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Most recent 9 results returned for keyword: jp morgan chase (Search this on MAP) Alpha Zed : In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network...
In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network," says Glattfelder.

Most were financial institutions. 

The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies
1. Barclays plc
2. Capital Group Companies Inc
3. FMR Corporation
4. AXA
5. State Street Corporation
6. JP Morgan Chase & Co 
7. Legal & General Group plc 
8. Vanguard Group Inc
10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc 
11. Wellington Management Co LLP
12. Deutsche Bank AG
13. Franklin Resources Inc
14. Credit Suisse Group
15. Walton Enterprises LLC
16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
17. Natixis
18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
20. Legg Mason Inc
21. Morgan Stanley
22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
23. Northern Trust Corporation
24. Société Générale
25. Bank of America Corporation
26. Lloyds TSB Group plc 
27. Invesco plc
28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA 
30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
31. Aviva plc 
32. Schroders plc
33. Dodge & Cox
34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
35. Sun Life Financial Inc
36. Standard Life plc
37. CNCE
38. Nomura Holdings Inc
39. The Depository Trust Company 
40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance 
41. ING Groep NV 
42. Brandes Investment Partners LP 
43. Unicredito Italiano SPA 
44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan 
45. Vereniging Aegon 
46. BNP Paribas 
47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc 
48. Resona Holdings Inc 
49. Capital Group International Inc 
50. China Petrochemical Group Company
Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world - physics-math - 19 October 2011 - New Scientist
As anti-capitalist protesters take to the streets, mathematics has teased apart the global economic network to show who's really pulling the strings
1 hour ago - Via Community - View - Mohammad Khalid Khalid : AlARM : I BEG READ FULY !!! What Barclays's Exit From Across Global's Commodity Activity indicates ...

What Barclays's Exit From Across Global's Commodity Activity indicates Another Global Economic Meltdowns Ahead ?

Answer is 'NO' cos actually Global Warming Toast Casus DROUGHTS Incurs which Stop Agricultural Growth that no one Disagree" as a Good Example is USA State of California !!!

So my dear People do Act to "Protect Our Home Plant bcos There is No Planet Exist Like Earth" !!!

Barclays which Merged Banks with JP Morgan Chase & Co set Withdraw Global Commodities Avities as Standard & Poor’s GSCI rating of 24 commodities posted its worst year in five in 2013 such Corn, Arabica Coffee and wheat all fell a minimum of 20%, and commodity related assets under management shrank by about $100 billion or 25% of the total held at the year’s start.

And it already halted speculative Agricultural Trading last year for Reputational Purposes.
9 hours ago - Via Mobile - View - PHIL FORBAN : #banksters number 17 1) David Bird, 55, long-time reporter for the Wall Street Journal working at the...
#banksters number 17
1) David Bird, 55, long-time reporter for the Wall Street Journal working at the Dow Jones news room
2) Tim Dickenson, a U.K.-based communications director at Swiss Re AG 
3) William Broeksmit, 58, former senior manager for Deutsche Bank 
4) Ryan Henry Crane, age 37, JP Morgan 
5) Li Junjie, 33, Hong Kong JP Morgan 
6) Gabriel Magee, 39, age JP Morgan employee 
7) Mike Dueker, 50, who had worked for Russell Investments 
8) Richard Talley, 57, was the founder and CEO of American Title (real estate titles) 
9) James Stuart Jr. 70, Former National Bank of Commerce CEO was found dead in Scottsdale, Ariz 
10) Jason Alan Salais, 34 year old IT Specialist at JPMorgan since 2008 
11) Autumn Radtke, 28, CEO of First Meta, a Singapore-based virtual currency trading platform 
12) Eddie Reilly, 47, investment banker, Vertical Group, New York 
13) Kenneth Ballando, 28, investment banker, Levy Capital, New york 
14) Joseph A. Giampapa, 55, corporate bankruptcy lawyer, JP Morgan Chase 
15) Jan Peter Schmittmann, 57, voormalig topbestuurder ANB/AMRO 
16) Juergen Frick, 48, CEO Bank Frick & Co AG, Liechtenstein. 
17) Benoît Philippens, 37, directeur BNP Parisbas Fortis Bank, Ans, België.

