New York Fed Brownshirt Jason Barker Urges Police to Crack Skulls of #OWS

I’ve deliberately waited a bit before examining the remark of one Jason Barker, an employee of the New York Fed, on a New York Post article that ran the day after the November 17 Occupy Wall Street protests. My initial negative reaction to his comment still holds.

The Post piece itself presented itself as a celebration of police bloodlust, but it was actually more nuanced and fairminded than you’d expect. Its headline screamed, “Ready riot cops whack back at OWS hooligans.” And the “whack” part is an understatement. Anyone who is concerned about the rise of police state tactics and the use of undue force would be put off by the conduct described in the article. This is how it starts:

It was a blur of batons, beatings and blood.

Police in riot gear answered the Occupy Wall Street mobilization with a display of force that overwhelmed protesters everywhere they gathered.

“I saw somebody kick the [barricade] — and all of a sudden the police kicked in and cracked his head,” a protester named Tim, 20, said after witnessing a Zuccotti Park confrontation that left a comrade bleeding profusely before he was hauled off to a police van.

“They were stepping on his face . . . They were hitting with batons. They bum-rushed him and tackled him and slammed his head down,” said the bystander. “One put his foot on the guy’s head.”

The article fails to mention that the crowd was estimated at 32,000 by the city and 40,000 by Occupy Wall Street. It’s hard to believe the police “overwhelmed” the protestors at all points given the size of the turnout. But this is the sort of “resistance is futile” message we’ve also noted in the New York Times accounts of the demonstrations.

The article continues:

In another Zuccotti showdown, cops chased a male protester into the park. They pushed him into a flower bed. He was stomped, and his head hit the concrete edge.

He left behind a pool of blood and a boot.

“I was screaming, ‘Be peaceful, be peaceful,’ ” said Seana, 38. “And then they [police] rammed. They pushed me down, and I fell backwards — and they just kept coming at us.

“It was completely intentional; they were trying to start a riot.”

The entire article continues in this vein. Despite the drive by shooting of OWS in the headline, the Post describes police violence in gory detail and has quite a few quotes from demonstrators saying how unwarranted it was. The only incident depicted where the framing could lead a reader to think the Occupiers had brought the reaction on themselves is:

Chaos erupted again at around 11 a.m., when demonstrators took down police barricades.

Streaming into the park, protesters grabbed a metal barricade and started dragging it, screaming, “Whose fences? Our fences!”

Bottom line: the story gives a pretty graphic account of acts police brutality, and for the most part, presents the Occupiers as peaceful protestors, not aggressors.

This is the first of 69 comments on the article:

Yes, this is the name of a real New York Fed employee. I’ve called the New York Fed and there is a Jason Barker working there. It seems unlikely that a third party would make use of the name and Facebook profile (the NY Post comment links to Facebook) of a junior Fed staffer. See his Linkedin profile:

And this is from his Facebook account:

Now you might say it is unfair to draw conclusions from public snippets, but these in fact are all what Barker has chosen to present about himself, not some out-of-context, overheard remark. And they not only say interesting things about Barker, but also about the New York Fed.

Note that Barker went to a third tier business school yet managed to land a job at the New York Fed when unemployment among recent graduates is at record highs. And that is curious. While the image of the Fed is that of a bastion of white male privilege, that is more true of the Board of Governors than the New York Fed. Under pressure from Fed nemesis Representative Henry Gonzalez, Greenspan answered a query in 1993 on the background of Board of Governors’ staff making more than $125,000 a year. Out of nearly 2000 employees, there was one woman and one minority group member in that tier. Goldman’s investment banking division in 1981 scored better on diversity than the Board of Governors did more than a decade later.

The New York Fed, by contrast, has been far more ethnically diverse, but don’t mistake that for intellectually diverse. One staffer who worked in multiple policy areas at the New York Fed the early 1980s said all the second tier leaders in his areas were women, which was rare in business, let alone financial services, in those days. However, the New York Fed places a great premium on academic credentials. That does not mean simply “good schools” but someone who is or could be on the tenure track. There is a lack of appreciation that what it takes to be a good academic and a good policy maker are often two different things (for instance, Arthur Burns, who was an accomplished scholar, made for a lousy Fed chairman).

Bank supervision, where Barker works, is not where the hot shots go. The prestigious staff roles relate to the central banking functions: economic research, macro modeling, and of course, monetary policy. PhD monetary economists rule the roost. And there is considerable group think. The organization is very vertical, with little lateral hiring except at the very top levels. The result is intellectual inbreeding. I’m told the public rejection of perspectives that ruffled the Fed’s world view, such as Robert Shiller being pushed off the the New York Fed’s economic advisory board after he suggested that there was a housing bubble pre crisis and the dressing down of Raghuram Rajan at Jackson Hole in 2005 is consistent with an internal posture of ignoring people who don’t fall in with the party line.

Having said that, the New York Fed has been trying off and on to improve its bank oversight functions. A contact wrote:

Years ago bank supervision was run by a male Irish mafia and in many ways it was a backwater. It is no longer the case even as the size and prestige of Bank Sup has fluctuated as crises have ebbed and flowed. It is not stocked top to bottom with Ph.D.s but there some very good people their including people who were rotated in from the Markets Group and Research. Recently they have successful in hiring people laid-off by the Street. Hopefully these people will bring a new mind set and insight in to the Street mind set.

So let’s return to Barker. He can’t even spell “hippie” correctly. He’s presumably a libertarian (the anti-immigration and “53%” identifiers are tells). Libertarians profess to be against the coercive use of state power, yet Barker eagerly advocates inflicting severe injuries onto protestors with no due process. So he looks to be an authoritarian and a hypocrite.

But let’s go further. His job as a bank examiner means that he is tasked with gathering information, making interpretations, and enforcing laws and regulations. Yet his remarks and his Facebook page reveal he’s not at all well suited to that sort of task. The “We are the 53%” is propaganda meant to suggest that the Occupiers are unemployed non-taxpayers, when unemployment rates among the protestors are lower than among Tea Partiers. Similarly, I know quite a few people (investors, hedgies, well off retirees) who make a lot more than Barker does who also support OWS.

The most damning bit, of course, is that Barker advocates police brutality and seems unwilling to consider that any issues regarding public safety (which have been asserted far more than proven) still need to be weighed against considerations of due process and First Amendment rights. The city clearly was not even remotely interested in public safety. If their concerns really did relate to the conditions in the park, they would have allowed OWS to rent port-a-potties, and would have negotiated or set forth minimum conditions for continued overnight presence (say, expulsion of anyone found using drugs, weekly cleanings of the park, and leaving 1/4 completely free for use of the locals). The eviction was clearly to quash an annoyance to the powerful.

The interesting question is why a new employee like Barker would make a provocative remark in a public place in his own name. Possibility one is that simply he has terrible judgment and is foolishly putting his career at risk. His comment appears to run afoul of the New York Fed Code of Conduct:

Query whether advocating violence by the police, which shows a disregard for due process and will be presumed to reflect a bias in favor of powerful interests against those of frustrated, disenfranchised citizens, is an appropriate posture for someone involved in bank regulation.

Possibility two is that he judged correctly that his bloodthirsty views were widely shared at the New York Fed and there would be no negative repercussions. I suspect the latter.

Earlier in this thread, I suggested that bank examiners ought to examine banks, which means assess the caliber of their operations and management and determine whether they are in compliance with the laws and regulations. But we discussed repeatedly in the runup to the financial crisis that the Fed was not terribly interested in supervising financial firms. It stopped examining primary dealers in 1992. It failed to enforce the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act, which mandated supervision of and restrictions on high cost mortgage lenders. Even the bank friendly Office of the Comptroller was more serious about HOEPA than the Fed.

Similarly, I met a Fed officer in the Fed’s Regulation and Supervision division in the spring of 2007, and he simply refused to consider that originator fraud existed (and since he helped brief Roger Cole before met with the Senate Banking Committee in April 2007 to defend the Fed’s conduct regarding subprime lending, there was good reason to think his views were representative of those held within the central bank). Not surprisingly, pro-bank, anti-borrower sentiments appear to be widely held within the Fed. Colleagues who’ve met with Fed staffers to discuss the mortgage market have reported that they are firm believers that strategic defaults are common (when, as we’ve discussed, the studies on them are embarrassingly bad) and are outraged at the idea that people are not paying their mortgages (have they not heard of job losses and medical bankruptcies, or has it not occurred to them that defaulting six months before you hit the wall, so you have enough cash to move and put down a deposit on a rental, is something a financial planner would recommend?). Even though the New York Fed is trying to improve its regulatory staff, it is looking to the industry for “talent”. That’s unlikely to challenge the existing world view.

So Barker has made some underlying truths blindingly obvious. The central bank doesn’t want independent thinkers who actually might know something about banking as regulators; it apparently wants staffers who are unabashedly pro bank and will follow simple-minded formulas regardless of whether they have anything to do with the law. Jason, who is dumb enough to identify himself as one of a 53%, is in fact a willing tool of the 1%, to be discarded when he is no longer of any use to them. In some ways, these foot soldiers of corruption are more contemptible than the higher ups, for they’ve sold what little integrity they ever had for for promises and crumbs.

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  1. Jeff

    Poor Jason, little did he know that his screed would go public. His entire education–and thus his loan portfolio that will follow him to the grave, gnawing at his salary until paid off–seems geared to servicing and continuing the Ponziconomy of the fed. (no I won’t capitalize it).

    1. Phil Perspective

      The day after that comment appeared, I called the NY Fed Fraud/Ethics hotline to file a complaint against Mr. Barker. I told the person taking the call that in any other line of work, I would be fired for doing what he did. I guess they haven’t done squat yet.

      1. cwaltz

        Everybody ought to be calling. The Fed is a PUBLIC/private collaboration. The schmuck ought to lose his job.

        1. David

          Really? Maybe you could post a list of who owns the federal reserve stock, you know, percentages, names, that kind of thing?

          1. cwaltz

            Perhaps you would like to explain what the function of FED is? It’s a central bank and it exists at the pleasure of this country and it’s citizenry. Look up its history.

            For the record, the Congress doesn’t have STOCKHOLDERS. Does that mean it isn’t a PUBLIC venture? Does that mean that it’s members don’t have to adhere to it’s rules?

