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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.

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“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.

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In the News

American Banker, Friday, September 29, 2023

September 29th, 2023|

Absolute zero: Lessons learned from the Fed's zero interest rate experiment By Kyle Campbell Once a controversial move, lowering interest rates to effectively zero is now an accepted part of the Federal Reserve's crisis playbook, despite the havoc that a rapid increase in rates has wreaked on the housing market [...]

MarketWatch, Friday, September 29, 2023

September 29th, 2023|

Here’s how a government shutdown can cause a major financial crisis By Chris Matthews As a government shutdown appears likely, Americans are preparing for disruptions to food aid, air travel, and much more. Worse yet, it’s also possible that a prolonged shutdown could contribute to systemic stress in U.S. financial [...]

Politico, Friday, September 15, 2023

September 15th, 2023|

‘Triple threat': Auto strike joins a messy season for Biden’s economy By Sam Sutton The strike against Detroit’s Big Three automakers is hitting the U.S. economy at a precarious time — as it’s struggling with an era of high inflation and soaring borrowing costs. Combined with other emerging headwinds — [...]

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Economic Equality Blog

Economic Equality Blog is aimed at showing central banks and financial regulators how to put their formidable thumbs on the equality scale in favor of those whose income and wealth suffer so much in the wake of the great financial crisis.

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The Vault

Karen Petrou: How a Shut-Down Stokes Systemic Risk

Although there’s been some talk of what a government shut-down does to the SEC, there’s lots, lots more to worry about.  Risks are out there, risks that should be taken very, very seriously by the Members of Congress who seem to think that more chaos stokes their political fortunes.  Perhaps it does, but it could well do a lot of damage to their finances, not to mention those of all [...]

September 29th, 2023|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Karen Petrou: How to Right the Raft of New Rules

What struck me most about the HFSC hearing at which I testified last week was how lukewarm Democrats are to the new rules unless they feel compelled to defend the White House or core political objectives.  When the partisan spotlight dimmed, more than a few Democrats said that the rules might have both small and even significant perverse consequences. Given that GOP-led repeal of the rules is impossible and court [...]

September 25th, 2023|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , , , , , |

FedFin on: Large-IDI Resolution Plans

Although a pending FDIC/FRB proposal imposes a raft of new requirements for resolution plans from IDIs with over $100 billion in assets, the FDIC has also issued a freestanding proposal doing the same, also setting information-filing standards for IDIs below $100 billion but above $50 billion.  Aspects of the resolution-plan filing standards for large covered IDIs (CIDIs) echo and in some cases allow reliance on aspects of the joint rule [...]

September 18th, 2023|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |
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