BREAKING: "Dead Banker" # 28 Belgium 3 Shot Dead! (Video) | Banksters
BREAKING: “Dead Banker” # 28 Belgium 3 Shot Dead April 19 2014 Banker AND his wife AND child! shot dead! Bankers who know too much, unfortunately you can run but you can’t hide. You may not know what you know, you may not even KNOW anything but if...
15 hours ago - Via Reshared Post - View - Afiya Madzimoyo : The MADZIMOYOS and Justice @ Home need your help to pack the courtroom on Wednesday. What: PACK THE...
The MADZIMOYOS and Justice @ Home need your help to pack the courtroom on Wednesday.



On Wednesday, April 23rd, 8:30 AM at the Decatur Courthouse, Courtroom:  5C, the Madzimoyos seek to defeat the defendant’s motion to dismiss their case and their fourth attempt to WRONGFULLY foreclose.  With our help, they will continue to win. See you @ 556 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030). 

Wekesa and Afiya continue to wage the 5-year war against wrongful foreclosure and wealth transfer from our community to the boated banks (JP Morgan Chase, NYBMT and GMAC) foreclosure machine and to the one percent!  They've supported many. On Wednesday they need your help to pack the courtroom. 

Many of you know that the Madzimoyos are acting as their own attorneys (pro se) in their lawsuit against JP Morgan Chase, NYBMT and GMAC in their pursuit to prove wrong doings on the part of the banks in regard to their personal mortgage. Fighting since 2009, they've even won an 11th-Circuit Court of Appeals victory that remanded their case back from federal court to state court.  

But it ain't over. They are / We are  fighting against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.  The Madzimoyos haven’t given an inch!

While many choose to forget about mortgage-backed securities, robo signing, credit default swaps and other admitted wrongs that have sucked billions from Black and poor communities, Justice@Home hasn’t. For them  "FIGHTING IS WINNING."  

A great minister, Vernon Johns once said: If you see a good fight, get into it!
MLK himself said he wanted to be remembered as a “Drum Major for JUSTICE!”

We hope to see you on Wednesday, April 23rd, 8:30 AM at the Decatur Courthouse Courtroom:  5C, 556 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030.


On May 20th 2013 The GA Supreme Court ruling (You v. Chase) and GA Appellate Court rulings (Montgomery v. BAC and LaRouse) have thrown ALL home-owners under the bus! 

In short, anyone can claim you’re in default and foreclose on your home, even if they are not the NOTE-HOLDERS. They only have to claim to be the HOLDERS of the SECURITY DEED. And get this: You have no right to question how they came to be the “holders,” or their authority to foreclose on your home whether you actually are in default or not!

Justice@Home and the Madzimoyos continue to fight and teach: FIGHTING IS WINNING.

We hope you will join and stand with the Madzimoyos and Justice@Home at this critical hearing.  Wednesday, April 23rd, 8:30 AM at the Decatur Courthouse (556 N McDonough St, Decatur, GA 30030). Courtroom:  5C 

Sincere thanks, Justice@home, Afiya and Wekesa Madzimoyo.

Please pass this on to others. Let’s pack the courtroom.

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1 day ago - Via Google+ - View - Michael Molman : Are Tobacco Companies Still Viable? Earnings are upon us and so far investors seem to be pleased, since...
Are Tobacco Companies Still Viable?
              Earnings are upon us and so far investors seem to be
pleased, since markets had their best week in nearly a year, with all major
indexes rising over 2.5%, despite some notable earnings misses from IBM, J.P
Morgan Chase, and Google. Investors h...
Are Tobacco Companies Still Viable?
              Earnings are upon us and so far investors seem to be pleased, since markets had their best week in nearly a year, with all major indexes rising over 2.5%, despite some notable earnings misses from IBM, J.P Morga...
2 days ago - Via Blogger - View - Peter Antonio Lindsay : Most people reading this article will believe that this is a good development, but on so many levels...
Most people reading this article will believe that this is a good development, but on so many levels it portends deleterious effects that will affect most in ways that they fail to correlate. The readers of my page know better, right? Right? Btw, think quick, what comes to mind first after this question, who does this primarily assist? Oh, here's the article, to wit:The credit freeze is starting to thaw.