            Seriously.(shaking my head at the stupidity of the comment)

          2. MB

            Beautiful game. Print unlimited money; loan it at 1% or less (to keep the banks afloat from their betting games. Bank gets to rape their “customers” for fees and interest, and then the member banks themselves get a 6% DIVIDEND from their supplier, the FED? A captive kickback. SWEET!

        2. steelhead23

          Lose his job?! Hell, I think he should be promoted. His remarks perfectly captured the view from 44 Maiden Lane. In fact, he should become the spokesman for Dudley – perhaps even starting a blog called “telling it like it is.” Y’all don’t like this? Tough – like Carlin said – yo’ ain’t in the club.

        3. JTFaraday

          Just one more reason to End the Fed.

          In fact, just let this week’s official “Little Putz of the Week” (I think this should be regular feature) keep his job and let’s End the Fed Instead.

          OWS can put it in front of the General Assembly for consideration.

          How many lobbying groups does the organized crime ring that American banking has become really need?

      2. Tony

        I’ve been reading his Facebook wall posts. Apparently he thinks investment bankers have a cocaine problem:

        November 19 at 2:18pm
        Jason Barker– The reason the Occupy Wall Street protesters don’t have jobs is because none of them can pass the pre-employment drug screening!
        Katie Sweere– Lies
        Jason Barker– Well, I mean clearly not EVERY OWS protester is a drug addict. “But most of them are…and all it takes is most of them” (South Park quote in case you didn’t know)
        Katie Sweere– and most people on wall street do blow ….. therefore your point is?
        Katie Sweere– :)
        Jason Barker– Oops! You’re right! I totally forgot about the blow + Red Bull combos rampant in investment banks. I stand corrected (that’s not unusual for me)

  2. Gene O'Grady

    About ten years ago in my wayward career path I found myself providing support (financial, data, some elementary computer stuff) to an academic-medical security group. Probably the most vivid impression of that time is the extent to which the managers were trying to get rid of the cowboy (apologies to people who ride horses with ropes in their hands) behavior this guy seems to advocate in favor of, well, normal people who did a thankless job well, and of the difficulties placed in their path by HR and by the expectations of some in higher management.

    And even further back when I was in the corporate world I had some contact with ex-military security professionals who spent a good deal of their time rebuffing idiotic suggestions from corporate officers, usually driven by consultants/salesmen who got access to them.

  3. Slim

    This makes me sick. BUT, you really need not look beyond the Repo-105 transaction (see Lehman) to know that the Fed, NYFRB, Treasury, etc. and any regulatory authority are totally 100% owned by Wall Street. Look at Bloomberg’s disclosure about Paulson insider-trading today, or yesterday’s info about the $7 trillion in secret Fed loans. No matter where you look, the actions of the government, banks, and regulatory authority is at the service of the financial elite/Wall Street hegemony. I grow tire of watching my 401/K and 403/B dwindle while these psychopaths get rich. I worry for my and my children’s future. It is a mendacious, corrupt, and sociopathic government and economic system.

    It. Must. Fall.

    1. YankeeFrank

      You said it. But my cohort in GenX has their heads so far up their own asses they actually think things are the same as they were 20-30 years ago. All to justify their own laziness and small beer corruption. I have little hope these bankster miscreants and their government enablers will ever see justice, but I can wish.

      1. LeonovaBalletRusse

        the culture: “Covenant House” in NYC for captive runaways;
        “Boys Town” and “Franklin Cover-up scandals from Omaha to D.C. under Reagan; Joyce McKinney of “TABLOID” fame, who is ready to tell the story of Mormon *systemic* abuse of women and girls, and of robotic *boys* brought up to be Patriarchs (of the 1%) or slaves (of the 99%).

        Read Alice Miller’s books re the EuroElite traditon of incest and pederasty, embraced by centuries of Roman Catholic *social* capture, still heading Holy Roman Reich IV, governing the *Club of Rome*, guiding Old World European Dynastic Bankers and their Agents Stateside.

        Read: “TRANCE:Formation of America: The True Life Story of a CIA Mind Control Slave” by Cathy O’Brien with Mark Phillips (, Reality Marketing, Incorporated, 1995, ISBN 0-9660165-4-8, Library of Congress 2001 616223), and believe it.

        Look into the eyes of the robotic Mitt Romney. Is he not mind-controlled by the Mormon *Patriarchs* for the Reich? How about Clinton’s drug-addled eyes on the prize?

        It’s heinous abuse, it’s war against humanity, and it’s rampant globally, folks. The 1% “does us” with consummate cruelty, leaving whole societies, whole civilizations, ruined in their wake, SETTNG THE EXAMPLE embraced by the down and out with “no prospects” for success in the world. Their continual propaganda and *games* are converting our childrens’ *neuronal circuitry* for their craven ends, even as we speak; their parents, brain-dead from TV and other *marketing* and *advertising* propaganda, and from *overwork* in the MonopolyCapitalist Kultur, are useless.

        Paging Dr. Gabor Mate! Speak to *We the People* right now. Tell us *How It Works* from generation-to-generation, so we can defend ourselves and our families from the onslaught of these sadistic criminals and their accomplices.

    1. Helen

      Seriously? Diagnosing someone with mental illness (sociopathy) as a result of a cursory review of one comment posted on a newspaper that encourages sensational response with its own sensational reporting, and his LinkedIn and FB profiles?

      I thought the first rule of the Internet (after the “is for porn” rule) was “do not read the comments” — present company excepted. Comments are generally not a place to find well-reasoned arguments, or reasoned arguments, period. It’s basically a bathroom stall door.

      This guy was a moron to post his name publicly, and, I suppose, that does distinguish him somewhat from the thousands of other anti-OWS folks out there posting comments anonymously to celebrate the violence of the crackdown.

      1. PL

        yes, he’s a sociopath:

        “Occupy Wall Street protesters are just jealous because they’re lazy and stupid. Only losers talk about making everything “fair”. If you are motivated enough to try to get to the top you don’t want the lazy people to take away what’s rightfully yours. We are Wall Street, we’re smarter and more dedicated than you. Deal with it.”

        –Jason Barker, Facebook, Oct. 23, 2011

        1. David

          Can’t be much clearer than that. Working for the NY Fed, he considers himself “Wall Street” not government.

          Just another Wall Street corporation.

        2. shekissesfrogs

          Does anyone remember that horribly obnoxious anonymous letter to the world from a day-trader posted on line more than a few years ago? It went something like this… it was dripping with conceit, that successful traders were the apex predators and when the jobs got scarce they were coming for ours.. because we are all lazy anti-competitive whining crybabies.

          Spark any memories, Anyone?

          I wish I could remember more details, enough to find a link. Anyway, your post of his facebook comment reminds me of that.

        3. shekissesfrogs

          Found it. Maybe Jason Barker is the author..

          ““We are Wall Street. It’s our job to make money. Whether it’s a commodity, stock, bond, or some hypothetical piece of fake paper, it doesn’t matter. We would trade baseball cards if it were profitable. I didn’t hear America complaining when the market was roaring to 14,000 and everyone’s 401k doubled every 3 years. Just like gambling, its not a problem until you lose. I’ve never heard of anyone going to Gamblers Anonymous because they won too much in Vegas.

          Well now the market crapped out, & even though it has come back somewhat, the government and the average Joes are still looking for a scapegoat. God knows there has to be one for everything. Well, here we are.

          Go ahead and continue to take us down, but you’re only going to hurt yourselves. What’s going to happen when we can’t find jobs on the Street anymore? Guess what: We’re going to take yours. We get up at 5am & work till 10pm or later. We’re used to not getting up to pee when we have a position. We don’t take an hour or more for a lunch break. We don’t demand a union. We don’t retire at 50 with a pension. We eat what we kill, and when the only thing left to eat is on your dinner plates, we’ll eat that.

          For years teachers and other unionized labor have had us fooled. We were too busy working to notice. Do you really think that we are incapable of teaching 3rd graders and doing landscaping? We’re going to take your cushy jobs with tenure and 4 months off a year and whine just like you that we are so-o-o-o underpaid for building the youth of America. Say goodbye to your overtime and double time and a half. I’ll be hitting grounders to the high school baseball team for $5k extra a summer, thank you very much.

          So now that we’re going to be making $85k a year without upside, Joe Mainstreet is going to have his revenge, right? Wrong! Guess what: we’re going to stop buying the new 80k car, we aren’t going to leave the 35 percent tip at our business dinners anymore. No more free rides on our backs. We’re going to landscape our own back yards, wash our cars with a garden hose in our driveways. Our money was your money. You spent it. When our money dries up, so does yours.

          The difference is, you lived off of it, we rejoiced in it. The Obama administration and the Democratic National Committee might get their way and knock us off the top of the pyramid, but it’s really going to hurt like hell for them when our fat a**es land directly on the middle class of America and knock them to the bottom.

          We aren’t dinosaurs. We are smarter and more vicious than that, and we are going to survive. The question is, now that Obama & his administration are making Joe Mainstreet our food supply…will he? and will they?””

      2. Fiver

        How about “budding sociopath” or “promising young sociopath” or “apprentice sociopath”?

        After all, what is presented fits readily with much of what the clinical profile requires. We can’t tell about the rest because his head is stuck so far up his arse. But if he stays at that stinkhole of an institution, he’ll make it to Full Sociopath for sure.

      3. LeonovaBalletRusse

        Helen, maybe you see it as a “bathroom stall”–in the eyes of the beholder–but the NC commentariat holds forth in a really decent chat room, day and night.

        1. Helen

          Yes, you’ll note I said “present company excepted”, because comments here really are worth reading, most of the time. Even the occasional trolls are amusing.

          But comments on the NY Post? Or on virtually any net-published TV, newspaper or magazine? Trolls are rampant because they get so much food, and their posts are much lower quality, so not even very amusing.

          I’m not saying Mr. Barker is right, or that he’s misunderstood, or make any sort of apology for what he actually said. I just think it’s a stretch to label someone with mental illness based on a very limited review of comments posted on various social media outlets.

          My “armchair diagnosis” is not that he’s a sociopath – which suggests serious difference from the rest of the general ‘middle management with aspirations’ population – but that he’s an all-too normal example of the typical sense of entitlement that manifests frequently in individuals of his race, gender, educational attainment, and age.

  4. Francois T

    Wow! This is the most devastatingly efficient dress down of the Fed I’ve ever seen.

