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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has avoided the subject or outright denied the Fed's involvement in increasing economic inequality in the U.S., but San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly and other members of the Fed have been much more proactive.

Where it stands: While Daly does insist that the answer to the question of whether the Fed has increased inequality "is not yes or no," she does concede it is an issue that the Fed has had a hand in and could do more to reduce.

  • "Many of us, we’re openly discussing it ... and talk about the role that we might be able to play in terms of equalizing asset distribution or access to assets," Daly tells Axios.
  • "If we really want to treat this we can’t just say we don’t have the toolkit. It’s going to take us studying what we can do."

Why it matters: Inequality is becoming a major issue for policymakers as more Americans grow dissatisfied with the economy and the disjointed K-shaped recovery taking place following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

What they're doing: Daly says before the pandemic, events held by the San Francisco Fed, including the Fed Listens series, have included discussions on how to "think about monetary policy in a way that is more supportive of those at the bottom of the income or wealth distribution or not as inequality-enhancing."

  • The Fed's Main Street lending facility and its support for the Paycheck Protection Program were "developments that come out of this recognition, if you will, that we need to facilitate and use our lender of last resort powers in markets that are not just the Treasury market."

The last word: "More work needs to be done but I definitely want to push back on the characterization that we are not thinking about this."

Go deeper

1 hour ago - Sports

Unvaccinated athletes face 21-day quarantine at Beijing Olympics

Logos for the 2022 Winter Olympics at Yanqing Ice Festival in February 2021 in Beijing. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Athletes, staff members and journalists at the 2022 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be required to quarantine for three weeks, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) outlined in its newly-published "playbooks."

Why it matters: The quarantine period is longer than the Games themselves, meaning vaccinations or an earlier arrival date will be required to participate in or cover the Games.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

FTX CEO predicts more U.S. crypto flight

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

FTX doesn't look much like a company valued at $25 billion. Its new headquarters, located in a sleepy part of The Bahamas, is so nondescript as to not even have a sign. But it does expect to soon have neighbors.

Driving the news: Founder and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried tells "Axios on HBO" to expect "more and more crypto flight from the states" if the U.S. doesn't soon create a regulatory regime for cryptocurrencies.

Developed countries reveal $100 billion climate finance plan ahead of COP26

Alok Sharma, head of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow, speaks in Paris on Oct. 12. ( Li Yang/China News Service via Getty Images)

After 12 years of fits and starts, industrialized nations on Monday put forward a detailed plan to provide at least $100 billion annually in climate aid to developing countries starting by 2023.

Why it matters: The plan, presented by representatives of Canada and Germany, is aimed at defusing one of the biggest sources of tension at COP26, which is the failure of industrialized nations to follow through on their financial commitments.