Hundreds of climate activists blockaded the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, demanding that the Fed stop funding the fossil fuel industry on Monday September 18, somewhat coincidentally on the twelve year anniversary of Occupy Wall Street and during the UN’s 2023 so called Climate Ambition Summit. 110 non-violent protestors were arrested by the NYPD for disorderly conduct. A coalition of demonstrators, organized by New York Communities for Change and Extinction Rebellion NYC gathered at the original base of OWS, Zuccotti park, before descending like an angry swarm of endangered locusts upon the Fed.
The demonstration was almost as strange and unlikely as a founding member of Occupy Wall Street such as myself writing about the Federal Reserve for 1776 Returns wouldn’t you agree?
Most conservative Fed watchers from both Wall Street and MAGA alike thought that the climate protestors were mad stupid.
God clearly signaled her solidarity with the protestors by flooding NYC with a month’s worth of rain by nightfall on Friday October 29, not at all coincidentally on the 11 year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which killed 48 New Yorkers, and nearly a month after the 2 year anniversary of Hurricane Ida which killed 11 new Yorkers, with more from dead from both storms across North America and the Caribbean. September in NYC is the start of the tourist season because the weather is usually even dryer than my sense of humor, rarely exceeding 6.5 inches of rain. God sent 7.25 inches by nightfall on Friday with no end in sight. The city’s drainage pipes can only handle 1.75 inches of rain per hour.
“This changing weather pattern is the result of climate change, and the sad reality is our climate is changing faster than our infrastructure can respond,” said Rohit Aggarwala, commissioner of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.
I have been trying to get climate justice activists to pay attention to the Fed since the “Flood Wall Street” protests of September of 2014.
An entire contingent of several dozen Extinction Rebellion activists ironically marched right past what was left of OWS just before this photo below was taken on our nine-year anniversary on September 17 2020. XR didn’t even want to stick around for any of the free pizza that I used to lure and drag all of these occupiers from Zuccotti to the Fed with.
Most people don’t realize that the fossil fuel industry would have gone the way of the dinosours by now had the Fed not covertly bailed it out during the covid pandemic.
The oil and gas industry had already been losing money due to competition from alternatives such as wind and solar. Negative public opinion forced banks to limit their investments and forced governments to pledge to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels well before the corona virus lockdown. The industry’s stock market value and employee base were in decline.
On April 9, 2020 the Fed announced the eligibility criteria and general terms for the emergency lending facilities targeted at small and midsized businesses, collectively referred to as the Main Street Lending Program. The MSLP was originally designed to help small businesses that were struggling to stay open and not fire their employees due to the lockdown. The oil and gas industry, its allies in Congress, and the Trump administration lobbied the Fed for changes to the bill. The Independent Petroleum Association of America specifically demanded to use the Main Street Lending Program to pay off debts they accrued from well before the pandemic.
The oil companies knew they would have gone bankrupt were it not for emergency bailout money from the Fed that was originally meant to help small, locally owned businesses struggling during the lockdown. But the $150 million loan limit wasn’t enough for them. The petroleum association demanded even larger loans. Mid-sized gas companies needed $200 to $250 million. The limit was increased to $300 million in June 2020. The gas association further insisted that they wouldn’t bother making any reasonable attempt to retain or compensate their employees. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and Republican Sen. Cruz both thanked the Fed on Twitter for caving to the oil and gas industry’s demands.
Just 100 companies are responsible for 71% of global emissions. They would all crumble, die and wither away on their own, paving, or perhaps un-paving the way for cleaner, greener brighter future were it not for the Fed.
77 of these big oil companies pocketed a combined $8.2 billion while they slashed nearly 60,000 jobs in 2020.
Occidental Petroleum, number 55 on the Guardians top 100 worst polluters list, raked in a $195 million tax bailout while eliminating 18% of its employees. Devon Energy, number 62, received a $143 million tax bailout while laying off 22% of its workforce. Marathon, number 64, received $2.1 billion in tax breaks while laying off 9% of its workforce.
The Fed also made it clear to investors that it would bail out the big oil spillers Exxon, Chevron, and BP. The Fed ultimately helped oil and gas companies borrow nearly $100 billion from private markets.