    I strongly believe you are right Yves: Jason is symptomatic of the prevalent thinking at the Fed; and that makes me even more contemptuous of Barack Obama who twisted a lot of arms and stifle quite a few Senators to have Bernanke re-nominated AND severely limit Fed accountability.

    As for the NYPD, they do not deserve any respect from anyone, save the stupid authoritarians and the grateful 0.1%ers who believe they’re safe now.

    If they only read a bit of history…

    1. David

      Let’s distinguish between the NY Fed and Fed Board of Governors. Bernanke is the latter not the former.

  5. Jill

    I was watching the livestream when one man asked the police to pepper spray the crowd so he could get in to work. He treated the police in exactly the way Jason did-as his manservant. I found this revelatory from a number of angles. First the police really are “aligning themselves with those who despise them”. I always wonder what, other than economic desperation and a love of power, one ultimately feels obeying the orders from those who sneer down at you.

    I agree that Jason spoke openly because he knew his words would only cause a problem for him should they become TOO public. Otherwise, he conveyed the exact sentiment of his superiors. From the president on down, the incompentsenti (our incompetent lizard overlords) have seen they can get away with grand larceny, torture and murder. That is a powerful message to send sociopaths.

    OWS is one of the first citizen groups to have success with challenging this idea. You can believe that is one reason why OWS is an existential threat to them.

    1. Blunt

      Bon mot, bon mot, Jill! “the incompentsenti.” Love it.

      *sigh* The major problem with USA today is the very precipitous disappearance of any form of healthy social cohesion and/or empathy. It seems little sought after these days.

      It seems not to be valued by the incompentsenti. *smile*

      1. Jill


        I’m glad you like the word! I keep wondering how such complete losers continue getting/keeping their positions. They really are incompetent! While they don’t value empathy and social cohesion, they do fear it.

        If you go to “left” or “right” wing sites, (I don’t think those words have the same meaning as they did even 15 years ago), you will see govt. propaganda aimed at alienating ordinary people from each other. The govt. must fuel this alienation or people will get wise to what is really going on and stop playing by the incompentsenti’s rules.

        1. Blunt


          I think that the interest of the government to divide people from one another prolly goes back at least as far as institution of slavery in the Colonies. Always someone beneath me and, thus, I am not on the bottom. Which appears to be the least favored place to be and one that it would be better to be dead than to be in.

          I would imagine that you could trace the messages as being renditions of one another from slaves and Native Americans to Irish to Chinese to eastern Europeans and Japanese folk and on and on right down to today.

          Divide and conquer seems to be the goal. And divide in such a way that they’ll never merge again. Sorta following Bismarck about the demise of the 1st International into feuding coteries of socialists and anarchists, “wealth and privilege may well tremble should ever again the Black and Red unite!”

          1. LeonovaBalletRusse

            Precisely. The *hook* is the illusion: “Well, at least I’m not at the bottom: There but for the grace of God…” and other such pious self-justifying platitudes.

        2. Nicci

          Jill, I do agree that your word is fabulous! I hope it catches on. :)
          But shouldn’t it be “incompetentsi” or “incompetentsia”? Maybe I’m not understanding it quite right, but I’m enjoying it anyway!

  6. F. Beard

    feel free to crack some hippie skulls for me! Jason Barker

    The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Psalm 11:5

      1. Lilguy

        Agree! There’s a little too much Yves and not enough Jason Barker in this. Agree with most of Yves’ slant, but it does slant too much.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        I was referring to its business school, which ranks between #15 and #20 in most rankings. That makes it decidedly third tier. First tier is Wharton, Stanford, Harvard, Columbia, probably Chicago and NYU (which are clearly first tier in finance, BTW). Second tier is schools like Tuck and Darden. Tepper is below that in the snobbisme hierarchy, trust me. And as indicated, the NY Fed is the sort of place that takes note of these distinctions (although in fairness, it probably cares less for MBAs, since they are all inferior to PhD economists).

        In grad schools, the tiers are thinner than for undergraduate schools.

        1. P.M.

          I would beg to differ about H/S/W being the only top tier bschools. To say that 3 schools (one of which is your alma mater) out of hundreds of business schools constitute the top tier is really a bit narrow-minded, and frankly elitist. Us younger b-school folk commonly refer to the top 10 (via US News rankings) as “top tier” — Harvard, Stanford, Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, Booth, Tuck, Haas, Columbia, Stern. Numbers 11-15 (Darden, Fuqua, etc.) are certainly not top tier, but not quite Tier 2 since they have significant overlap with the top tier schools in terms of companies that actively recruit their graduates (see

          1. P.M.

            I mean “first tier” rather than “top tier”, and 4 (H/S/W/C) rather than 3 (H/S/W), but point still stands. When are you getting the ‘edit comment’ feature? Sigh.

          2. Yves Smith Post author

            You really are shooting the messenger. There are status hierarchies among grad schools of all sorts, and those are taken note of by the people involved in hiring at “elite” firms. In the law profession that would be the white shoe law firms (such as Sullivan & Cromwell, Cravath, Cleary, Davis Polk) and for MBAs, hedgies and PE firms, the high status jobs at Wall Street firms, and the top tier consulting firms. And I listed six schools, not three, in the top tier. Per this discussion, most of the “elite” employers these days, sadly, are in finance.

            The perspective that matters is that of the people hiring, not of the students. MBAs are employment agencies with a year’s worth of education and some grooming attached.

            You may not like it, but that is how it works in America. I’ve long said I think an MBA is an overrated degree, and I was in a position to get more out of it than most people. And I hired people from second and third tier MBA programs when I was at Sumitomo because I thought they were as smart as the people from top programs. But the reason this is relevant is that the Fed, per my sources, is ALSO status conscious regarding educational credentials.

            Talk to any grads and anyone involved in recruiting for these places (recruiting is handled by professional staff) and they’ll confirm my reading. Tepper is not a sought after school.

          3. Binky the Bear

            Complaining about elitism when discussing elitist institutions puts you in an odd position, does it not?

            Rearranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg.

      3. David

        Yes ouch — but not accurate. CMU is first tier (unless your “tiers” are very narrow) and has a division that runs MBA entirely in NYC. You can probably get a CMU MBA without ever being in Pittsburgh, though you would miss a lot.

        1. David

          I just saw Yves’ defense of putting CMU in third tier.

          For MBA she may be right for all I know. She is def. right that MBA is employment agency + grooming. Though you can actually learn a little bit if you want.

          For PhD the tiers are, believe it or not, wider. That’s because every graduate has a dissertation advisor, committee and papers to document is or her quality. If you write a great dissertation from a fairly good school, you can get tenure-track at a better school. Not likely but it’s possible. PhD is not just a one-year branding exercise like MBA is.

          I know the CMU financial engineering graduates are well thought of, and PhDs can be competitive with anyone. They have world class faculty, and a PhD gives you time to learn and be trained by them, and to show your stuff.

          FWIW I did not attend CMU.

          1. Rex

            “I know the CMU financial engineering graduates are well thought of, …”

            Financial engineering, huh? There’s yer problem.

  7. Walter Wit Man

    Since we live in a fascist country the police serve little fascist cowards like Jason Barker and not the people; the police have already done little Jason’s bidding and cracked the skull of one Occupy protester, who happened to be a veteran (they also beat another vet protester so hard his spleen split–which I’m sure fascist Jason also cheered on). So Jason’s got a lot to cheer for.

    According to Jason, he’s a more important citizen than the veterans who are protesting because he went to B school and gosh darn it, he earned that 6 figure salary sucking at the public’s teat (yeah, nothing says hypocrite like a right-winger “libertarian” who earns his money from a government mandate).

    Ladies and gentlemen welcome to fascism where the top 1% run the world and they buy little fascist scumbags like Jason Barker to run interference for them.

  8. PB

    Why anyone finds his attitude shocking is shocking.

    I am more surprised that the Fed had 2000 staffers in 1993 making over $125k back then.

    For doing what?

    Watching porn? No , that’s SEC enforcement div job.

    Ok they probably watch long term trends & give the governors & FOMC a headsup whenever a segment of the market say like housing is about ready to blow.

    Only, not so much.

    I know, they turn states evidence & bust martha stewart.

    Yeah, that’s it.

  9. mp

    This mugging, although well-deserved, will only serve to put Jason on the fast track to the New York Fed’s top job.

  10. JohnB

    « I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain. » (quote from “Dune”)

      1. F. Beard

        Here’s a better one (for pagans):

        Fate sometimes saves a man if his courage is good. Beowulf

        Christians have Psalm 23. Works for me.

      2. FJ_2

        Maybe you get around blogs more than me. 9-)

        Don’t remember hearing this quote before. I quite like it.

  11. Lew Glendenning

    ‘anti-immigration’ != ‘Libertarian’, contrary to the article. Jason Barker certainly doesn’t sound like any Libertarian I know.

    Why is this site down on Libertarians? We are the people who have been saying the political-economic system is hopelessly corrupt and getting worse for 40 years. For 40 years we Libertarians have been saying that it would inevitably crash, and saying that Progressives couldn’t possibly like the poor because their system was killing them at such a high rate.

    So it all works out the way the Austrians and Libertarians have so long predicted, and now it is blamed on us?

    1. F. Beard

      So it all works out the way the Austrians and Libertarians have so long predicted, and now it is blamed on us? Lew Glendenning

      And what is your solution? A shiny, scarce, easily cornered metal that everyone shall be forced to use as money?

      1. Dantzler

        How about enforce the rule of law? Stop privatizing the gains and socializing the losses? Bring some transparency to balance sheets and OTC derivatives? Create an environment where growth is again organic rather than fueled by debt?

        I would disagree with forcing people to use ANY specific form of money (including legal tender laws). It would be better to see the emergence of competing currencies whatever form they may take between two consenting parties.

        I am disappointed that my previous comment seems to have been censored by Yves. I dared to protest when she lumped this idiot Jason in with all Libertarians.

        1. F. Beard

          I would disagree with forcing people to use ANY specific form of money (including legal tender laws). Dantzler

          Matthew 22:16-22 specifies that Caesar is to be paid with Caesar’s money. But as for private debts, we should be free to use anything mutually acceptable (as you say).

          1. Piano Racer

            Good thing the Christian Bible is not the same as the Libertarian Bible! You might be better served reading Human Action to gain a non-biblical perspective on Libertarianism.

