How FedNow is FedLate and Why It Matters

As we detailed in our in-depth report yesterday, the Fed is four-square for its own instant-payment system, dubbed FedNow even though the final implementation schedule suggests it might better be called FedLate.  The Fed added stimulus-payment snafus to the updated public-good rationale for a Fed-owned and operated faster-payment system, but the details of both its roll-out and all its critical, unfinished pieces suggest that the 2023 or 2024 launch date by which it still swears could well slip into the still-more distant future, leaving many folks still looking for their unemployment insurance.  Even so, the new Fed policy continues to brush aside concerns that its heavy footprint slows payment-system innovation, asserting with the straightest face a central bank can muster that it doesn’t compete with any undue advantage against the private sector.