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.
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In the News
American Banker, Friday, May 26, 2023
What's next for Fed supervision? Basel's Pillar 2 may hold the key By Kyle Campbell Regulatory changes are coming to the Federal Reserve in response to this spring's three large bank failures, and while some will take years to hash out, others can be implemented much more quickly...Karen Petrou, managing [...]
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 [...]
Issues in Focus
FedFin on: Compensation Clawbacks
Sen. Warren (D-MA) has introduced a revised version of legislation to ensure that both the FDIC and other federal banking agencies can demand that executives and others governing failed banks refund direct and indirect compensation to the federal government. As with Sen. Warren’s prior bill to do so, this bill is bipartisan, now also containing compromise language on several points from the prior bill to increase the odds of enactment. [...]
FedFin on: Enforcement Policy
Following a speech earlier this year by the Acting Comptroller arguing that some banks are “too big to manage” and the furor caused by recent failures, the OCC has significantly revised its enforcement policy. The new framework requires examiners promptly to intervene if any of a bank’s CAMELS scores slips to 3 for unsatisfactory or if the bank is what CFPB Director Chopra would call a “repeat offender” of law, [...]
Karen Petrou: How to Short-Circuit a Social-Media Run
Was the social media run Silicon Valley Bank’s kiss of death? Its former CEO says so. Regulators agree because the more the failure came from the great beyond, the less material their manifold supervisory mistakes. But, while it’s true that managerial malfeasance and supervisory forbearance played a huge role in recent failures, social-media herds can still trample a bank flatter than a morning croissant. FedFin outlined solutions shortly after the [...]