            I don’t know why Yves is so down on libertarians that she feels the need to bizzarely associate Central Bank parasites with them. Here’s a recent post from the libertarian site that points out how REAL libertarians feel about state violence:


            Not sure why I am blinded, Yves seems to be as blinded by her ideology as everyone else on this site.

            Still love her, though. Those of us who follow the truth no matter where it takes us are capable of analyzing opposing viewpoints without resorting to straw-manning.

          2. F. Beard

            You might be better served reading Human Action to gain a non-biblical perspective on Libertarianism. Piano Racer

            For all his purported brilliance, Mises could think of no better solution to the money problem than a shiny metal even though Jesus pointed it out nearly 2000 years ago.

          3. ebear

            “You might be better served reading Human Action to gain a non-biblical perspective on Libertarianism.”

            Karl Popper would be a better choice.

          4. ambrit

            Let’s lift a pint to the dear departed. Why not Hannah Arendt? She described the workings of a failed Libertarian Utopia quite well.

    2. Binky the Bear

      Because libertarianism as currently constituted is more fantastical than Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Lord of the Rings put together.
      It is foolishness and sophistry.

      1. Jesse

        Yes, they’re crazy. After all, the current system is clearly working so well? Or perhaps they are slightly more crazy, but at least they’re not criminals.

        In response to the original comment: This article makes explicitly clear that Barker is breaking the libertarian platform (and thus, a “hypocrite”) by endorsing this sort of state thuggery.

  12. voislav

    I hate to do this, but just because this guy is a federal employee, it doesn’t mean that he cannot have personal opinions and express them. They happen to be despicable, but I just don’t see how they would affect his ability to do his job as a bank examiner. recently had a very good article on a number of State Department and DoD employees who were suspended or fired for expressing their personal opinions which were unrelated to their jobs. As wrong as it was for the government to take any action then, it would be wrong to request it now.

    We may judge him on his job performance, which BTW would be ground for firing pretty much every Fed employee, but not on his opinions (which do not affect his ability to do his job).

    1. alexis

      I read that Salon article, too, and I take your point.

      The difference here, in my mind, is that the Salon article explicitly points out that there was no rule against what Col. Davis did:

      “The Library of Congress does not restrict its employees from writing or speaking, so Davis broke no rules.” –

      Here, as Yves points out, The NY Fed *does* have an explicit Code of Conduct that prohibits its employees from Outside Activities that would “bring discredit to the reputation of the Bank.”

    2. PQS

      See the NYFed Code of Conduct that Yves excerpted above…it is not unusual for many large institutions, both public and private, to have such Codes of Conduct that may infringe on an employee’s right to free speech. I am not a Civil Rights attorney, but I know that long years ago when I was training to be a public school teacher, such Codes could be administered against a teacher even in their private life, and even doing things that were not technically illegal, but were just unseemly. (I recall in particular a case where a male teacher was fired for spending his evenings dancing on his front lawn with a mannequin…not illegal, just weird enough that the School District fired him for it, and the case was upheld.)

      Blabbers beware…

      1. EH

        (I recall in particular a case where a male teacher was fired for spending his evenings dancing on his front lawn with a mannequin…not illegal, just weird enough that the School District fired him for it, and the case was upheld.)

        If you’re talking about the Michigan case from a couplefew years ago, he wasn’t spending “evenings,” it wasn’t dancing, and it wasn’t the front lawn. It was a bachelorette party, and it wasn’t a man, but a woman. Also, the pictures were posted to the internet without consent.

        Maybe you’re thinking of Matthew McConaughey?

    3. cwaltz

      He’s entitled to his opinions. However, he has a code of conduct that he’s expected to adhere to. He ignored that code(Fed is supposed to be apolitical and he is posting political commentary with his job title). How exactly am I to expect that he can work for a regulatory agency(and yes the Fed is supposed to regulate banks) when he has made it clear that he flouts rules himself?

    4. Foppe

      Even if he has a right to express his opinion, Yves also has a right to draw attention to that opinion, and to place it in context. After that, reasonable people may decide whether or not Jason’s “opinion” was or wasn’t appropriate.

      1. voislav

        It’s just that the context Yves mixed was that his job performance is somehow related to the opinions he expressed. I do not think that the two should be combined in a post, since there is no specific evidence regarding Barker, only general evidence regarding the Fed, which may or may not be representative of Barker.

        It’s a slippery slope that I believe we should not be going down.

        1. Michael

          Ok, that’s just silly. He put a post advocating for the extralegal beating of anyone who would like banks regulated, when it’s his job to regulate banks. That’s pretty direct.

        2. Lysander von Spooner

          Awesome comment! You’ve totally steered me away from thinking about how awful Jason Barker is, and what it means that the Fed hired him given all the economic violence and corruption that the NY Fed has overseen–and instead, now I’m much more focused on what you call Yves’ “slippery slope” argument. The fact that you identified the obviously horrible connection between Barker’s opinions and the NY Fed’s work as “slippery slope” means that what we should really be talking about here isn’t the New York Fed and the people who work there, or their fascistic opinions–no, what we should be talking about is whether or not the “slippery slope” argument is in play here, and is it fair or not. We can always get back to discussing this blog post at some other time, it can wait.

    5. voislav

      I realize that there is a code of conduct, but my point is that discredit here is in the eye of the beholder and should be used only in extreme circumstances, which I do not think this is.

      1. cwaltz

        The Fed is a public/private collaboration. He isn’t a federal employee in the sense that the Federal reserve is set up to be apolitical and separate from the Washington apparatus. That doesn’t mean he isn’t supposed to be serving a public interest or that he shouldn’t be subject to rules that specifically state he should refrain from engaging in activity that would color the perception that the Fed itself has a position(which was the point that Yves was making-that seems to be escaping those that keep saying he has a right to an opinion. Of course he does, however he shouldn’t be including his TITLE or workspace in his postings-it’s prohibited specifically because it calls in to question whether the Fed itself has a particular bias. HE, not Yves, made his bed when he chose to place his title in his online postings.)

          1. cwaltz

            That is a trait that seems to apply to both sectors these days.

            Rules, laws, and accountability are “quaint” and antiquated. As long as you have enough money to buy power then all you need to be able to utter as a defense is “who could have ever imagined.”

        1. Spike

          He didn’t choose to include his employer’s name in the comment. Facebook adds that to Facebook comments automatically. He probably didn’t even realize it happened. Oops.

      2. PL

        He gloats about being an underworked government employee:

        “‎5 day workweek coming up. This is gonna be brutal. It’s a good thing the last two have been 4 day workweeks, and the next week will be 3 day, and the week after that will be a 4 day. I’ve had time to build up my stamina and I’ll have time to rest after putting in 39 tough hours this week. (don’t you wish you worked for the Government?)”

        –Jason Barker, Facebook, Nov. 14, 2011

      3. PL

        No question he thinks he’s a government employee:

        “As a government worker I make 50% more per hour than an investment banker. Maybe OWS should be protesting government workers. But Democrats would NEVER protest excessive pay for government employees. Oh, and not only do I make more per hour than a banker I have a generous pension waiting for me in 30 years.”

        Jason Barker, Facebook, November 10, 2011

        1. David

          This guy really sounds horrible. These comments should be easily enough to get him fired.

          The only thing I can think of is that someone else is posting as him, to get him in trouble. Well this is something for the NY Fed to investigate, but if he really posted that stuff, he has shockingly bad judgment.

    6. Cal

      He is not a federal employee. The federal reserve is about as federal as Federal Express is. It’s a private bank.

      Keep reading this erstwhile blog, you will learn a lot.

      1. cwaltz

        It’s a private bank that was formed as a central banking system to help deal with volatile economic conditions. It’s responsiblity for monetary policy for this country makes it a public venture, not just a private one.

        Should it have the power it has? Based on it’s behavior over a decade I find questioning that entirely reasonable(and I find myself questioning how good a regulatory branch it is or was when we have this huge banking mess created right under their noses.) However, that doesn’t negate the fact that it was created by law and it gets it authority to act from Congress and it’s function is way different then most private entities.

  13. Suomi

    I consider myself a Libertarian as well. I’ve enjoyed this site and use it to counter clueless statements from anti-OWS’ers. Jason isn’t Libertarian.


    1. Piano Racer

      100% agree, and I am honestly flummoxed as to why Yves has been so focused recently on bashing Libertarians? Did Ron Paul micturate on her rug or something?!

      1. Anonymous Jones

        She just doesn’t like things that are on-their-face unworkable and highly hypocritical.

        There is a difference between loving freedom and belonging to the cult of self-named libertarians. I love freedom. I would love to expand my freedom and the freedom of others. Liberty is effin’ awesome. “Libertarians” who only focus on the role of government in constraining freedom are obviously biased and misguided, as has been shown by numerous retorts that rarely take an intelligent man more than 60 seconds to craft. It’s on-its-face idiotic. It has no empirical basis. It is simply a religion of those who are scared, scared of people ganging up on them, scared of something that is an unavoidable aspect of life. Get some balls. Stop being a scared pansy. Life is complex and wonderful, and you are not in control of it. Deal with it. Move on. Stop believing in something because of your fear.

        1. EH

          I’m no pro/con on Libertarianism as such, but as I learn more it seems reducible to “whatever your assets allow you to do is OK.”

        2. Jesse

          “Libertarians” who only focus on the role of government in constraining freedom are obviously biased and misguided, as has been shown by numerous retorts that rarely take an intelligent man more than 60 seconds to craft. It’s on-its-face idiotic. It has no empirical basis. It is simply a religion of those who are scared, scared of people ganging up on them, scared of something that is an unavoidable aspect of life. Get some balls. Stop being a scared pansy. Life is complex and wonderful, and you are not in control of it. Deal with it. Move on. Stop believing in something because of your fear.

          I’m going to have to choose my words carefully here. This is quite possibly the worst comment I’ve read in NC history. Have you ever studied American history? It’s full of examples of majorities ganging up on minorities. The only solution we have against this is to collectively react with horror at every governmental over-reach.

          Of all the critiques I’ve read of libertarianism, the only people I’ve heard come after them from the “civil liberties” side (instead of the economic side) come from deluded fascist/authoritarian people. Heck, your comment reads more of an attack on basic American principles than anything specific to libertarianism.