Mortgage lenders are beginning to ease the restrictive lending standards enacted after the housing boom turned to bust, a sign of their rising confidence in the housing market.

While standards remain tight by historical measures, lenders have started to accept lower credit scores and to reduce down-payment requirements.

One such lender is TD Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank's TD.T +0.25% U.S. unit, which on Friday began accepting down payments as low as 3% through an initiative called "Right Step," geared toward first-time buyers and low- and moderate-income buyers. TD initially launched the program last year with a 5% down payment. It keeps the product on its books and doesn't charge for insurance. Borrowers also don't need to put down any of their own cash if a family, state or nonprofit group provides a down-payment gift.

The changes also are a recognition by lenders that the business of refinancing old mortgages, which had been a huge profit center for banks, is nearly tapped out. To generate future profits, banks will have to compete for borrowers who may not have perfect credit or large down payments.

With refinances down sharply, "everybody is fighting for a smaller portion of the originations pie," said Mike Copley, executive vice president of lending at TD Bank. He said the bank believes the loans will perform well.

Mortgage originations, which reached $1.8 trillion last year and $2 trillion in 2012, are forecast to hit $1.1 trillion this year by the Mortgage Bankers Association. The expected 36% decline this year is due to less refinancing. "With volume dropping as much as it has, many lenders are looking to expand their credit box," said Michael Fratantoni, the MBA's chief economist.

The credit thaw has been led by community banks, credit unions and other lenders that largely shied away from the U.S. subprime market during the past decade.

Valley National Bank, a community bank based in Wayne, N.J., lowered down-payment requirements to 5% from 25% this month on mortgages for certain buyers in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Next month, Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, based in Arlington, Va., will begin accepting 3% down payments on mortgages up to $417,000, down from 5%.

Low-down-payment mortgages never went away after the housing bust. Instead, they shifted from private lenders to the Federal Housing Administration, which insures loans with down payments of just 3.5%.

Over the past year, however, more than one in six loans made outside of the FHA included down payments of less than 10%, the highest share since 2008, according to figures from data firm Black Knight Financial Services. That still is lower than the nearly 44% of the market they accounted for at the peak of the housing bubble in early 2007.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-supported housing giants, will buy loans with down payments as low as 5% if they carry mortgage insurance. The uptick reflects insurers' increasing confidence in the housing market and the fact that the FHA is charging higher fees, which makes private insurance more attractive for borrowers with strong credit, said Rob Schaefer, a credit executive at Fannie Mae.

Wells Fargo WFC -0.33% & Co., the nation's largest mortgage originator, this year began allowing certain borrowers who make down payments of 5% on a primary residence to have up to 2% of the down payment come as a gift from relatives. Borrowers must have strong credit and purchase mortgage insurance.

Another sign that banks could get less picky: Credit scores for borrowers seeking conventional mortgages also are easing. Scores on purchase mortgages stood at 755 in March, down from 761 a year earlier, according to data from Ellie Mae, a mortgage-software provider. Those on purchase loans backed by the FHA dropped to 684, compared with 696 one year earlier. (Under a system devised by Fair Isaac Corp., credit scores run on a scale from 300 to 850.)

Smaller lenders are accepting even lower scores. Average credit scores on purchase loans closed through a consortium called LendingTree fell to 679 in March, down from the year-earlier 715.

Brent Kersanske purchased a two-bedroom condo in Somerville, Mass., for $465,000 last month with a 5% down payment, the largest he could afford. The 27-year-old software engineer said he applied for an FHA-backed mortgage, but his building wasn't approved for the FHA program. Instead, Leader Bank, a community bank in Arlington, Mass., gave him one mortgage for 80% of the purchase price and arranged a second mortgage with another small bank for the remaining 15%.

"I wouldn't have been able to get the place I wanted without this," he said.

While smaller lenders are trying to appeal to first-time buyers, larger lenders are gradually reducing down payments for jumbo loans—those too large for government backing—to woo wealthy customers. EverBank began accepting down payments of 10.1% for jumbo borrowers with strong credit this year, down from 20%, and Wells Fargo reduced to 15% from 20% its minimum down payment for jumbos last year. Bank of America made the same change for mortgages of up to $1 million.

