Jerome Powell’s Ironic Legacy on Economic Inequality

by Dion Rabouin

f there’s anyone who should be talking about economic inequality it’s Jerome Powell, a man who as Fed chair has aimed a spotlight on the issue and put the Fed on an intentional trajectory toward reducing it through policy.

Yes, but: Pressed for answers on how the central bank’s policies have impacted wealth and income inequality among Americans during last week’s virtual meeting with the National Association for Business Economics, Powell dodged and downplayed.

– It was reminiscent of the Fed’s May policy meeting when he asserted that the central bank’s policies “absolutely” did not increase wealth inequality in the U.S.

What we’re hearing: Powell came off as “disingenuous,” says Peter Atwater, an economics lecturer at William & Mary who first warned of a “K-shaped” recovery in June.

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