For the last five years of economic expansion, Congress has been unwilling to use fiscal policy to try to encourage faster growth. That has left the Fed as the only game in town, and the Bernanke Fed again and again turned to quantitative easing and ultralow interest rate policies to try to shock the economy into speedier expansion. Ms. Yellen was the No. 2 official at the Fed for most of this time, and helped engineer the policies.But this has contributed to an imbalanced form of growth in the United States. Many of the first-order effects of the Fed’s bond buying have been, for example, to drive up the stock market and to help lower mortgage rates. Because stocks are disproportionately owned by the wealthy and the upper middle class have been in best position to refinance their mortgages, the benefits of Fed policy for middle and low-income workers have been more indirect.
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