For now, economists and lenders say there are few signs of any return to the carelessness of the past decade's destructive credit bubble. "Credit is loosening, but it is loosening from a tight starting point," said Mr. Fratantoni of the MBA.

Nearly 40% of new borrowers last year had credit scores above 760, compared with just 25% before the housing bubble in 2001, according to a report from Goldman Sachs economists. "Tiny fractions of borrowers can do things that they could not a year ago," said Lou Barnes, a mortgage banker in Boulder, Colo. And the most noticeable changes are benefiting the best-off borrowers, he said.

Lenders still are unwilling to underwrite "anything with hair on it, like if you had a credit problem, if you are earning self-reported income," said James Dimon, chief executive of J.P. Morgan Chase JPM -0.07% & Co., on a call with investors last week. "I don't know when that's going to go away," he added.

J.P. Morgan reported first-quarter earnings that included a 68% drop in mortgage lending from a year earlier. Tight lending rules are "not getting worse. It's just sitting there and holding back [the housing market] a little bit," Mr. Dimon said.

Any easing should give more options to first-time buyers like Nathan Davenport, 26, who purchased a one-bedroom condo for $195,000 in Atlanta this month with a 5% down payment. Mr. Davenport, who works for a phone-and-Internet services provider, says he has a high credit score but was worried that if he waited longer to save up for a larger down payment he would be priced out of the market.

"Twenty percent of this price and only being out of college a handful of years would have been really hard to pull off," Mr. Davenport said.
Mortgage lenders ease rules for home buyers in hunt for business
Mortgage lenders are beginning to ease the restrictive lending standards enacted after the housing boom turned to bust, a sign of their rising confidence in the housing market.
3 days ago - Via Mobile - View - Craig Groom Analysis Ltd : By Gemstone Equity Research: Citigroup After JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup...
By Gemstone Equity Research: Citigroup After JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) is the third largest financial institution in the US by assets. Citigroup released its first quarter of 2014 results and reported better year over…
Citigroup : Buy Before It Gets Expensive
By Gemstone Equity Research: Citigroup After JP Morgan Chase & Co (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) is the third largest financial institution in the US by assets. Citigroup released i...
4 days ago - Via WordPress - View - Marcus Aurelius : In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate...
In 2010, Bank of America set up more than 200 subsidiaries in the Cayman Islands (which has a corporate tax rate of 0.0 percent) to avoid paying U.S. taxes. It worked. Not only did Bank of America pay nothing in federal income taxes, but it received a rebate from the IRS worth $1.9 billion that year. They are not alone. In 2010, JP Morgan Chase operated 83 subsidiaries incorporated in offshore tax havens to avoid paying some $4.9 billion in U.S. taxes. That same year Goldman Sachs operated 39 subsidiaries in offshore tax havens to avoid an estimated $3.3 billion in U.S. taxes. Citigroup has paid no federal income taxes for the last four years after receiving a total of $2.5 trillion in financial assistance from the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis.On and on it goes. Wall Street banks and large companies love America when they need corporate welfare. But when it comes to paying American taxes or American wages, they want nothing to do with this country. 
Watch the video: The Corporate Tax Fairness Act

