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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

American Banker, Wednesday, May 8, 2024

May 8th, 2024|

Will Democrats stand by Gruenberg? By Clair Williams Lawmakers — mostly Republicans — let loose almost immediately after the release of an independent review of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s workplace culture, calling for the agency's chairman, Martin Gruenberg, to resign. Those calls, while neither entirely new nor unexpected, were [...]

American Banker, Friday, April 19, 2024

April 19th, 2024|

Is the Fed board eroding regional Fed banks' independence? By  Kyle Campbell  The Federal Reserve Board of Governors has a greater say over leadership at the reserve banks than it once did. But whether that benefits the central banking system is an open debate...Karen Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial [...]

Marketplace, Wednesday, April 11, 2024

April 11th, 2024|

What do bank earnings tell us about the economy? By Mitchell Hartman It’s the second week of April, which means spring is in the air and daffodils, cherry trees and lilacs are blooming. Here at Marketplace, it also means earnings season is starting. Corporate profit-and-loss reports for the January-to-March quarter kicked [...]


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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

FedFin on: AI Implementation

Although pressed by Congress to reach conclusions about AI’s risk in the financial sectors, Treasury is following up the worries in the most recent FSOC report with only a request for information (RFI) from the public.  The RFI follows an Executive Order (EO) from President Biden in 2023 instituting a “whole-of-government” program to identify best-use and high-problem aspects of AI from both a private- and -public sector perspective.... The full [...]

Karen Petrou: Private Capital Goes Retail

Jamie Dimon recently said that there will be “hell to pay” when private credit gets the comeuppance common to businesses engaged in a race to the bottom.  But, who’ll pay it?  If the $1.7 trillion sector isn’t as systemic as many fear, then hell will be paid by institutional investors and, downstream, the policy-holders and pensioners who depend on them.  But, there’s more.  Typically, Wall Street opens high-return products to [...]

June 10th, 2024|Categories: The Vault|

FedFin on: Consumer-Finance Contractual Terms

Deciding against finalizing a proposal to require a registry from nonbanks of their contractual terms,  the CFPB has instead issued a circular – i.e., a de facto rulemaking – telling both banks and nonbanks and their service providers that contractual terms and conditions may not require consumers to waive rights to which they are entitled under applicable state or federal law or which the Bureau believes likely to be “unenforceable.”  [...]

June 6th, 2024|Categories: The Vault|
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