Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Stay on top of the latest market trends

Subscribe to Axios Markets for the latest market trends and economic insights. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

On Friday, February 5 Axios' Dan Primack and Aja Whitaker-Moore hosted a virtual roundtable featuring policymakers, business innovators, and experts to discuss a widening divide in economic opportunity globally, uneven access to digital technology, and the realities of systemic racism.

Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Europe, Visa Charlotte Hogg, discussed how the pandemic has made digital inclusion inextricable from financial inclusion.

  • "Whether it's individuals or businesses and all parts of the economy, if you are digitally excluded in this pandemic, you are truly excluded...if you want an inclusive recovery, you want a recovery that attracts all forms of skill sets and enables jobs. You need to think about the digitization of small businesses."

St. Paul, Minnesota Mayor Melvin Carter unpacked how financial barriers to even accessing financial services in a critical obstacle for members of the community.

  • "We have people in our community who spend a tenth of their income every month just accessing financial services. That's a challenge for us. We have people who don't know or don't think that they earn enough money to even file for their federal income tax, so they lose collectively millions of dollars on the earned income tax credits that they are entitled to."

Mahesh Uttamchandani, the Practice Manager for SME Access to Finance and Credit Infrastructures, Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation at the World Bank highlighted how mobile money is an effective bridge for people who are unbanked to access to financial services.

  • "We have found that there are some real game-changers that you can do from a policy perspective to enable [financial inclusion], particularly around enabling the use of mobile money, which for many people in developing countries is the gateway access to some kind of financial service."

President and CEO at Women's World Banking Mary Ellen Iskenderian discussed the effect of gender disparities in access to technology on financial inclusion and successful case studies in closing gender gaps in finance.

  • "Inclusion and digital are so closely linked [and] women are at a disadvantage in access to the actual technology...We also know that trust is a huge barrier for people to really enter the financial system, to really embrace financial services. How do we make sure that as we move to more of technological use, that [people] still feel a sense of trust?"

Managing Director at Cleo Capital Sarah Kunst discussed the need to prioritize access to livable wages instead of focusing exclusively on financial literacy.

  • "On the day-to-day, education doesn't get you more money. It's having a higher minimum wage. It's being paid more fairly. It's being able to schedule basic things like which hours you're working so that you can have a second job and you can bring in a little bit more income. And I think a lot of those are policy-driven".

Sarah Rosen Wartell, President of the Urban Institute, discussed how racial equity is not a separate policy issue, but rather a facet of all policy, from housing to finance to health care.

  • "We've got to think about race explicitly in all of this. So many of the things that leave black families in America with so little wealth are the creation of intentional choices and policies we've made."

Thank you Visa for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Four ways to help close the racial wealth gap in the U.S.

JPMorgan Chase announced a new $30 billion commitment over the next 5 years to advance racial equity, especially for Black and Latinx Americans.

Why it’s important: Systemic racism has contributed to low and lost wages, rising costs of homeownership and barriers to small business creation, which have stunted economic opportunity for Black and Latinx communities in America – and COVID-19 has only made things worse.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Feb 10, 2021 - Economy & Business

The winter COVID surge has reversed progress on economic inequality

Reproduced from Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inequality in the U.S. continues to grow as the economy undergoes a compositional change in the labor market.

Driving the news: While higher wage earners have largely recouped their losses from the coronavirus pandemic's shutdowns earlier this year, those at the bottom of the income spectrum remain out of work at high levels and are losing more ground.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
36 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Fed could be firing up economic stimulus in disguise

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard at a "Fed Listens" event. Photo: Eric Baradat / AFP via Getty Images.

Even as global growth expectations increase and governments pile on fiscal spending measures central bankers are quietly restarting recession-era bond-buying programs.

Driving the news: Comments Tuesday from Fed governor Lael Brainard suggest the Fed may be jumping onboard the global monetary policy rethink and restarting a program used following the 2008 global financial crisis.