Deepening financial disparity risks causing massive damage to the world economy and upending incumbent political structures. Already over the last several years we have seen the dangers of inequality reflected in the rise of populism in major economies. Law-makers are drifting further away from the political centre, as they try to appeal to citizens dissatisfied with the status quo.
These challenging themes, of critical importance to politicians and monetary policy-makers alike, are addressed in this edition of The Bulletin by a troika of OMFIF economists, as well as representatives of multilateral institutions and central banks.
Our contributors highlight how unorthodox monetary policy measures may have impaired financial inclusion, and argue that policy-makers ought to promote socially responsible investment in efforts to overcome the troubles that arise from unjust concentrations of wealth. Advances in financial technology hold a great deal of promise, but they are not a panacea for economic exclusion. In spite of fintech's much-vaunted ambitions, such advances mean little if users are unable to engage easily with the technology.
Policy-makers must be prepared to face up fully to these new risks. Unless they alleviate the factors that have long contributed to inequality around the world, economies and societies everywhere will be poorer.
Key contributors to this edition of The Bulletin include:
- Kristalina Georgieva, chief executive officer of the World Bank;
- Greg Medcraft, director of the directorate for financial and enterprise affairs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;
- Rodrigo Pereira Porto, adviser at the Banco Central do Brasil;
- Philippe Ithurbide, global head of research at Amundi.