In a dangerous double-whammy, monetary policy not only makes America even less economically equal, but economic inequality also frustrates monetary-policy transmission.
Thus, recessions are deeper and longer, reversing the good-times income gains central banks take as proof that their policies are not dis-equalizing even as the wealth divide grows ever wider.
Because monetary policy when rightly judged in terms of both income and wealth adversely affects economic equality and inequality stymies monetary policy, we won’t have macroeconomic-effective monetary policy until we have equality-focused monetary policy.
Transaction and savings accounts are critical to financial security and inter-generational economic equality.
Nonbank offerings might increase financial inclusion, but pose risks to safeguarding savings, personal privacy, and consumer protection unless or until consumer-finance standards symmetrically apply to banks and nonbanks offering like-kind products to vulnerable households.
Public-utility, postal, or CBDC alternatives to bank accounts are a long way off and may not effectively safeguard high-risk households.
Expanding low-cost, no-risk bank accounts is a critical near-term policy option.