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Herbie and the group of 31

Federal Reserve Bank of New York,
33 Liberty Street, New York, NY 10045 - 0001

It is real nice of Bill to let us use his boardroom, and for me a first time within the mighty walls of Fortress Fed, you enter thru the portcullis on Liberty Street, turn left at the cloister, and ascend the medieval elevator to the somber paneled hall where Ben Strong once fends off Montagu Norman and where today your boy stands tall amid the Group of 31.

This sure is an exclusive club and they extend it specially for me, until now it is the Group of 30, meaning bankers and regulators and some guys who trade in and out, membership by invitation, president Paul M Volcker, executive secretary Geoffrey L Bell.

Everyone figures this for one of those groups of ministers and sherpas who gather round at summits out of force of habit, and bring the communiqués with them, like at IMF time we get the G7 and 10 and 24 and 77, and also the G30, which is different, and informal, and does not issue any communiqués at all, unless it feels like it.

Well, a little while back it feels like a communiqué coming on, to lay down club rules on a topic of mutual interest, viz.,

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