4 days ago - Via Google+ - View - Callis Prepper : Via +Wayne Johnson "Since the ten intense months of debates that preceded the passage of the Federal...
Via +Wayne Johnson 
     "Since the ten intense months of debates that preceded the passage of the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, has there been a better time to consider the structural design of the Federal Reserve System and its various components? We sit ready to commemorate the Fed’s centennial, which provides a worthwhile (if somewhat arbitrary) moment of reflection. In the coming months, President Obama will make just the second nomination of a new Fed Chair in the last thirty-five years. And the Fed’s own extraordinary market interventions during 2007-2010 and its innovations in monetary policy from 2008 to the present have opened it up to praise and criticism from across the political spectrum. We are truly on the cusp of the Federal Reserve moment.
Much of the focus will be on policy—that is, whether the Fed should have, for example, brokered the JP Morgan Chase/Bear Stearns merger, allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, kept interest rates so low during the early 2000s, initiated various rounds of quantitative easing, etc. This essay will instead address the Fed’s structure, and specifically, whether that structure comports with the requirements of the US Constitution.
I argue that the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy arm, the Federal Open Market Committee, is, under a straightforward application of recent Supreme Court doctrine, unconstitutionally designed. I also argue that that constitutional defect is essentially cosmetic and, in any event, incapable of receiving a review on the merits because of doctrines of justiciability, one of which was invented to avoid this very question. And I will argue that the lack of judicial participation in resolving this constitutional question is an unmitigated good: issues of central bank design are best left to the Congress. Doing otherwise could send the judiciary into areas where it largely lacks institutional competence. And it also allows the merger of policy and institutional design, spheres best left separate in constitutional adjudication.
Constitutional Arguments for Another Time
The claim that the “Federal Reserve” is “unconstitutional” actually entails a broad family of arguments. I can imagine four mostly distinct, sometimes overlapping lines of argument, although there may of course be others. First, the Fed is unconstitutional because it pursues bad policy. That is, “unconstitutional” and “pursues bad policy” are treated as synonyms: when the Fed pursues good policy, it is constitutional; when it pursues bad policy, it is unconstitutional. Second, the Fed is unconstitutional because our federal government is one of enumerated powers, and nowhere does the Constitution permit the modern practice of monetary policy. This is an existential challenge: accepting this argument necessarily means the abolition of the Federal Reserve. Third, the government may be able to pursue monetary policy, but must do so squarely within the Madisonian tripartite framework of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches. This is not an existential challenge per se, but would require the Federal Reserve to lose its vaunted “independence”—as that term is conventionally used—and be subject to the direct control of the executive branch, subject to legislative design. And fourth, central banking fits within the constitutional framework, and an independent Fed does too, but specific features of the Federal Reserve violate specific constitutional principles or provisions as the Supreme Court has construed them. In that sense, the Fed itself is not unconstitutional so much as, for example, the participation of private citizens on the Federal Open Market Committee is constitutionally impermissible.
Because of space concerns, this will attempt only a partial analysis of the last line of argument. Beyond the next few paragraphs, it will all but ignore the rest, for different reasons. The first can be summarily dismissed as the cable news constitutional critique of the Federal Reserve. In the popular imagination, the terms “unconstitutional” and “bad policy” are frequently synonyms. This is a common but regrettable affront to law, language, and democratic deliberation. I do not dismiss the policy concerns, of course: debate about the role of the Fed in the face of financial, fiscal, and monetary crises is important, even essential. But if the inquiry is truly a constitutional one, the policy arguments must remain, to the fullest extent possible, distinct.
The second line of argument is squarely constitutional, but—despite its interest to those libertarians who ascribe to the views of Ron Paul or Murray Rothbard—the argument requires too much history and too little law to be tractable. By too much history, I mean that the incompatibility of central banking with American government finds its roots in the classic battles of Alexander Hamilton versus Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson versus Nicholas Biddle. There have been few political fights as consequential as these to our history. As the eminent 19th century financial historian Albert Bolles put it, “When the smoke of the contest [over government banks] had cleared away, two political parties might be seen, whose opposition, though varying much in conviction, power, and earnestness, has never ceased.” Although coalitions continue to shift, the same sentiment is present in conflicts over fiscal, financial, and monetary issues generally. To make sense, then, of this intellectual and political movement in the context of American government requires more space than I have here. And by too little law, I mean that the existential challenges to central banking—including the basis for a fiat currency that developed gradually through the Fed’s first half century—are too inconsistent with long-settled doctrines of constitutional law to be anything but a constitutional do-over. That, again, is not to say that there isn’t much that is interesting within this space, but it requires more context and less connection to the present state of constitutional law to justify engagement.
