After Federal Reserve Talks One Way About ARC, No FRBNY Live Response Provides Confidential Response

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Story
BBC- gbritish tutorHonduras- ESPN

FEDERAL COURT/S Bronx, July 19 — Whether the US Community Reinvestment Act will actually be enforced under the new administration and its regulators remains an open question. But no live questions were asked by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York when it spoke, one-sidedly, about the ARC this month.

“This virtual event is aimed at banks, consumer and community organizations, CRA stakeholders and the general public. Selected questions submitted during registration will be answered at the event. There will be no live questions.”

Inner City Press asked them, “Why did the FRBNY decide that ‘there would be no live questions’? Who decided that?”

On July 12, after the event, an FRBNY “corporate communications associate” who asked not to be named emailed back a response labeled “off the record.” Is this a way for a public institution to react? Except that Federal Reserve Banks are NOT public institutions. So why do they play a role in setting policy (like the CRA) and approving bank mergers? We will have more on this. And that:

The CFPB, Inner City Press has learned, has a policy of automatically closing complaints that name more than one institution, saying they can (or will) only forward the complaint to one institution. This makes little sense on, for example, a bank transfer. But the CFPB press office has yet to explain, so a FOIA request has been submitted. Look at this site.

In December, Inner City Press reported that BMO Harris’ bid to buy Bank of the West and its more than 500 branches from BNP would be a litmus test.

Fair Finance Watch noted from day one that in 2020, BMO Harris turned down far more mortgage applications from African Americans than it approved: 509 turned down compared to just 223 loans granted to African Americans. African Americans, nationwide. BMO’s figures for whites were the reverse: 9,270 loans granted, compared to less than 6,000 refusals.

On May 17, the Federal Reserve and the OCC announced that they will hold at least one public meeting: The public meeting will be held virtually on July 14, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. EDT. Members of the public wishing to submit oral comments must register by 12:00 p.m. EDT on June 23, 2022, via the online registration webpage.”

Inner City Press/Fair Finance Watch visited the page on June 20, Juneteenth (Observed), to sign up – and found the Fed’s “we want to hear from you” – in 200 characters. Is it sufficient? Fair Finance Watch wrote: “Concerns: BMO Harris HMDA disparities (nationally in 2020 only 223 mortgages to African Americans, vs 9,270 to whites), its destruction of evidence in an MN bankruptcy case; BNP’s activities in Russia.

Next came a series of emails from the Federal Reserve that became spam, then a threat that if one didn’t appear on the screen for the Fed in one of four one-hour windows (three remaining), you could not testify. You had to ask to get the WebEx link. Inner City Press signed up – then came, at the same time, an FBI press conference on the OneCoin crypto fraud, which the Fed told Inner City Press under FOIA that it didn’t have a single document . Oh good?

The penultimate installment clashes with a press conference by the new president of the UN Security Council for July, Brazil. And July 5? The irony was that Inner City Press did the same by signing up for the US Bancorp – MUFG public meeting. Why have to do it again?

We testified and commented again in writing before the July 19 deadline. We’ll have more on that – watch this site.

Inner City Press (and Fair Finance Watch, on the HMDA) will have more to say on this. Look at this site.


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