By Karen Petrou
- Pre-COVID inequality evidenced itself instantly in post-COVID consumer-finance extremis.
- A unique construct of ground-up recovery policies is an essential, urgent response.
- Regulatory revisions would help and long-overdue equitable liquidity facilities would do still more.
- New public guarantees are critical.
Ever since the U.S. economy crept out of recession, the Fed has represented its slow, inequitable recovery as a “good place.” Its own 2018 economic well-being survey contradicted this and the latest data released on May 14 are no better before COVID came and a lot worse thereafter. These data make it still more clear that the Fed must quickly reorient its trickle-down rescues to move money starting at ground level, but even that won’t be sufficient given the magnitude of COVID’s economic impact. The combination of macroeconomic harm and financial-system hurt also requires a reset in which new public guarantees for prudent private financing fully recognized by new rules play a major part. Continue reading “Bad Things about the Good Place and How to Pretty It Back Up”
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
It is a truth known to all who seek consumer protection from predatory lending that payday lending is a scourge. However, it is also a truth among business analysts that financial institutions will not willingly go broke. Regulated companies will exit a business which cannot generate profit regardless of unmet demand. It is also a truth among business analysts that unregulated companies then rise to meet this demand, often undeterred by the social-welfare scruples that underpin the consumer-protection rules.
Continue reading “Paternalism, Payday Lending, and the Post Office”