The third argument—that the Fed is simply too independent to fit within the constitutional structure—is an important one. I’ve written at length on the question of the Fed’s independence. I won’t belabor those arguments here, except to say that I find the concept of “Fed independence” to be virtually meaningless without further specification as to audience (from whom is the Fed independent?) and mechanism (how is that independence regulated?). The usual focus in administrative law—on independence from the President, regulated by the President’s ability vel non to remove an agency’s officers—is woefully inadequate to explain the phenomenon of Fed independence as it has evolved over the last century. The Fed’s independence is both more and less than it seems under that narrow view. And economists’ views of central bank independence are only slightly better: the focus there is also on independence from government, regulated by law. There is a dearth of emphasis on extra-legal mechanisms of independence and non-independence from other audiences, including private banks, internal employees, international central bankers, and others. There is an argument to be made that the Fed’s independence in varying ways does not comport with constitutional principles or provisions, but that argument must specify both audience and mechanism, and explain why that specific relationship matters.
That leaves the last argument, which is really a subset of the third. We can rephrase it as a question: Does the specific institutional design of the Federal Reserve System in its current form pass constitutional muster? I argue that it does not: under current Supreme Court doctrine, the presence of non-removable Reserve Bank presidents on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) renders the FOMC unconstitutional.
The Unconstitutionality of the FOMC
To understand the constitutional argument I’m making, a bit of factual and legal development is necessary. (Again, for further development of related themes, see the article linked above.) Congress created the FOMC, the Federal Reserve System’s monetary policy committee, in 1933 to centralize what had been the quasi-independent monetary policies of the twelve Reserve Banks, themselves created under the original Federal Reserve Act of 1913. Two years later, in the Banking Act of 1935, Congress refashioned the FOMC to include all seven members of the newly created Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (which replaced the original 1913 Federal Reserve Board). The rest of the FOMC included five of the twelve Reserve Bank presidents on a rotating basis. After 1942, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York became a permanent member of the FOMC. By convention, he is also Vice Chair of the Committee. The Committee meets six times per year to announce its outlook on the world and national economy and its decisions regarding various features of monetary policy. I won’t go into detail about the policy levers the Fed pulls; others have presented useful introductions to those levers and the operations generally. See especially Axilrod and the Fed’s own somewhat dated overview.
The presence of the Reserve Banks on the FOMC creates two constitutional debilities. First, the President does not appoint, and the Senate does not confirm, the Banks’ presidents. (Note that while the statute does not require that the Reserve Bank representative be the president, the president is in practice almost always the Bank’s representative.) They are appointed by two-thirds of the directors of each bank. 12 U.S.C. § 341. The directors, in turn, are appointed through a somewhat convoluted statutory process that gives consideration to bankers, selected by bankers; non-bankers, selected by bankers; and non-bankers, selected by the Board of Governors. 12 U.S.C. § 302. The President never formally indicates any preference for their appointment to their posts at the Reserve Banks, and their role within the FOMC is determined by statute. Does this participation violate the Appointments Clause of the Constitution and its requirement of Presidential appointment and Senate confirmation?
Second, the President’s removal authority with respect to the FOMC is circuitous. First, the President has no authority to remove members of the FOMC qua members of the FOMC, just as he has no power to appoint members of that Committee. He appoints and the Senate confirms the seven members of the Board of Governors, who are statutorily members of the FOMC, but also function independently of the FOMC for matters regarding systemic risk regulation, bank supervision, and all else within the Fed’s bailiwick. But put that curiosity to the side, and assume the President’s relationship to the Governors as Governors is identical to his relationship to the Governors qua FOMC members. For Board members in that comprehensive role, the President can remove his appointees “for cause” only. 12 U.S.C. § 242.