The Fed was originally established only to bail out Wall Street banks, not normal businesses, or individuals. Fed architect Carter glass told the Senate in January 1922 that the reserve banks “do not loan, cannot loan a dollar to any individual in the United States nor to any corporation in the United states but only to stockholding banks.”
The Fed clearly exceeded its mandates by lending to the oil and gas industry among many other domestic and foreign private and even a few public entities during the pandemic.
The Fed’s covert, covid, climate bailouts for the oil and gas industry were merely the tip of the proverbially and literally melting iceburg. “The world’s 60 largest private banks have provided more than $5.5 trillion in financing to the fossil fuel industry since 2016. That includes over $1.5 trillion since 2021—the year the International Energy Agency stated that investments in new coal, oil, and gas extraction and infrastructure projects are incompatible with its net-zero by 2050 pathway. The same banks are currently carrying $1.35 trillion of exposures to fossil fuel assets.”
Powell made it clear in January of 2023 that the Fed would not use monetary policy to promote a greener economy or to achieve other climate-based goals without explicit legislation from congress.
“We are not, and will not be, a ‘climate policymaker’,” he said.
Powell is obviously a complete hypocrite given how the Fed drastically influenced climate policy by bailing out the oil industry by corrupting congressional legislation intended to fund OUR small businesses on Main Street. Indeed, Powell himself acknowledged that “addressing climate change seems likely to require policies that would have significant distributional and other effects on companies, industries, regions, and nations.”
He explained that the Fed would not “incentivize banks to lend to green projects or discourage them from lending to carbon-producing ones.”
Powell’s hypocrisy clearly pissed off my fellow tree huggers into finally paying attention to the Fed!
The U.S. has endured 23 extreme weather disasters that cost at least a new annual record of $1 billion in 2023 at the time of the first ever climate strike at the Fed for example. This is exactly the type of shit that Kevin Stiroh, executive vice president of the New York Fed and chair of the U.S. Fed’s Supervision Climate Committee is supposed to be paying attention to at the Fed. He seems to be an unlikely ally rather than enemy to the environment surprisingly enough. Stiroh seems grounded enough to understand that everything is going to get more expensive if farms and factories are destroyed by flooding and/or fires due to climate change. He has co-authored papers both on the financial costs of climate change for banks as well as the impact of banks on climate change. But Stiroh works for Powell. So, Stiroh won’t be able to force the Fed to invest in renewable energy anytime soon unless we occupy the Fed again.
We will most certainly continue to fall, one by one to unnatural, untimely, unpleasant deaths from the tentacles of the Federal Reserve Banking system of debt slavery should we all choose to remain politically divided. However we might just be able to survive and turn all of this around if the Left and the Right of this country get over their shit with one another just long enough to make a united stand against the Fed.
The Left and the Right don’t even need to unite against the Fed for the same reasons in order to make this country great again apparently based on what I just observed from the climate justice protest at the Fed last Monday.
You will no doubt find it strange and misguided to see more and more radical leftists protesting the Fed for woke reasons instead of inflation, taxes, war and debt slavery in the near future if you are a conservative. Rest assured that we aren’t any happier about working ourselves even harder to death for less then we are worth in order to fund bailouts, bonuses and wars.
I didn’t exactly see any climate protestors at the Fed waving signs thanking Jerome Powell for raising interest rates one Monday September 18.
The Left isn’t for inflation and another inevitable recession any more than the right even though the Left prioritizes our climate. I hope that the Right will understand that we are in solidarity with their grievances against the Fed when we attack it from the Left flank. The Fed is so evil that it fucks us all over in a myriad of ways that no single one of us is even fully capable of comprehending on our own, which is precisely why we need to put our heads together when it comes to the Fed. Studying the Fed has taught me that the Right has a far more intuitively correct understanding of the Fed’s relationship with war, taxes and perpetual debt slavery that the Left is also morally obliged to oppose. The Left doesn’t need any conservatives to give a damn about racism, sexism, pollution or any other kind of wokeism, as far as I am concerned, to rise up and attack your true enemy, the Fed, rather than us, from the Right flank.
But I think it’s good for everyone on the Right to realize that you will ironically make America and the entire world a much safer, cleaner, healthier and “woker” world for those of us that you disagree with and perhaps may even vehemently despise once you rise up against the Fed for your reasons, according to your own values.
So thank you for hating the Federal Reserve for any little reason whatsoever no matter who you may happen to be!