          Although I suppose when the government decides someday that YOU are not allowed to date/marry who you want, watch what you want, take what you want, you’ll remember to suck it up and deal.

          1. Piano Racer

            Thanks Jesse, well put.

            I am still trying to figure out why everyone on this board thinks that either you completely reject the libertarian perspective as being completely 100% repugnant, are fantastically delusional, or you are a slavering zealot who “positively fetishize that whole sanctity of contracts thing”.

            Nobody has it all figured out, and good ideas can come from anywhere. Those who dismiss libertarianism, Austrian economics, etc. out of hand or engage in ad-hominem attacks are doing themselves and their brains a grave disservice. They are also, in my opinion, grossly ignorant of economic history, at least on a time horizon that is longer than ~50 years.

            And I still don’t get why Yves, or anyone else, thinks the subject of this article is in any way a libertarian. Maybe immigration law enforcement is high on the libertarian agenda? That’s news to me. As someone who “leans libertarian”, I don’t have much of an opinion on the matter, and I think we have MUCH larger problems to deal with, though residents of Arizona and Texas may disagree. I think illegal immigration is a great example of how economic actors always act in their own best self-interest, even sometimes at great peril. That’s something that I don’t really begrudge anyone, “illegal immigrant” or otherwise, as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of another. Everyone should have a right to work, it’s just that you shouldn’t necessarily have a right to work for someone else (you shouldn’t use government to force an employer to hire you!)

            Anyway, it makes me sad and takes away some of the credibility of Yves and the otherwise great posters on this board. Zealotry is to be condemned, and ideas should be allowed to stand on their merits. When the ideas themselves are challenged, as Anonymous Jones attempts above, the arguments are often revealed to be mostly vapid if not, as you say, revelatory of a fascist/authoritarian bent.

          2. Jesse

            @Dik I’ve read some comments on here that defend illegal activity. They come close. This, by contrast, is making a mockery of the very principles America is established under. You know, ideas like,

            “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” – Thomas Paine.

            There are a slew of other similar quotes.

            @Piano I don’t think Yves discredited herself, she pointed out that his claim to be a libertarian, while supporting state brutality, makes him a hypocrite:

            “Libertarians profess to be against the coercive use of state power, yet Barker eagerly advocates inflicting severe injuries onto protestors with no due process. So he looks to be an authoritarian and a hypocrite.”

            That said, I do agree that too many people are seeing libertarianism in shades of black and white, and would like to see that change.

          3. Dikaios Logos

            The comedy continues! I’d think even a dyed-in-the-wool Libertarian reading NC’s comments would have found worse…

            And to your hilarious assertion that commenters here had forgotten the principles America was founded under, you have picked the wrong person to cross.

            As I sit here in a chair owned by a Founding Father, a participant in writing the U.S. Constitution, a writer of books used by several orders of magnitude more Americans than Thomas Paine’s, I think I should share a little nugget of his thought, just in case you mistake being a ‘Koch sucker’ for being faithful to aims of the Founders:
            “An equality of property, with a necessity of alienation, constantly operating to destroy combinations of powerful families, is the very soul of a republic–While this continues, the people will inevitably possess both power and freedom; when this is lost, power departs, liberty expires, and a commonwealth will inevitably assume some other form.”

        1. Jesse

          I can see why you’d think that applies, but don’t you think the circumstances are different when we’re discussing someone’s commitment to the particulars of a rigid ideology instead of something more amorphous like national identity.

          Would you say that someone who is anti-gun control, in favor of a flat tax, and against college grants, is a “true liberal” if they claimed the label for themselves?

      2. JTFaraday

        I think the two factors cited as evidence of his alleged libertarian-ishness are relevant to the issue at hand.

        Libertarians positively fetishize that whole sanctity of contracts thing, doing “due diligence” or accepting your Fate when you’ve signed an agreement, etc.

        His contract does indicate that his conduct is not to bring disrepute upon The Fed. Arguably, publicly calling for the NYPD to bash in the skulls of your fellow citizens–in the name of the Fed, as an employee of the Fed– does bring disrepute upon the Fed.

        To cite the anti-immigration lobby, which he also supports–“what part of illegal doesn’t he understand”?

        Meanwhile, if he tumbles out the 53% next year for some strange reason, he may well find himself forced to take that smug little citation off his Facebook page as well.

        He may even have to collect unemployment insurance and go on food stamps. It’s expensive to live in the NYC area, is it not, even if you’re given to libertarian-ishness?

        Well, maybe he’ll move back to Pittsburgh and move in with his parents.

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Love this post and Yves’ work in general but it’s


      The plural is HIPPIES.

      And no, I never was one, opting instead to be a FREAK a la Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies.

  14. Joe Rebholz

    Why pick on this one poor dumb ass? This is our culture talking. “Kill them! Crack heads!” This is a large percent of the 53% and the 99% and the 1%. Many of my family and friends “think” this way. This is one reason we need a non-violent revolution toward a non-violent society so people stop “thinking” this way. We have an aweful lot of work to do.

    1. just a thought...

      I agree Joe. What good does it do to tear into someone who has very little common sense and clearly lacks an appreciation for the intellectual (or professional) risks that arise when exuberance and misinformation collide. Nice jab Yves with the “third tier business school” comment, makes me wonder whether I should feel sorry for the entry-level Federal Reserve employee in his mid 30s or the significantly more experienced professional blogger attacking him.

      On a related note, I’m guessing Mr. Barker has overstated his role at the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. Given that he started in July of 2010, the odds are against him being a fully-credentialed bank examiner. He is likely still a trainee who spends 75%+ of his time reviewing loan files.

      Lastly, and most importantly, this person is by no means representative of the typical Federal Reserve S&R employee. I am somewhat surprised that the responses of so many posters, based on a superficial ‘critical analysis’, are insulting comments about the character of all Federal Reserve employees. For the record, I know a “few” current and former Federal Reserve employees too, and the ones I’ve talked to are offended by what Mr. Barker posted.

      Leave the insults and personal attacks to the other side.

      1. JTFaraday

        “He is likely still a trainee who spends 75%+ of his time reviewing loan files.”

        Well, then no wonder he’s so scared spitless he has to call on fascist thugs to beat to a pulp the citizens who are calling for an examination of his “work.”

        I agree the guy is a little Putz, a mere cultural symptom, but he is an interesting symptom, is he not?

      2. Friedrich von Rand

        Yeah, what good does it do to criticize an employee of the New York Fed. That’s just so mean. Can’t we all just get along? The most important thing is that we all be polite. It’s not like there’s a lot at stake here, it’s just a little quibble after all. Politeness is the key–and if you can’t be polite, and if you really think that going after an employee of the New York Fed somehow “means something,” then clearly you just don’t get what’s going on.

        1. JTFaraday

          Yes, and no one here has called for the little Putz to be beaten to a bloody pulp, as he himself cheered after reading the NY Post article, complete with some rather gory photo/video work– before ordering up some more.

          I just thought I would point that out.

      3. Fiver

        You could not work for that organization and have authentic integrity. Your “I have friends who…” might just as well be trotted out for an accountant working for Capone. I’ve left jobs on principle, and I can say without a doubt I’d have left the NYFR after everything we’ve learned since 2007 if not long, long before.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Joe Cassano (head of AIG’s Financial Products Group and singularly responsible for blowing up AIG) was arguably just a dumbass too. You have no idea where he may eventually wind up. If someone, including a brand new hire, had behaved like that at any of the firms I had worked at, he would have been fired, pronto. And they had much less clearly stated policies than the NY Fed.

      This is a person in an organization that promotes from within who is in a bank regulatory function. You want to know why we don’t have effective bank regulation? It’s because too many of them identify with the banks’ point of view. Barker is an extreme version of this phenomenon.

      1. PL

        The Fed selected Jason as a representative to MBA students:

        Jason Barker
        I gave the “why you should join the fed” pitch to the first year Tepper students on their Wall Street Trek today. 3 years ago I was the student attending the presentation! I think a job in financial institution supervision is more exciting to them today than it was to my group of first year students in October 2008.
        Share · October 24 at 7:29pm ·

        Matthew Miller You should give them your wage per actual work hour to them compared to financial institutions. The Fed would blow the competition away.
        October 24 at 8:09pm

        Jason Barker Yes, we would. Especially when you add in benefits!
        October 25 at 7:29am

      2. JCC

        Yves, I’m not so sure this guy is an extreme version of this phenomenon.

        He’s obviously young and dumb, that’s for sure, based on the fact that he posted his name and place of employment on the NY Post comment page, let alone the original comments he had on his facebook page. However, I suspect that, being a newbie in his job, he is following the lead of his trainers and/or mentors at his workplace, like most new young grads. He’s probably not an extreme version, just typical.

        1. Anon

          Dumb, yes. Young? He graduated from college in 1998 for chrissakes! I wonder if the Fed is even aware of all this chatter about on of their own employees?

    3. Binky the Bear

      The peg that sticks out gets hammered down. This peg stuck out so far it caught somebodies’ pinky toe.
      Facebook pages are clearly long form suicide notes and I’m grateful I never had one.

    4. reslez

      People who talk big and love bloody threats are basically cowards at heart. That’s why it’s important to publicly take them down like Yves just did. You scare the rest into line.

      How do you change the culture if you silently stand by when guys like this howl for protester blood?

  15. factchecker

    This is either total BS or a typo which should have been caught:

    “…Greenspan answered a query in 1993 on the background of Board of Governors’ staff making more than $125,000 a year. Out of nearly 2000 employees, there was one woman and one minority group member. ”

    There weren’t 2000 TOTAL workers at the Fed Board in 1993, so, of course, there couldn’t have been 2000 making over $125,000 per year.

    In 1995 (the earliest info I could find on their website), there were 1,765 workers at the Board, and the total operating expenses were $161.1 million. So assuming the ONLY operating expense was salaries, the average salary would be $91,894 per employee. (; page 15)

    Please fact check before you emphasize information in your articles.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      1. This came from Robert Auerbach, a former staffer to the House Financial Services Committee, in his book “Deception and Abuse at the Fed.” He in turn shows copies of spreadsheets supplied by the Board of Governors.

      2. 1765 is nearly 2000. Maybe not as nearly as you like. They were operating a fleet to carry checks around the US, and may actually have outsourced more of it in response to pressure from Gonzalez (it was a notably high cost cargo shipper). So it is plausible the total Board of Governors staff was higher in 1993.

