Fed Up?
Ideas for Action
Contacts and Information


Use Pension Fund Leverage
Worker pension funds currently total some $10 trillion ÐÐ one of the largest blocks of investment capital in existence. Unions have threatened to pull funds from banks and investment managers who lobby for higher interest rates and other measures harmful to workers and consumers. Cities and states also hold huge investments, and unions have successfully lobbied public officials controlling those funds.

Put Friendly Faces on the Fed
By law, Federal Reserve Districts are supposed to appoint directors with ties to labor and consumers, but they rarely do. Now, that's a fight worth waging! Each Reserve branch also has an advisory council where union representatives can raise issues directly with the Fed. Unions have trained people to fill those posts and worked successfully to have them appointed.

Push For Legal Reform
For all its supposed "independence," the Fed was created (and survives) by the will of Congress. Any major changes to the Fed will almost inevitably require Congressional action. Does your representative serve on the House or Senate banking committee? (www.senate.gov/~ banking or www.house.gov/banking) On the Joint Committee on Economics? (www.senate.gov/~jec) Write your representatives! Write the newspapers. Put Fed Reform on the front burner. 

Organize Conferences and Classes
Economics is no mystery. If ordinary people can grasp the complexities of sports statistics, they can grasp economics ÐÐ if it is explained in a clear, interesting way. Conferences and classes are excellent ways to learn economics and meet others interested in fighting for economic justice. For advice and assistance in organizing such events, contact the sources listed here and your nearest Labor Studies center.

IAM Web Site 

Links and information on Fed and financial matters, including consumer advice for economic "hard times."

IAM Strategic Resources Dept.
9000 Machinists Place
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
(301) 967-4724
IAM economists and researchers provide information and ideas, as well as links to like-minded folk fighting for economic justice. 

815 16th Street NW
Washington DC 20036
(202) 637-5000
Public Policy Department trains prospective Fed directors and advisory council members; tracks and reports on a wide range of economic issues. Education Department publishes print and web-based material including Common Sense Economics (an educational series) and CEO compensation reports.

Economic Policy Institute
1660 L Street NW Washington, DC 20036
(202) 775-8810 
Highly-regarded Òthink tankÓ publishes annual State of Working America report, and other high-quality economic studies. Website has extensive links to great data sources and progressive economic groups.

Financial Markets Center
PO Box 334 
Philomont, VA 20131
(540) 338-7754 
Specializes in tracking the Fed; trains Fed directors and advisory council members; publishes newsletters and bulletins; great databases and archives.

For more information on the Federal Reserve System (and economic matters, generally) click on the items below:

In Over Your Head? 
For advice on handling credit problems and economic "hard times" contact the National Federation for Consumer Credit, www.nfcc.org, (1-800-388-2227).

Did YOUR Banker Vote for Higher Rates? 
How did banks in your area (represented as directors for the various Federal Reserve Districts) vote about the direction the economy should take? Many voted for bigger rate hikes than the Fed finally enacted, and your union, city or state probably does business with those banks. Find out how they voted -- and hold them accountable.

A Fed Tutorial.
A brief, but comprehensive, tutorial on what the Fed is, what it does, and how it does it. Perfect for stewards classes and labor education courses: