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Shira Ovide

The Next Recession Is Coming. Now What?

Income inequality worsened after the last downturn. Central bankers need to employ different tactics to prevent a repeat. 

It’s time to talk about the “R” word.

It’s time to talk about the “R” word.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Perhaps you thought the last decade’s global economic meltdown, which crushed stock prices and McMansion values, would most hurt the wealthy. Nope. The gap between rich and poor in the U.S. expanded in the aftermath of the Great Recession. The (sarcastic) good news: America’s wealth gap expanded less than Bulgaria’s between 2010 and 2017.

Interest-rate cuts and other common recession-fighting tools of central bankers may have contributed to wealth inequality, and fighting the next economic downturn may therefore require different techniques, Stephen Gandel writes as part of a Bloomberg Opinion series on planning for the next recession.