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Opinion
Lisa Abramowicz

Fed Decries a Wealth Gap It Helps Perpetuate

The longer the central bank continues ultra-easy monetary conditions, the more the richest families benefit disproportionately.

The lopsided distribution of wealth is more than a social issue.

The lopsided distribution of wealth is more than a social issue.

Photographer: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Federal Reserve officials often decry the unprecedented disparity between the wealthy and poor. But they usually avoid mentioning the direct role they have played in widening these financial disparities over the past few decades. 

Expect this week’s Jackson Hole symposium to be a prime example of this dual reality, especially because its stated topic is “Macroeconomic Policy in an Uneven Economy.” The goal sounds good and noble, and without a doubt Fed officials are arguably talking more than ever before about inequalities of all kinds in the U.S. economy. But the problem is, the longer they continue ultra-easy monetary conditions, the more the richest families benefit disproportionately. And without different fiscal policies from Washington, the poorest families largely miss out directly.