Four questions for Jerome Powell on equality and accountability
By Karen Petrou

In July, Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) asked Fed Chair Jerome Powell about the inequality that I and many others attribute in part to post-2010 Fed policy. In November, Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) asked virtually the same questions and got the same “not us” answer.  This response is surely comforting to the central bank, but it should be unacceptable to the Senate as it considers Powell’s confirmation. It will be easy for senators to spend all their time quizzing Powell on why inflation isn’t actually “transitory,” why employment isn’t “maximum,” and if markets pumped so high atop the Fed’s safety net will do yet another black-swan dive. However, the cost of economic inequality measured by political polarization, lost hope and even lost lives is far too high to ignore. To the extent that the Fed has increased inequality — and it has — it should quickly change policy or be required to do so.