End the duopoly

Fed’s Barkin says economy could suffer relapse without more Washington stimulus


Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin says the economy needs more help from Washington. A recession of “historic proportions” could take another turn for the worse if a stalemated Congress fails to provide more financial aid to beleaguered workers and businesses hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, the president of the Richmond Federal Reserve warned.

Thomas Barkin, chief of one of 12 regional branches of the central bank, sounded an alarm at a “digital town hall” held on Tuesday by the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness.

Senior Fed officials have become increasingly alarmed by the standoff among Democrats and Republicans over the size and scope of the next financial aid package, including an extension of federal unemployment benefits. Normally very reticent to give advice to Congress, they’ve been relatively open in their views that the economy needs more help from Washington.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans called the impasse “an unfortunate development” in an interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“Another support package is really, in my opinion, important,” Evans said.

Barkin has been similarly outspoken. He’s said that what initially seemed like an economic pothole has turned into a sinkhole. Without the right stimulus, he said Tuesday, the economy could […]

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