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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.

As seen In:

In the News

Marketplace, Friday, July 5, 2024

July 5th, 2024|

Unpacking the June jobs report by Sabri Ben-Achour The U.S. economy added 206,000 jobs in June, according to the labor department.   On the other hand, the job growth in previous months was revised down significantly. Let’s discuss with Karen Petrou, co-founder and managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics. https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-morning-report/more-signs-of-a-cooling-labor-market/#Unpacking-the-June-jobs-report

American Banker, June 25, 2024

June 25th, 2024|

Derivatives pose thorny problem for banks, regulators in resolution plans By Kyle Campbell Federal regulators want large banks to get specific about their contingency plans for their derivatives holdings. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Federal Reserve cited four of the country's largest banks last week for weaknesses in [...]

Marketplace, Monday, June 17, 2024

June 17th, 2024|

Why are bond prices up right now? And what difference does it make? By Mitchel Hartman We’re in the midst of a bond market rally. In the last eight weeks — barring Monday, when the bond market retreated a bit — bond prices have been going up, as their yields [...]


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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.

Issues in Focus

The Vault

Karen Petrou: What MAGA Republicans and Rohit Chopra Both Want

Following last week’s celebration of American independence, my thoughts turned to the confluence of concern from both sides of the political spectrum about an issue at the heart of the Bill of Rights:  “financial censorship.”  When Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and CFPB Director Chopra agree – as they do – on a hot-button point such as freedom of thought as it may be expressed in financial transactions, a new framework [...]

July 8th, 2024|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , , , , , |

FedFin: Taking Trump Still More Seriously

In the wake of last week’s debate, clients have asked that we advise about what a second Trump term might mean for U.S. mortgage finance.  We reviewed our forecast at the start of this year on exactly this point.  Much of it remains as before, but there are several areas where an update is warranted due to recent Trump fiscal- and monetary-policy trial balloons.  Our updated, complete forecast follows.... The full [...]

July 2nd, 2024|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Karen Petrou: The Latest Faustian Fintech Bargain and How the Devil Gets Its Due

The sums lost in Synapse’s debacle are small when it comes to the financial system as a whole.  But, as the American Banker described last week, small amounts of money judged in the grand scheme loom large to many households.  Who’s to blame for losses due to the latest fintech’s playing fast and loose with FDIC-insured deposits? The perpetrators of course, but also the regulators who didn’t stop banks from [...]

July 1st, 2024|Categories: The Vault|Tags: , , , |
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