The US Federal Reserve and Economic Inequality

Rethinking Capitalism and Democracy

In her ground-breaking 2021 book, Karen Petrou shows how the U.S. Federal Reserve inadvertently – but dramatically – exacerbated U.S. income and wealth inequality after 2010. Approaching the problem from a pragmatic, market-focused perspective, she demonstrates how the combined force of post-2008 monetary and regulatory policy made Americans more unequal, the financial system even more fragile, and voters angrier.


In the seminar, Petrou will provide a perspective on what the Federal Reserve did to counter the pandemic-induced 2020 financial crisis and its inequality impact. She will lay out the inequality-transmission channels of current Fed policy and discuss specific policy solutions, to address worsening economic inequality in a higher-risk financial system.


This webinar will be moderated by IIEP Distinguished Visiting Scholar Sunil Sharma, and with welcoming remarks by IIEP Director Jay Shambaugh.