Engine of Inequality, by Karen Petrou
The first book to reveal how the Federal Reserve holds the key to making us more economically equal, written by an author with unparalleled expertise in the real world of financial policy.
Following the 2008 financial crisis, the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy placed much greater focus on stabilizing the market than on helping struggling Americans. As a result, the richest Americans got a lot richer while the middle class shrank and economic and wealth inequality skyrocketed. In Engine of Inequality, Karen Petrou offers pragmatic solutions for creating more inclusive monetary policy and equality-enhancing financial regulation as quickly and painlessly as possible.
“Petrou’s book uncovers a hidden engine of our skyrocketing inequality: financial-policy. In an accessible and engaging prose, Petrou takes us through the inner workings of monetary policy at the Fed and financial regulations, how they’ve made inequality worse and how they could instead be retooled to take us to a more equitable future. A novel look at the problem of inequality and bold ideas to help resolve it. A must read.”—Emmanuel Saez, Professor of Economics at the University of California Berkeley and author of The Triumph of Injustice
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Federal Financial Analytics (FedFin) is a Washington-based financial services-consulting firm that has for decades attracted a high-powered clientele in Washington, on Wall Street, and among global central bankers. Since 1985 FedFin has provided a unique blend of analysis and strategic advice on public policy, regulatory, and legislative issues for industry and governmental clients doing business in the U.S. and abroad.
A proprietary think-tank for its clients, FedFin reviews critical federal and global policy developments in banking, insurance, asset management, and mortgage finance, analyzes them in great depth, and then advises clients on whether what they want can be made to work for them, within the policy environment and for the financial system. It is FedFin’s guiding principle to be an honest broker, and clients depend on the fact that the firm does not offer lobbying or any other services that could compromise its objectivity and independence.
As seen In:
In the News
MarketWatch, Thursday, May 25, 2023
Regional bank crisis may be far from over, experts warn By Chris Matthews Regulators should stay vigilant as headwinds remain, say analysts The stock-market panic over the regional banks has subsided for now, but experts say that regulators should remain focused on shoring up the stability of the sector amid [...]
American Banker, Monday, May 15, 2023
Consensus on Fed's post-crisis reforms might be elusive By Kyle Campbell There is a lack of consensus on the Federal Reserve Board about what bank regulation and supervision should look like after the recent string of regional-bank failures. Michael Barr, the Fed's vice chair for supervision, laid out several changes [...]
Washington Post, May 10, 2023
After Dimon’s First Republic purchase, tougher banking regulations loom New rules forcing the big banks to increase their capital reserves are in the works, along with changes for regional banks By David Lynch When regulators earlier this month needed someone to take the failed First Republic Bank off their hands, [...]
Issues in Focus
Karen Petrou: How to Ensure That Independent Study of Regulatory Mistakes Leads to Near-Term, Meaningful Redress and Reform
Last week, a moderate Senate Democrat was joined by a Republican in yet another letter demanding an independent investigation of regulatory actions related to recent bank failures. But, as the absence of specifics in any of these letters makes clear, it’s a lot easier to call for independent inquiry than to lay out how to conduct one that might make a meaningful difference. Precedent is not encouraging – for example, [...]
Karen Petrou: How An Ill-Designed Special Assessment Is Sure To Scramble The Structure Of Federal Deposit Insurance
As our forthcoming in-depth analysis will detail, the FDIC’s proposed special assessment raises a raft of policy problems not contemplated by the FDIC despite a steep price tag warranting careful thought at a time of financial instability and recessionary risk. The FedFin analysis will detail the proposal, what the FDIC thinks, and what the proposal might do to whom, but here’s my opinion: the FDIC’s decision to allocate blame for [...]
FedFin on: Fed Frets About Banks, Nonbanks, Hedge Funds
Perhaps because its last financial-stability report (see Client Report SYSTEMIC94) was contradicted just five months later by a systemic-risk designation, the Federal Reserve’s latest report eschews a conclusion about prospective risk in favor of a review of current concerns. As noted upon the report’s release, these include a somewhat less effusive view of bank resilience than has characterized prior reports but the Board nonetheless views the banking system as sound [...]