    2. Ludwig von Friedman

      Jeepers, you really blew Yves’ entire piece wide open by “fact-checking” the figure 1765 as nowhere near Yves’ “nearly 2000”. This is such a gross factual error–I mean, everyone knows that according to international standards, the “nearly” in “nearly 2000” refers to a +- of 200. Since 1765 is 235 less than 2000, it no way qualifies as “nearly 2000.” Thanks for calling that out, because now I’m going to question everything I read in this article. In fact, this pretty much proves that Jason Barker is a great guy with a lot to offer the world, and that maybe, just maybe, hyppies really do need to die. In fact, I want to name my own first-born son “Jason Barker.” And it’s all thanks to your completely disinterested fact check. God bless you, and God bless Jason Barker!

  16. JEHR

    Yves, thank you for the description of those who are drawn to work at banks, the Fed and regulatory agencies. I hope I love long enough to see how the American people finally take back their government.

  17. Mike G

    Like a lot of libertardians, he’s freedom for me, authoritarianism for thee. They’re interested in maximizing their own freedom, and can justify whatever level of coercion of others to make it happen.

    Most of them seem like they’d be most comfortable in aparthied South Africa, being a privileged group separated from the easily-exploitable beaten-down masses by a steel fist of state coercion.

      1. reslez

        Yes, the pursuit of naked self interest is the definition of D&D evil. It’s also the basis of our formal economic system. Go figure.

  18. Susan the other

    The Boston Fed warned all its employees to steer clear of the protestors. Wonder what internal memos went around the NYFed. Good bio on Barker, Yves. Only a person who understands the context can do this kind of analysis. Thank you.

  19. Ishmael

    Well Yves, you might wonder about my own educational credentials but I never post anything with my real name. Don’t want to put my consulting business at risk. However, with that said are you surprised with this guys thinking. The Fed is full of no change! By the way, I am neutral with regard OWS movement until they have a clearer and more focused message.

  20. craazyman

    well since all the “first tier B-Skool hot shots” have done such a wonderful job running the big show, I’d say let a few third tier types behind the wheel.

    They could not do any worse.

    Otherwise, Matthew 15:11.

  21. Sock Puppet

    I have a friend who worked for the NY fed until recently. The organization contains many invididuals who are trying to do due diligence in regulating banks. Their efforts are made more difficult by a myopic bank-sympathetic upper management, incompetent middle management, abysmal working conditions, poor morale, and high staff turnover. Staffers are tired of the fed being used as a political football, and already have a bunker mentality. Their reaction to OWS is not surprising. I can confirm that another fed has advised employees to avoid the protesters by using the back door.

      1. JTFaraday

        I agree. I think business schools and especially MBAs are a huge part of the problem, even worse than economics, because is the site at which the ideology of “getting over” and “I got mine” is promulgated in its purest form. We can see this evidenced in the quotes posted here from his Facebook page.

        This whole sense of the purpose of higher education has also permeated every other school of the university, to the disgruntlement of at least a reasonable percentage of every other school of the university.

        They also get a heavy dosing in decontextualized neoliberal ideology, presented as Incontrovertible Truth.

        In all honesty, I think you could shut them down and no one would ever miss it. Well, the organized crime ring would miss the credentialed, certified devolution in personal character, but other than that.

  22. Siggy


    Interesting analysis; but, a bit longer than necessary.

    I like the fact that we have OWS in progress. I dislike the fact that OWS is so amorphous. It strikes me as curious that the Police don’t get it, OWS intends to create confrontations that lead to brutality. The event of brutality leads to a rejection of government authority. The rejection of government authority leads to a void that permits a third party assumption of the role of government. that is the objective of OWS.

    Now splatered in the slogans and the noise of the drum circle you have a core of socialistic slogans. If that is where OWS wants to go, I don’t want to go there. The government in power wins by ignoring the OWS protestors. Where it becomes necessary to clear the park, the police need to do so by merely arresting the protestors.

    I saw a demonstration in Japan a long time ago. Looking out of the fifth floor window of a department store restaurant I heard a number of police type whistles and then the square below was filled with people who were locking arms, chanting and stomping their feet in unison. You could feel the vibration of the stomping in the restaurant. The whole demonstration went on for about 10 minutes and then as police vans began showing up at the feeder streets to the square there were whistles and the crowd very quietly dispersed and the square was empty. The police paraded around a bit and no one was arrested.

    As to Mr Barker, his comment seems ill considered except if it was made by a straw man with the intent to be divisive. So, does Mr Barker favor OWS; or, does he favor Police brutality? Is there a Mr Barker at the NY Fed? Or is there an agent provacateur? Things are not always what they seem.

    1. Astrosocket

      Hey, great comment! Not sure which program you’re using but here at my PR firm we’re using SockpuppetPro 3.1.1, which also instructed me to generate a comment pretending that although I generally agree with Yves’ piece, it really went on too long, or focused on her too much. Anyone else here working with SockpuppetPro getting any different input feeds? I’m just worried that maybe if too many of us are repeating the same program input, it might not sow doubt or “confuse the narrative” as my boss likes to say. Definitely like the end part where you make it seem like Jason Barker isn’t even a real person, that didn’t come up in my SockpuppetPro 3.1.1 input, but maybe I’m doing something wrong? Anyone else here from a PR firm can give me some tips on how to work this thing?

    2. Ishmael

      Yes, it is the amorphous and socialist nature of the OWS movement that leaves me hesitant to support their cause.

      The first and possibly the only thing they need to support is rule of law for everyone on a equal basis that practically gets the job done.

      1. David

        I think they “support” equal application of the laws. But we’re facing a system that clearly does the opposite.

        So what then? Just repeat saying what you support? Try voting within a broken system? I think OWS on its better days is trying to find something to do that would be effective.

    3. JTFaraday

      “Is there a Mr Barker at the NY Fed? Or is there an agent provacateur? Things are not always what they seem.”

      Hey, yeah. I bet they could disappear his whole employment file if they wanted. They could even send him into the federal witness protection program and disappear him for good. Great idea!

      JP Morgan will pay for it. They paid for the cops to issue the beatings in the first place, so, why not.

    4. Foppe

      Oh noes! The Socialists are coming for us!!!!! We must fear for affordable food prices!

      It’s awesome how you can still convince yourself that socialism for everyone would be worse than socialism for the rich. Oh, well.

    1. JTFaraday

      That’s not gravatar, that’s site overload. This place filled up in record time!

      “Little Putz of the Week” should definitely be a regular feature.

  23. Schofield

    Jason Barker is clearly on message for the Debt Terrorist organisation he works for otherwise known as the Federal Reserve. Jason is clearly making a pitch to be put in charge of the concentrations camps they are now building for #Occupy Hyppies.

  24. DontGoThere

    “White Male Privilege?” Would it have mattered if he was a Transvetite with green skin and a taste for Fanta? Who cares? His message is bad enough without needing to resort to bashing his accidents of birth.

    The message of true equality is that all accidents of birth are unimportant. You alienate some of our allies when you say these things. Please don’t. Please.

  25. indio007

    In regards to the encounter with the FED officer, The FED MUST blame the borrower. They are holding billions in MBS. If they confess to originator fraud, they are potentially devaluing the FED’s holdings and possibly neutering any chance of collecting. There is that little thing about notes and notice of defect…..

    As of right now, I’m waiting for the first foreclosure to come about with the FED being the named plaintiff and holder of the note and mortgage. At that point all hell will break loose.

    They have been able to use the MBS trusts as an insulating agent so the true “creditor” isn’t known.

  26. rf

    I respect you’re opinion and often find your insights useful, interesting and educational. The website gives me energy to question my own assumptions as someone who leans to the right but is willing to try to understand all opinions (even if I disagree).

    So, sadly (for me), and not that it matters (to you), this will be the last time I read or post to the blog. Although suggesting cracking skulls and condoning violence is wrong this post goes to far for me as an attack on this individual. Your blog, your opinion, no problem, just not for me.

    Thanks for all the good articles.

    1. AstroSocket2

      Hey nice one. I just got the same input from my SockpuppetPro, which also generated a comment reading “I’m normally a great fan and longtime reader of this site, but not anymore…” Does this Sockpuppet Pro 3.1.1 rock or what?!

      1. rf

        Didn’t even see that post but I’m sorta bummed that I won’t be reading this blog anymore. There was one other post a while back, some weird video about evil bankers or something that bugged me but this one… just not my style.

        1. LeonovaBalletRusse

          rf, please reconsider “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” This set of comments is not all there is to NC chat room. Persevere.

          1. rf

            Leonova, Fiver and Ambrit – Thank you for the responses.

            The chat is fine but this post is basically about trying to getting someone fired for what some might consider a figure of speech or at least freedom to speak. This isn’t Tim Geithner or some big time trader; he’s clearly one of the 99% that OWS refers to. This is minor rhetoric versus other stuff I’ve seen, including calling the guy a nazi.

            No one should encourage violence, ever, but the blog reaction goes to far for me. Posting someone’s linkedin and such is weird and invasive. I just don’t want to associate with that type of attack. Take a good look at the facebook picture, there’s more than one face.

            His offense is out of line with this response, for me. The post is about a gotcha moment and some sort of notch in the blog’s hatchet. Is it possible that this is a non-violent person over-expressing frustration? There’s one line posted on facebook – and this guys been judged evil, must be fired and made an example of.

            Fine for the intellectually and morally superior, but not me, a member of the 99.9% who did not go to Harvard.

          2. JTFaraday

            “Is it possible that this is a non-violent person over-expressing frustration?”

            Frustrated about what? His big complaint is that he couldn’t get into Burger King for lunch because OWS is occupying everything.

            Given everything that has gone down in this country over the past decade, this person–who as people have pointed out is in his 30s, even if he inexplicably remains a developmentally delayed little Putz– is a moral imbecile.

            I think that is a relevant data point about the Fed.

            As far as the kid is concerned, he is openly advocating brute, unprovoked violence. If he didn’t work for the Fed, Child Protective Services would have met him at his front door upon his arrival home this evening.

            Hey, maybe they’ll check in tomorrow. Just to be on the safe side.

