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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

Bloomberg Law, Friday, July 29, 2022

July 29th, 2022|

Bloomberg Law: Unlocking Consumer Bank Data Stokes Chopra's 'Underworld' Fears Evan Weinberger and Andrea Vittorio Consumers who let budgeting apps or payment platforms access their banking data shouldn’t feel as “powerless” about how that information is used if a pending regulation works as planned, said the head of the Consumer [...]

Financial Times, Friday, July 29, 2022

July 29th, 2022|

Biomedical financing must not be a casualty of the current downturn By Karen Petrou If the funding of small companies is threatened, then vital and transformative research will stop The writer is Managing Partner of Federal Financial Analytics Each day seems to bring more bad news about US financial-market valuations, [...]

The Hill, Wednesday, July 27, 2022

July 27th, 2022|

‘No good answer’: Fed set for big rate hike despite recession fears by Sylvan Lane The Federal Reserve is on track for another steep interest rate hike Wednesday despite growing fears its fight against inflation could push the U.S. into a recession. Fed officials are expected to announce another 0.75 percentage [...]

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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: The Sobering Lesson of Subprime Mortgages for Digital-Asset Regulation

Last week, the American Banker had a synopsis of views filed on Treasury’s request for comments on digital-finance regulation.  Its quote from the ABA’s comment letter is striking, indicating that this letter pointed to the increasingly-absurd reality of no rules for nonbanks and no digital assets for banks given all their rules.  Progressive advocates pushed back, arguing that it’s right to keep banks quashed because of all the systemic hazards [...]

August 15th, 2022|Categories: The Vault|

Karen Petrou: Procyclical Capital Rules and the Economy’s Discontent

In our recent paper outlining the holistic-capital regime regulators should quickly deploy, we noted that current rules are often counter-productive to their avowed goal of bank solvency without peril to prosperity.  However, one acute problem in the regulatory-capital rulebook – procyclicality – does particularly problematic damage when the economy faces acute challenges – i.e., now.  None of the pending one-off capital reforms addresses procyclicality and, in fact, several might make [...]

August 8th, 2022|Categories: The Vault|

Karen Petrou: The Incredible Shrinking Fed

As seems increasingly the case, I spent more time last week than hoped with airport personnel.  In the course of the economic-inequality discussion that prompted my travels, I mentioned that I had little confidence in the general-public inflation expectation data in which economists put such stock.  So, I asked my aide what she thought and was told that her biggest fear is the “rising price of the dollar” and whether [...]

August 1st, 2022|Categories: The Vault|
The Vault

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