So far so good. But what of removal of the Reserve Bank presidents on the FOMC? This is harder. The presidents are removable at the pleasure of the Reserve Bank directors. 12 U.S.C. § 341. Removal of all of those directors is possible, but only after “the cause of such removal” is “forthwith communicated in writing by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to the removed officer or director and to said bank.” 12 U.S.C. 248(f). While there is some ambiguity as to whether this writing “the cause” of such removal is equivalent to “for cause” removal, I think the inclusion of the term “cause” is sufficient to trigger that presumption, especially when utter silence as to removal in other contexts has been deemed sufficient to create the same for-cause presumption. To summarize: the FOMC consists of twelve members. Congress has made it possible for the President to remove seven of those members in their role as Fed Governors “for cause” only. The remaining five (who are themselves partially rotating targets) are subject to a three-level chain of removal: (at will) by the Reserve Bank directors who are removable (for cause) by the Board of Governors who are removable (for cause) by the President. And so, finally, to the question: does this removability matryoshka—unique among the federal regulatory agencies—violate the separation of powers? Let’s take these two constitutional questions in turn. The Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Art. II, § 2, cl. 2, requires “Officers of the United States” to be appointed by the President with the Senate’s advice and consent. But there is an exception for “inferior Officers,” whose appointment Congress may vest “in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.” Id. The first constitutional question, then, for the Appointments Clause is whether the members of the FOMC are principal or inferior officers.
This is a hard and, as we will see, largely irrelevant question.* A key precedent is Edmond v. United States, which held that “[w]hether one is an ‘inferior’ officer depends on whether he has a superior.” 520 U.S. 651, 662-63 (1997). Moreover, “‘inferior officers’ are officers whose work is directed and supervised at some level” by officers appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
I would think the Reserve Bank president on the FOMC could not qualify as an inferior officer by the Edmond standard. The Board of Governors certainly supervises the Reserve Banks in every other respect. 12 U.S.C. § 301. In their roles as Reserve Bank presidents, the inferior officer designation therefore seems apt. But as members of the FOMC, Reserve Bank presidents’ votes count the same as those of their would-be superiors, the President-appointed, Senate-confirmed Board Governors. As we shall see, though, this question of principal versus inferior officers matters not at all once the unconstitutionality of the removability of the Reserve Bank presidents is acknowledged and remedied.
The second constitutional question involves the strange path the President must take in removing Reserve Bank members of the FOMC. Here, the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Free Enterprise Fund v. PCAOB, 130 S. Ct. 3138 (2010), makes it nearly incontrovertible that the FOMC’s structure as to removability is unconstitutional.
Under Free Enterprise Fund, Congress cannot design a system in which the President can remove the head of an agency or department only “for cause,” and the agency head can in turn remove her subordinate only “for cause.” Previously, the Court had upheld a single-layer restriction on the removability of an agency head, in Humphrey’s Executor v. United States, and the restriction on a subordinate employee where the agency head serves at the President’s pleasure, in Morrison v. Olson. Free Enterprise Fund confronted the combination of those two protections: an agency head (presumed, interestingly, since the statute there was silent) removable for cause (here, the Commissioners of the Securities Exchange Commission) who can remove other officers only for cause (here, members of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board). The Court held that “such multilevel protection from removal is contrary to Article II’s vesting of the executive power in the President,” and found the provisions that had established the second layer of for-cause protection unconstitutional. Free Enterprise Fund, 130 S. Ct. at 3147.
Stating the holding in Free Enterprise Fund reveals the constitutional defect of the FOMC. The President cannot remove members of the FOMC without reaching through two explicit for-cause removal restrictions, on top of a third layer of at-will removability. Granted, the relationships between the three layers in the FOMC and the two in the SEC-PCAOB are different, but not in ways that would matter constitutionally. Neither is it a defense to say that the President appoints the majority of the FOMC, and is thus protected from seeing his preferred monetary policies hijacked by those with whom he disagrees. It’s simply not the case that Board members always outnumber the Reserve Bank Presidents on the Committee—for a week during the peak of the financial crisis, the FOMC consisted only of nine individuals: four members of the Board of Governors and five Reserve Bank Presidents.
In my view, then, the short answer is yes: the Federal Reserve, as currently designed, is unconstitutional.
The Cosmetic, Irrelevant, and Nonjusticiable Unconstitutionality of the FOMC
