Top Fed Official Warns Inequality May Impede Recovery | social security |

A top Federal Reserve policymaker has raised the possibility that rising inequality may restrain economic growth for several years in a sign the central bank may be worried about the increasing gap between the rich and poor.

“In my view, the large and increasing amount of inequality in income and wealth, which has been an ongoing development for decades, may have exacerbated the crisis,” Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin said Thursday in a speech delivered in Washington. “More research is required to determine whether it may also pose a significant headwind to the recovery from the crisis for years to come.”

Home values rising at their pre-recession pace may help alleviate some of the wealth gap, Raskin said, but “some of the restraints on the recovery may be quite long-lasting.”

Raskin’s comments are among the most forceful to date from any current member of the Fed’s seven-person Board of Governors regarding wealth, income inequality, and how dynamics in household wealth may be impeding growth and prolonging the realization of a full-fledged recovery for millions of struggling U.S. families.

“Overall wage growth has been anemic, and many households have not seen their circumstances improve materially,” Raskin said of the current economic recovery, which began in 2009 after the so-called “Great Recession” officially ended.

The Fed thus far has focused on stimulating overall growth by keeping borrowing costs near record-lows and incentivizing investors, businesses and households to take risks, in hopes it will lead to increased purchases and investment. Fed policy tools such as lowering interest rates and purchasing U.S. Treasuries and mortgage securities, however, may be ineffective in alleviating inequality.



Via The Ryno