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Minority-Led ‘Fed Up’ Coalition Challenges Federal Reserve Officials
Posted on Aug 26, 2016
Black and Latino working-class activists attempted to hold leading U.S. economic policymakers accountable to communities of color by posing tough questions to 10 Federal Reserve presidents and governors at the institution’s annual Jackson Hole Policy Symposium on Thursday.
The nonprofit Center for Popular Democracy, home to the Fed Up campaign, explained the reason for the confrontation in advance of the meeting: “As the Fed weighs up whether to raise interest rates in September—a move that would make it harder for our communities to find jobs and win higher wages—over 100 low-wage workers from communities of color will be there to make sure the Fed hears from people who are still struggling in this economy.”
Huffington Post reporter Daniel Marans writes that Fed Up has “met individually with the governors and regional bank presidents before; they spoke with some Fed officials less formally at the past two Jackson Hole gatherings.” This was the first year, however, that members of the group were granted a scheduled audience face to face.
How did it go? Little in the way of a record of the exchanges appears to have made it out of the meeting. But Marans got reactions from Fed Up campaign manager Jordan Haedtler and a spokesman for the Kansas City Fed.
The campaign has met with some success. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton indicated support for the basic premises of the campaign in May after weeks of private discussion with group representatives.
“Secretary Clinton believes that the Fed needs to be more representative of America as a whole as well as that commonsense reforms—like getting bankers off the boards of regional Federal Reserve banks—are long overdue,” said a Clinton spokesman at the time.
Earlier this month, whether Fed Up would have the opportunity to challenge the Fed was cast into doubt when the group was informed that a computer glitch, as they were told, canceled over a dozen of their room reservations at the Jackson Lake Lodge. After complaining to the U.S. Department of Justice that perhaps they were being targeted, members of Congress sympathetic to their cause sent Fed Chair Janet Yellen a letter asking for an explanation.
Truthdig intended to cover the confrontation Thursday night via an advertised live stream that never materialized.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
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