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!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

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!

Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell on Monday further detailed the U.S. central bank's focus on inequality and disparities in outcomes for poor Americans and communities of color, but never mentioned the part the Fed has played in exacerbating that inequality.

Why it matters: The Fed's newly trained aim of achieving a "broad and inclusive" recovery, as Powell has termed it, rings hollow for many when Fed policymakers neglect to acknowledge the enormous role they play in the issue.

What happened: Powell spoke to the National Community Reinvestment Coalition ahead of the release of the Fed's Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED) report later this month. He focused much of his message on how the Fed is working to improve outcomes for larger portions of the population.

  • Specifically, the chairman highlighted low-income workers, small businesses and communities of color as facing "immense difficulties" and being "disproportionately affected" by the pandemic-induced recession and top of mind in the Fed's new framework.

By the numbers: The report found that 22% of parents "were either not working or working less because of disruptions to childcare or in-person schooling," and even higher numbers for Black and Hispanic mothers, 36% and 30%, respectively.

  • Powell also noted the report's findings that around 20% of people aged 25 to 54 without a four-year college degree were laid off in 2020, versus 12% for those with at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • And about 14% of whites in their prime working years were laid off at some point last year compared to 20% or more for Black folks and Hispanics in that group, Powell said.

Yes, but: Notably absent from the speech and a 40-minute question-and-answer session was any significant discussion of how the Fed's policies have increased and entrenched that inequality.

  • By propping up big businesses and financial markets with its QE4ever program, the Fed disproportionately helps give wealthy individuals and corporations a massive advantage.
  • And those most impacted by the pandemic have been the ones least assisted by the Fed's easy monetary policy.

The bottom line: Powell's goals seem to be improving outcomes for marginalized communities while also bolstering the Fed's reputation and standing in those communities. However, by ignoring the elephant in the room, the Fed has had little success with either goal.

Go deeper: Deep Dive — How the Fed took control of the economy

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
May 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

Warren Buffett sees inflation, even if Jerome Powell doesn't

Data: St. Louis Fed; Chart: Dion Rabouin/Axios Visuals

Warren Buffett became the latest big name to weigh in on inflation, telling viewers of the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting this weekend that he and his team are "seeing substantial inflation."

Why it matters: Concern about inflation is growing louder and becoming more pronounced among investors and the general public, even as the Fed and many mainstream economists insist price hikes will be temporary and are not worrisome.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
May 3, 2021 - Economy & Business

Investors are getting defensive about inflation

Data: U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Dion Rabouin/Axios Visuals

The record 21.2% increase in Americans' personal income in March was notable not only for its rise but for its causes and outcomes.

Between the lines: The Bureau of Economic Analysis pointed out in its monthly report on income and outlays that the increase in personal income "largely reflected an increase in government social benefits."

21 mins ago - Health

Study: Over 99% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients were not vaccinated

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Cleveland Clinic on Tuesday released a study showing that 99.75% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and April 13 were not fully vaccinated, according to data provided to Axios.

Why it matters: Real-world evidence continues to show coronavirus vaccines are effective at keeping people from dying and out of hospitals. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 95% and 94% effective, respectively, at preventing symptomatic infections.