The Fed Is Bailing Out the Wealthy as Everyone Else Pays the Price
By Ryan McMaken
The Federal reserve says that inequality is a problem. At the same, the Fed also pretends to have nothing to do with it.
Last September, for instance, Jerome Powell bemoaned the “relative stagnation of income” for people with lower incomes in the United States, but then claimed the Fed “doesn’t have the tools” to address this issue. Instead, Powell, being the chairman of this ostensibly “independent” and “nonpolitical” central bank, called for the federal government to engage in fiscal policy efforts at income redistribution….In her new book, Engine of Inequality: The Fed and the Future of Wealth in America, Karen Petrou looks in detail at how Fed policy over the past decade—especially quantitative easing (QE) and ultralow interest rates—have benefited the wealthy while leaving most ordinary people behind. Petrou is one of the more interesting and informative analysts examining the financial services sector. As the head of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., she has provided research on the banking sector for more than thirty years, but in recent years she’s become more focused on exposing and examining the unhealthy and destructive effects of Fed policy. Petrou takes a different approach from the Austrians. She appears to have arrived at her conclusions from observing the trends and outcomes produced by Fed policy and then working backward into a theoretical framework. The data seems to have prompted her to ask why things have gone so badly after more than a decade of “unconventional” Fed policy. When it comes to identifying the problem, she’s come to the right conclusions.