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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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Industry Expert

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

The American Prospect, Thursday, June 3, 2021

June 3rd, 2021|

The Fed Becomes the Nation's Only Bank Regulator By David Dayen When the acting head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Blake Paulson sent a letter to Senate leaders in April defending the agency’s practice of allowing federally chartered banks to effectively launder consumer loans at [...]

Bloomberg Law, Friday, May 21, 2021

May 21st, 2021|

House ‘BioBond’ Bill Aims to Get Medical Research Back on Track By Jeannie Baumann Biomedical companies and universities could jump-start clinical trials disrupted by the pandemic under a bipartisan House proposal to establish a new federally backed loan program. Reps. Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) will introduce [...]

Wall Street Journal, Sunday, May 16, 2021

May 17th, 2021|

Inequality Would Widen if U.S. Policies Spur Sustained Inflation By Jon Hilsenrath Federal Reserve and Biden administration officials say economic inequality is bad and they aim their policies in part at helping to reduce it. In the short run, at least, those policies might be widening inequality, not shrinking it....A [...]

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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

FedFin on: Anti-China Sanctions

The Senate has passed by a wide margin legislation taking an array of actions to counter the threat now seen to be posed by the People's Republic of China.  Among these are optional and mandatory sanctions against a far wider range of targets linked directly or indirectly to China engaging in or benefiting from "malign" activities.  Far broader use of sanctions would create additional legal, reputational, and even charter risk [...]

June 22nd, 2021|Categories: The Vault|

Karen Petrou: Why Crypto Rules Could Prevent Crypto Chaos

FedFin's in-depth analysis of the Basel Committee's cryptoasset proposal kicked up quite a fuss. The major point of contention is our conclusion that the new approach might recast crypto in favor of regulated banks. Some said instead that the new capital requirements are punitive to the point of prohibitive. However, a close read of the consultation persuades me that, despite the need for refinements in several critical places, crypto counterparties [...]

June 21st, 2021|Categories: The Vault|

FedFin on: A Wrench in the Crypto Works

As detailed in our new in-depth report, the Basel Committee is proposing a new regulatory framework for bank exposures to cryptoassets that will influence not only what banks do in this critical arena, but also what the GSEs can do and thus what happens to the digital mortgage.  If Fannie and Freddie come under like-kind capital and liquidity rules related to their crypto exposures, digital adoption of any asset with [...]

June 16th, 2021|Categories: The Vault|
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