        2. Fiver

          So this piece offends your sensibilities more than what this jerk said in his own comment? Or more than the utterly corrupt actions of the NYFR? Do we really need any more Tim Geithner’s anywhere within a million miles of responsible decision-making?

        3. ambrit

          Dear rf;
          Persevere! Don’t give up! If our Esteemed Hostess posts something you don’t like, come out with a cogent counter arguement!
          If that isn’t enough for you, take a page from the old timers from the Realpolitik School. It’s better to continue ‘engagement’ and know what the others are doing and thinking rather than cutting ties and groping in the dark.
          Finally, as one who has ben burned a time or two, let me assure you, the struggle and learned humility are well worth the effort.
          Keep the faith, baby! (Adam Clayton Powell)

          1. Rex

            “Dear rf, Persevere!”

            Or not. Your choice.

            There are certainly plenty of websites where you can feel comfortable. I empathize with your pain since when I go to those sites I feel like I’m swimming upstream in a river of fecal matter. And people don’t seem to like me. Kinda like going into a biker bar wearing my Birkenstocks.

            But thanks for sharing where we went wrong, rather than just slinking quietly into the night. As you can see, you’ve roused an effort to coax you back. By some.

  27. sinecures R us

    Yes, he is a remarkable dimbulb by Fed standards (Tepper, isn’t that an old-time TV butler? He has a school?) Clearly somebody called in a big favor. Even the junior supervision guys of my acquaintance come across with notable maturity. So it’s worth digging into who Barker’s daddy is and so forth. You’d expect the bulk of the looting-class moles to get parachuted in at more senior levels, and to have some semblance of discretion. Or else the Fed’s just rotten through and through.

  28. Ishmael

    I found going to school that Universities are one of the most stasis organizations I ever attended. In one course after being asked to write a paper I was told that anyone who did not believe in his ideas which he then explained was going to fail the course. In another course after having the highest score in the class I got a grade less than I expected. I went to see the professor and was told it was because of my not being in class (I was interviewing for jobs). I found that through out my time at school. Another time I was living with this very good looking girl and the phone rang and it was a professor asking her out on a date (she did very well in school).

    In summary, and I have attended top 10 universites and taught at the top university in my background, my experience is that Universities are practically the most political organizations in this country and the people who do best are either the ones with more resources (rich parents) or the ones who suck up (read that how you want) to the instructors the most.

    1. Rex

      Of course I had nothing to do with it, but I’ll over step to say thanks for the congratulations. Coming from you, it means a little.

  29. Hugh

    Kleptocracy is a system. To achieve the preeminent position it has, it had to penetrate and dominate most of the institutions of our society: banking and finance, the political process, the judiciary, regulators, academics, and the media. Even so, elites can not loot to the extent they do without the help of many who will never be part of those elites or will only exist at their edges. It is important to note that much of this participation of what are essentially 99 percenters screwing over their own is voluntary, even enthusiastic. Part of this is the result of class warfare splintering the 99% and turning them against each other. But it is hard not to see also a psychological component of self-hatred directed on to others.

    1. LeonovaBalletRusse

      The 99% fight over dead meat for *position*. The object is to *escape* the 99% (an illusion for all but criminal servants of the Reich). The worst that can happen to any guy hoping to get laid is to end up at *the bottom* of the pack of junk-yard dogs.

      1. Hugh

        The way forward is going to be through revolution. I am not saying that it should be revolution but rather that we are on track for revolution in the same way we are on track for the next crash. As we can be pretty confident that the one will happen, we can be equally sure that the other will. And just to be clear I am not saying that we will have a crash followed by a revolution. I am saying both are in our future as long as things continue as they are. Or perhaps I should say that revolution is coming no matter what. It could precede and abort the next crash or it could follow it.

        So if it is to be revolution, we need to understand the nature of revolutions. Revolutions can be good or bad. It is funny how we whose country was born in revolution have been taught by our elites that revolution is taboo, a sure sign of either extremism or unseriousness, that the mere mention of it puts you beyond some pale. But as I have often said, revolution is very much part of the American character, if we can speak of such a thing, and certainly of American history. From the Framers in 1790, to Jackson and the banking crisis in the 1830s, to Lincoln and the Civil War in the 1860s, to the labor movement and Theodore Roosevelt’s trustbusting around the turn of the century, to FDR, Depression, and the New Deal in the 1930s, to the civil rights and anti-war movements in the 1960s, to the meltdown and now, the country has faced revolutionary periods every 30 to 40 years.

        Sorry, for the long exposition, but revolution is an integral part of the American experience. I just wanted to make that clear.

        If you look at revolutions, they either start with or quickly acquire a central more organized group. This organization is important and it is usually what historians key in on. But what they miss is the other critical component of revolution and that is education. Put simply and in American terms, without Thomas Paine, there would have been no American Revolution.

        This is not perhaps the direction you might have thought I would go when you asked your question. But it is the way forward as far as I can see. You need an organized central group to give the revolution coherence and you need education to let the 99% know what is really going on, what the program is, and to bring them onboard.

        So if I were organizing a revolution, I would say the first steps would be to network and create working groups, essentially a shadow government, which addressed and came up with people friendly and accessible solutions, not simply to undo what has been done but how we can deliver to the people of this country, not some but to all, the central pillars of their lives: good jobs, good housing, good healthcare, good education, good retirements, and an equal and just application of the law. I would educate people about kleptocracy, class war, and wealth inequality. I would not necessarily use these terms rather I would speak to them about how they have been ripped off all their working lives and set against each other while the rich stole essentially the entire wealth of the country, that is their wealth. I would point out that if they wanted to know why their schools were bad, infrastructure was falling apart, healthcare was overpriced, unemployment was so high, and their pensions were gone and even Social Security was under threat, it was because of this.

        There is much, much more but this is about as barebones as I can make it. Organize and educate and set up the structures and people who can provide a real functioning alternative to the present elite dominated political and economic system.

        1. Fiver


          In the time I’ve been here, I’ve noted you provide very good posts, but don’t get much feedback. I rather suspect NC finds you too consistently “radical”. I believe we perhaps suffer the same “affliction”.

          In any case, I fear that any alternate group that gets both its act together and garners enough attention/support will be immediately targeted for takedown – and as roughly as it takes. That I believe will include via the Internet within a couple of years. I begin to suspect the only way to really organize will be off-line, and under the radar while that “education” occurs in thousands of small groups all over the world. I’d much prefer another route – that those who actually care about where this is all headed pool their resources and acquire a major media outlet. The money is certainly there out among the Boomers – but where’s the will?

          Anyway keep keeping ’em honest.

  30. Henry2

    He works for the NY Fed, is anti-immigration, and advocates state violence against protestors. The obvious conclusion is that he’s a libertarian…

    Seriously Yves?

  31. Not as Hypocritical as Yves

    Nice of you to assume 1 person is symbolic of everyone. I’ve always thought you were a good writer Yves, but you’re as parochial as those you condemn (and I generally agree with you). Also, carnegie mellon is a great school (i didn’t go there, I think MBA programs are for the stupid, not actual degrees, you dig?

    So how about being less hypocritical and actually stick to the facts you’re aware of. Jason barker is a dumb p.o.s. that should be fired b/c he wrote nonsense, but to use that to judge the ny fed? you’re as big a muppet as jason. Shame on you.

    1. JTFaraday

      Yes, shame on you.

      I bet there’s a big Fed story or three brewing on the back burners as peanut gallery whines.

      Enjoy the symptom.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      Are you serious about defending the NY Fed, or the Fed generally? You must not be a regular reader of this blog.

      And if you read his resume, he went to the Tepper MBA program. That is quite different from the rest of Carnegie Mellon. You admit you don’t care much about MBAs, and by extension presumably don’t know much about how various ones are perceived.

      1. David

        yes, in every good place I’ve been, and I’ve been at a few good places, the mba students are not considered real students. even below other professional school students like law students.

        yves thanks for clarifying. i am not up on mba rankings, and i’ll take your word that its mba is third tier.

        1. Chris A

          Yves is absolutely correct that MBA courses of study are not particularly rigorous academic endeavors. They’re designed to prepare people for careers in business, and little more can be said. They could be a lot more, but that’s another discussion.
          I found most, not all, of my classmates at Carnegie Mellon/Tepper to be bright, serious and hard-working people with good heads on their shoulders. It’s a relatively rigorous MBA program that maybe deserves more credit than Yves has given it here, but I respect her views. While I was there, I occasionally heard a comment here or there that suggested neanderthalic views, but that was rare, and I’d venture to guess that that’s the case about Harvard or Duke or Ohio State, too. I’ll shut up now. Over and out.

    3. Fiver

      Quite right. That the NYFR was at the very heart of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the US Treasury and people of the US out of stupendous sums of money and continues to play a pivotal role in Bankster Gangland is, of course, entirely irrelevant.

      It’s way past time for white collar professionals to take some personal responsibility for what their employers engage in. You work in a professional capacity at NYFR, you wear their stink. Ditto with Big Pharma, or big defence contractors, or Monsanto or any number of other morally/ethically debauched institutions or corporations. “I’m a research scientist who works on new ways to kill people” because that’s the JOB just does not cut it. Let’s see some of those NYFR employees out in the streets or in print calling for the heads of the entire senior cadre. Let’s see just 1 with the sort of courage Bradley Manning displayed. I will sing praises to that man or woman until long after the cows come home.

    4. PL

      Why not judge the Fed by Barker? Something tells me that Barker isn’t more tactful, thoughtful or professional in person. In spite of all these red flags, the Fed hired him and recently selected him as its representative to speak with MBA students. Since the Fed clearly approves of Barker, and Barker openly spouts strong anti-regulatory, anti-constitutional, anti-societal opinions, that’s saying a whole lot about the Fed.

  32. Paul Walker

    Yves, a truly epic close.

    Jason Barker seems an excellent poster child of not only inside the fed thinking, but of the anarchists in suits generally.

  33. ibnozn

    He lists Activities and interests: PwC

    Is it me or does it say something that this Fed Bank Examiner is a fanboy of MF Global’s auditor?

  34. abprosper

    An arrogant SOB and a bully, perfect for Wall Street these days.

    My suspicion is that if these weren’t hippies, he’d be a lot quieter. People don’t for example suggest police violence against militia types or other people who might reply in kind.

    Also it seems foolish to pose with ones child like that. If things go very far south, well ….

