Why Is FaceBook Funding "Anti-Fed" Activists

That's what St. Louis Fed president James Bullard would like to know.

Moments after revealing that the Fed is very close to admitting that the stock market is in a bubble when he told Steve Liesman that "I think we are on the high side of fairly valued, I could see the process getting away from us, maybe tech stocks, maybe others", he shifted to something totally different: the so-called Fed Up "activist protests" which have been taking place at Jackson Hole.

And, as the WSJ reported earlier, a day after an unprecedented gathering between left-leaning activists and many Federal Reserve officials, at least one central banker is questioning the group's motives.

Bullard said funding of the Center for Popular Democracy's Fed Up campaign, which draws in large part on a charity supported by ex- Facebook founder Dustin Moskovitz, whose net worth of $8 billion in 2015 made him the youngest billionaire according to Forbes - has raised questions for him about what the activists are really up to.

Ironically, contrary to normal expectations that ordinary Americans would demand higher rates on their savings, Fed Up wants precisely the opposite.  Fed Up has mounted an aggressive effort to convince the Fed to keep rates ultra low, and to promote diversity in a largely white male dominated central bank, among other desired reforms.

Unlike other, unfunded anti-Fed groups, this particular organization - which appears to be just a "lobbying front" for billionaires - has scored considerable successes in terms of access, meeting with all 12 regional Fed bank president as well as Chairwoman Janet Yellen and some of the Washington-based governors. They've also helped drive congressional Democrats and the campaign of Democratic presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton to support reforms of the Fed that would reduce the banking sector's influence over the central bank.

What is notable about this faux "anti-fed" organization, however, is that the "activists" efforts, which according to the WSJ "are aimed at making sure lower income households and minorities share in the recovery to the same degree as the well off", are in fact anything but.  Because what has not been touched upon is that it is precisely low interest rates that crush low income households and minorities. Don't believe us? This is what Dollar general CEO Todd Vasos said during his conference call yesterday, when his stock plunged by the most on record after reporting disturbing numbers:

I know that when we look at globally the overall U.S. population, it seems like things are getting better. But when you really start breaking it down and you look at that core consumer that we serve on the lower economic scale that's out there, that demographic, things have not gotten any better for her, and arguably, they're worse. And they're worse, because rents are accelerating, healthcare is accelerating on her at a very, very rapid clip....  Healthcare is one of the big ones, because most of our consumers, while she may be working, doesn't have healthcare, and we all know that she's having to now pay for this healthcare or be taxed on it, right? So that is starting to really play against that low-end consumer right now, and it will continue to play against her.

And yet, instead of railing against Obama's policies which are crushing low income consumers, these so-called activists are demanding that all of America's workers continue to suffer zero returns on their savings, while trillions in liquidity end up going to bolster stock prices, pushing the shares of FaceBook, among others, to new all time highs, and making their billionaire sponsor, Dustin Moskovitz, even richer.

What we found most surprising is that Bullard, actually called them out on it.

When it comes to Fed Up, "it's Facebook money," Bullard said. "I think it's kind of a funny thing for them to fund because they want low interest rates in an era where we are awash in low interest rates, so it's kind of crazy, isn't it?"

While Bullard said he agreed with the diversity goals of the group, he'd like to just cut out the middleman on monetary policy, as he sees it.

Dustin Moskovitz

"I think that Dustin Moskovitz should be here, maybe he can helicopter in from Sun Valley or something instead of sending all these people, if he wants low interest rates. He could just come and argue about it," Mr. Bullard said.

This, in itself, was a stunning U-turn, because for the first time ever, the Fed appears to be turning not only against the puppet proxies of America's billionaires, but calling out those very people who benefit from the Fed's policies.

Perhaps Yellen's hawkish turn is not just for show after all.

Bullar's interview segment is below.