Don’t expect markets to roil or anti-Fed litigation to score any major successes at the announcement of the FOMC’s unconstitutionality. It only matters if Congress wants it to matter, for two reasons. First, this is a constitutional defect that is virtually cosmetic. In Free Enterprise Fund, the Court found a constitutional defect in the inability of the President to remove members of the PCAOB, and eliminated that restriction by judicial fiat. The PCAOB continues to operate just as it had done; its members are appointed just as they had been; and there is no evidence anywhere (that I am aware of) that the PCAOB’s enforcement behavior has changed a bit since the case was decided in 2010. The only difference is that the Court rendered the members of the PCAOB removable by the Commissioners of the SEC. That removal has not, to my knowledge, yet occurred.
If the FOMC removability issue were ever litigated to conclusion—which it won’t be—the result is likely to be the same. See, for example, Intercollegiate Broad. Syst., Inc. v. Copyright Royalty Bd., 684 F.3d 1332, 1334 (D.C. Cir. 2012), which found a similar institutional defect and followed the Free Enterprise Fund Court in judicially reconstructing the relevant statute. The members of the FOMC not appointed by the President would be rendered removable at will by the Board of Governors, just as the Governors supervise the Reserve Banks in every other aspect of the Fed’s wide regulatory berth. And, also following Free Enterprise Fund, that removability will immediately render them Appointments Clause-approved inferior officers. See Free Enterprise Fund, 130 S. Ct. at 3162.
Some defenders of the present configuration may say that such a change would have a chilling effect on the FOMC conversations or votes. Would Jeffrey Lacker or Richard Fischer or Thomas Hoenig dissent, as they have done, if the Board could remove them for any reason at all?
It’s impossible of course to speak with certainty to the counterfactual, but I would think the level of control that already exists over the selection of the Reserve Bank presidents, and the public outcry that would result from the exercise of that legal authority, would be all the protection that people like Larcker, Fischer, and Hoenig would need. Formal protection against removability isn’t necessary to make a removal decision controversial: just ask George W. Bush and Alberto Gonzalez (see the at-will service of U.S. Attorneys) or Richard Nixon and Robert Bork (see the at-will service of Special Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox). The summary firing of at-will employees of the executive led to the ouster of an Attorney General and, in part, the resignation of a President. This reality speaks, in part, to the almost-comical reductionism of agency independence jurisprudence, which, as in Free Enterprise Fund, equates the phenomenon of agency independence with the agency head’s removability status (at-will heads are not independent; for-cause heads are independent). As I and many others have argued, this formalistic equivalence exists only in the corridors of the U.S. and Federal Reporters.
Cosmetic or not, this question will never be litigated to the merits, absent a seismic shift in standing jurisprudence. There is a reason that no court has ever evaluated the institutional design of the FOMC, arguably the most powerful of federal agencies, for constitutional defect. In the 1970s and 1980s, a series of petitioners—first private citizens, then a member of the House of Representatives, and finally Senators—challenged the structure of the FOMC on the Appointments Clause basis. And in each case, the DC Circuit—the initial appellate forum for most litigation on this issue–refused to reach the merits. See Melcher v. FOMC, 836 F.2d 561 (D.C. Cir. 1989); Committee for Monetary Reform v. Board of Governors, 766 F.2d 538 (D.C. Cir. 1985); Riegle v. FOMC, 656 F.2d 873 (D.C. Cir.) (1981); Reuss v. Balles, 584 F.2d 461 (D.C. Cir.) (1978).
Eventually, the Circuit deemed a petitioner to have standing—Senator Riegle—by virtue of his inability to advise and consent on the appointment of the members of the FOMC. But where the Circuit gave with one hand, it took with the other, deciding that “[t]he most satisfactory means of translating our separation-of-powers concerns into principled decision-making is through a doctrine of circumscribed equitable discretion.” The Supreme Court, in its subsequent treatment of legislative standing in Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997), has mostly embraced a similar conclusion regarding legislators’ ability to challenge statutes’ constitutionality. Thus, the courts are unlikely to take up the challenge to the constitutionality of the FOMC. Any hope of redressing this (minor) constitutional defect is in the Congress.
And that is exactly where it belongs. Earlier, I stated that, in the context of administrative law, the identity of policy and constitutional criticisms is an affront to language, law, and democracy. But institutional design and policy are inseparable in the legislative context. What an agency should do—policy—and how the agency should do it—structure/process—are deeply connected issues that deserve the full attention of an active citizenry. I look forward to that debate and earnestly hope that litigants and judges, at least in those capacities, do not.
*A hard and much more relevant threshold question is whether the FOMC is exercising federal policy at all, a prerequisite under Appointments Clause jurisprudence. It is certainly the case that the government has not always had a monopoly on the circulation of currency, for example. I will assume, though, that the FOMC directs federal policy because of the sheer magnitude of the quantities of money at play. While private consortia may exercise some kinds of functions currently in the hands of central banks, I will save for another day the question whether a private party or parties could do so on the stage occupied by the Fed today. For now, I will say only that I am intrigued by but skeptical of this argument."

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