      1. Rex

        A lot of people seem overly sensitive about this topic, but I must say that comments about his child are really uncalled for.

        Liz Cheny may not have fallen far from the tree, but plenty of kids turn out fine, even with dumb, mean or bigoted parents.

  35. ZeroInMyOnes

    The real problem is we don’t have enough FBI agents to investigate Wall Strret and the Banks.

    And people such as this dude just laugh about it…

  36. kevinearick

    Their pensions, along with most others, are gone and they are going to lose their jobs if they cannot stop the tide, a fruitless endeavor, so the result is frustration, as the mythology they based their lives upon disintegrates beneath them.

    Operating systems run the sky above, the ground beneath, and all corporations, public, private, and non-profit. We wouldn’t have given them scripts and walked out had we not prepared a new system for the kids.

    Interest and penalties are due.

  37. Chris A


    Overall, fantastic work. I’m astonished and outraged at the possibility (more likely, probability) that people in the Fed’s employ are as recklessly irresponsible with public expressions of their personal politics. Moreover, it’s an outrage to hear Fed personnel, regardless of their function or seniority, show such brutal disdain for fellow Americans who are, essentially, bothered enough by growing inequality and outright corruption in the banking and financial services industry to take the time and trouble to participate in a movement that challenges those problems at their most elemental level — including a willingness to place their personal security at risk. (Frankly, I wish I were as brave.) I’m glad to see such a focused and intense indictment; you make quite a strong case that this story points up the degree to which the Fed has been captured by and all too often does the bidding of large financial institutions and the proverbial 1%.

    I’m equally and probably more outraged by the ubiquity of the attitudes of Mr. Barker, seemingly shared by legions of Americans — across regions, occupations and industries, age, etc. I’m intrigued/flabbergasted by the political psychology behind the constant condemnation of the OWS movement. Not to suggest that its participants are all saints, by any means; they’re just people. Yet the condemnations, so often couched in the familiar rhetoric of backlash, as if to argue that it’s fundamentally wrong to try to change the world we live in for the better. My sense is that books and academic dissertations are probably going to be devoted to just this phenomenon for some time to come. Let the examination begin. To that end, your conclusion speaks pretty forcefully:

    “Jason, who is dumb enough to identify himself as one of a 53%, is in fact a willing tool of the 1%, to be discarded when he is no longer of any use to them. In some ways, these foot soldiers of corruption are more contemptible than the higher ups, for they’ve sold what little integrity they ever had for for promises and crumbs.” Right on.

    About Carnegie Mellon/Tepper: I attended this institution from 1995-97. [End of disclaimer.] It’s a worthy institution of which I do not believe Mr. Barker is very representative. (Yves, I’ll forgive your dismissal of Tepper as a third-rate business school; as far as I’m concerned, I received a first-rate business education there, as oxymoronic as that term may sound.) To other readers: DO NOT call Tepper Business School and express your outrage as to how the school could produce someone as obviously lacking in basic moral faculties as Mr. Barker. That might even be counterproductive. If you are so inclined, DO CALL and mindfully tell them you feel business ethics should be an essential part of the curriculum of any reputable MBA program, and this vignette shows us all exactly why. They already know this, but probably need to be reminded, and I’m pretty sure they’re already on top of this story. But don’t stop there: contact any other MBA programs you’re inclined to contact, as well.

    I’ll end by telling the story of my entrepreneurship professor at Carnegie Mellon/Tepper, the late Jack Thorne, who gave me the best career advice I’ve probably ever received. In essence, his advice was not to compromise your integrity or personal ethics in the course of your career, ever. Once you’ve relinquished them, you really don’t have anything left.

    1. Dikaios Logos

      Come on, business schools don’t need more lip service ‘business ethics’ classes. They need to be condemned for selecting so many amoral people. For all they crow about “leaders”, “leaches” does a better job of explaining who they select. They need to change the paradigm.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      You seem to have missed the real issue with Tepper. See my comment above. I said something along the lines of “MBA programs are employment agencies with a year of education and some grooming.”

      Tepper may do a decent job of educating, but that is not the main point of an MBA. It is the perceived luster/employment agency part.

  38. Dman

    I was having a miserable day….and then read this post! Brightened up my day. Isn’t it amazing how stupid people get on facebook? Yves, sending you another 20 large. Keep up the great work.

  39. rotter

    This Jackass reminds me of several people ive had the misfortune of being related to by blood. One of them is a Navy Department Lawyer. Hes a Navy Veteran, Went to school on the Reagan era GI bill, and makes a 3 figure salary working on contracts for the Navy. Moreover, his father abandoned the familly when he was 9 and his mother went on public assistance for the period of time he was in middle and highscool,but he runs his all the time, all the usual neoliberal claptrap about bombing Muslims and deadweight unions etc., etc., a real “self made man”. I would bet anything this jackass has used 10’s of thousands of dollars of educational assistance and who knows what other kind of help to get his phony “private sector” job.

  40. Jim

    Question for Web Analytics people. If I search Google News for “jason barker” fed, I get one result..

    New York Federal Reserve Employee Urged NYPD To Crack Skulls Of …

    ThinkProgress – Zaid Jilani – 4 hours ago
    Naked Capitalism notes that a man named Jason Barker — who identifies himself on his Facebook profile as an employee of the New York Federal Reserve

    Why doesn’t NC’s entry show up?

    1. Marley

      NC is still the #1 results for “everything” (as in all web content), but perhaps NC is not considered “News”???

    2. MB

      There are services that remove these things for a fee. There is one in particular I have heard advertised called “”. If I understand correctly, it erases the footprints and bad press.

  41. CG

    Yves – I love everything you write (and i’ve donated to the site since i love it so much), but why do you make the intellectually dishonest jump that someone who is against illegal immigration to be “anti-immigration”? There’s such a big difference between the two, and it drives me nuts when self-proclaimed liberals make that jump/assumption.

    It’s entirely possible to be in favor of slow, gradual, controlled immigration (consisting of a high percentage of highly educated immigrants, who learn the language and assimilate)… while at the same time being against uncontrolled, rapid, illegal immigration (which ends up consisting of a high percentage of poor, uneducated laborers, and, unfortunately, often criminals).

  42. Paul T

    What do you mean 3rd tier bizschool? What does it take to impress the chicks on this site? I mean he has a J O B!! He tweets! 3rd tier? that’s just cold. But let’s face it, if Herman Cain can be chairman of the Kansas City Federal Reserve, how picky can they be?

  43. yves-hater

    Yves, I think you may have lost some credibility when you referred to Tepper as a Tier 3 school.

    According to you, I had my choice between attending a Tier 1 (HBS) and a Tier 3 (Tepper) school? I chose the Tier 3.

    HBS resumes come across my desk all of the time, and I’ve never hired one. And I actually saw one get fired in my MBA internship.

    Would you mind posting the link to your LinkedIn and Facebook pages, please?

  44. Anonymouse


    While Jason’s comments are probably more reflective of his age than the Fed, so much of what you’ve written here is true. Examiners at the Fed are not trained to think, and are rarely encouraged, much less allowed, to be critical of any decisions made up the endless chain of hierarchy. Academic credentials are sometimes the only deciding factor in interviews. That is, any applicant from XYZ is automatically granted an interview regardless of experience. This is not universal, but is fairly widespread. In certain critical functions, intellectual diversity is non-existent. The upside/downside is some of the least diverse groups are now employed at the CFPB.

    With respect to hiring from “the Street”, overall this is not an entirely bad decision in supervision and regulation, as employees are often “lifers” with virtually no understanding of how the private sector functions. (caveat – this may not be true of the NY Fed)

    IMHO, the scariest observation is regarding the current mindset of the many of the economists in the Ivory Tower of monetary policy –

    “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.”

  45. Eric

    People need to realize that all of New York lives off of the paper money games of the Wall Street Banksters and the Fed. In the end, no matter how “liberal” the commentator, if he/she is NY based, he’s for getting rid of OWS. The looting of America via paper games continues apace in order that non productive elites can maintain a lifestyle. Nonproductive cities too.

  46. Anon

    You must be pretty thick if you think the dumb actions of one Fed employee make “truths” about the entire central bank and its hiring policies “blindingly obvious”…

  47. Gordon Brooks

    Yves, why do you say that Jason is “presumably libertarian” because he supports the Arizona Immigration Law? I am a libertarian, and I consider the Arizona law to be the most anti-liberty piece of crap I can think of.

    I am also dead-set against any form of censorship or abuse of police power, and believe that peaceful protest of the kind I have seen personified by OWS is an important American right.

    My biggest problem with OWS is that they have been focusing a lot of their energies on the wrong targets. They need to home in, not on the 1%, but on the perhaps .01% who perpetrate the massive fraud that continues to suck the economy dry. And they need to call, not for more regulation, but for prosecution and restitution.

    Matt Taibbi of The Rolling Stone nailed it when he asked why there hasn’t been a protest of income inequality until so recently. HIs answer: people don’t mind that there are others who are much richer than they are. But they get royally pissed at cheaters.

  48. Jordan

    Yves I think you are one of the most prolific writers that sit on the other side of the table from me with regard to the economy, political landscape, regulatory environment, and much more. However, posts like these are more akin to flame wars on the internet rather than honest dialogue about how the world ought to be. So a guy made a comment who works for the Federal Reserve Bank, and you post his facebook, linkedin, and more on a widely read blog. To what purpose, what end? Can’t we all draw extreme examples in any political argument to support our cause?

    I learned something recently that I take to be perhaps one of the most valuable things for integrity. It’s assuming the best of your opponent/person you disagree with until they prove themselves otherwise. This person’s comments are inappropriate, but you have not yet had a conversation with him to see if it was an emotional comment based on a negative interaction he had earlier in the day with somewho who may be an outlier to the OWS movement. Certainly it’d be impossible to employ this in real life, but I cannot help but ask. Would you rise above the muck and mire of outlier politicking and fight schools of thought? You are a leader and if you are right then I want my opinion changed. However your credibility seriously diminishes when you take your esteemed blog and devote it to slinging mud on an idiot who made a foolish comment on a social network.

  49. RodHandler

    Whatever people post on their facebook is a 100% representation of their views.

    I’m sure if you guys looked through your facebook posts you would find NOTHING that would make you look bad when taken way out of context.

    I bet he is an internet troll and you guys fell for it hook, line, and sinker.

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