By Karen Petrou
As the COVID crisis continues, some have speculated that wealth inequality will drop because it did in the 1400s during the Black Death. However, this cure is not only of course considerably worse than the disease, but it’s also no cure. Economic inequality is a cumulative process – the worse off you are, the worse off you get unless something positive reverses this compound effect. Conversely, the better off, the still more comfortable unless something comes along to redistribute your gains, however well or ill gotten. Given how unequal the U.S. was before COVID, it will surely get only more so now, especially if the Fed stays the course with trillions for financial markets and pennies for everyone else. Continue reading “Inequality Rising”
By Karen Petrou
As I write this, thousands of small businesses are clamoring for urgent SBA loans and so many Americans are filing for unemployment insurance that systems have crumpled across the country. At the same time, the S&P rose over three percent since Monday’s open. The reason for this dissonance lies in the fact that key parts of the financial market have been bailed out while ordinary borrowers are stuck and then some. Saving markets won’t salvage the economy – at its root, the U.S. is a consumption-driven economy. If consumers can’t survive, neither will the economy. The Fed must add a Family Financial Facility to all those it has crafted for the financial market and it should open one fast. In this crisis, time is truly money and money is what most families don’t have.
Continue reading “The Family Financial Facility: Urgent, Overdue, Equitable Fed Support for Those Most in Need”
By Karen Shaw Petrou
When former Fed Chairman Bernanke launched a new approach to U.S. monetary policy earlier this year, he prompted many within and outside the U.S. central bank to call for sweeping change that would solve the “mystery” Janet Yellen says bedevils post-crisis monetary-policy transmission. Just like the blue carbuncle Sherlock Holmes eventually found inside a large goose, central bankers are searching for a new gemstone within reams of data by which to guide increasingly complex policy-transmission channels. Continue reading “The Mysterious Case of the Misfiring Monetary Policy”