October 18, 2014

Fed’s Janet Yellen, as a leading equal opportunity killer, has no moral right to speak about inequality.

Sir, I refer to Robin Harding’s “Yellen risks backlash after remarks on inequality”, October 18.

There we read of “the high value Americans have traditionally placed on equality of opportunity”… that “Ms Yellen’s speech was about equality of opportunity”… about “the rise in inequality using recent Fed research and then laid out four “building blocks” for economic opportunity in the US: [among these] business ownership” … and that “owning a business [was an] important routes to economic mobility.

For over a decade I have argued that forcing those who are perceived as “risky”, and who therefore already have to pay higher interests and have lesser access to bank credit, to have to pay even higher interests and get even less access to bank credit, only because regulators think banks need to hold more capital when lending to them than when lending to the “absolutely safe”, is an odious discrimination and a great driver of inequality… a real killer of the equal opportunities the poor deserve in order to progress.

And of course, let us not even think of what the Fed’s QE’s have done in terms of un-leveling the playing fields. The fact is that had it not been for how the financial crisis management favored foremost those who had the most, Thomas Piketty’s "Capital in the Twenty-First Century”, would have remained a manuscript.

Sir, to hear someone who so favors regulatory risk-aversion, daring to speak about American values, in the “home of the brave”, in the land built up on the risk-taking of their daring immigrants… is just sad.

PS. To me it is amazing how bank regulators in America can so blitehly ignore the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (Regulation B)