Exchange
2017 Mission St. (nr 16th St. BART)
SF

My Brooklyn is a documentary about Director Kelly Anderson’s personal journey, as a Brooklyn “gentrifier,” to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood along lines of race and class. During Michael Bloomberg’s election as mayor in 2001, a massive speculative real estate boom is rapidly altering the neighborhoods Anderson has come to call home, spurring bitter conflict over who has a right to live in the city and determine its future. While some view these development patterns as revitalizing the city, others believe they are erasing Brooklyn’s eclectic urban fabric, economic and racial diversity, creative alternative culture, and unique local economies.

When development officials announce a controversial plan to tear down and remake the Fulton Mall, a popular, bustling African-American and Caribbean commercial district just blocks from Anderson’s apartment, she discovers that the Mall, despite its run-down image, is the third most profitable shopping area in New York City with a rich social and cultural history. Anderson must confront her own role in the process of gentrification and investigatethe forces behind it more deeply.

The film’s ultimate questions become how to heal the deep racial wounds embedded in our urban development patterns, and how citizens can become active in fixing a broken planning process.

SAY NO TO WAR

Saturday, March 21 ~ 12 Noon

Powell & Market Streets
SF

Occupy Forum presents . . . “Brooklyn” film and discussion with SF anti-gentrification activists on Monday, March 23

Monday, March 23rd from 6 – 9 pm at Global Exchange

2017 Mission Street near the 16th and Mission Street BART

 Information, discussion & community! Monday Night Forum!!

Occupy Forum is an opportunity for open and respectful dialogue

on all sides of these critically important issues! 

OccupyForum presents…

“My Brooklyn”

Film and discussion with SF anti-gentrification activists

My Brooklyn is a documentary about Director Kelly Anderson’s personal journey, as a Brooklyn “gentrifier,” to understand the forces reshaping her neighborhood along lines of race and class. During Michael Bloomberg’s election as mayor in 2001, a massive speculative real estate boom is rapidly altering the neighborhoods Anderson has come to call home, spurring bitter conflict over who has a right to live in the city and determine its future. While some view these development patterns as revitalizing the city, others believe they are erasing Brooklyn’s eclectic urban fabric, economic and racial diversity, creative alternative culture, and unique local economies.

When development officials announce a controversial plan to tear down and remake the Fulton Mall, a popular, bustling African-American and Caribbean commercial district just blocks from Anderson’s apartment, she discovers that the Mall, despite its run-down image, is the third most profitable shopping area in New York City with a rich social and cultural history. Anderson must confront her own role in the process of gentrification and investigate the forces behind it more deeply.

Anderson meets with government officials, urban planners, developers, advocates, academics, and others who both champion and criticize the plans for Fulton Mall. Only when Anderson meets Brooklyn-born and raised scholar Craig Wilder, who explains his family’s experiences of neighborhood change over generations, does Anderson come to understand that what is happening in her neighborhoods today is actually a new chapter in an old American story. The film’s ultimate questions become how to heal the deep racial wounds embedded in our urban development patterns, and how citizens can become active in fixing a broken planning process.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkA6PO_gC1k

Discussion and Announcements to follow.

OccupyForum welcomes donations, no one turned away.