The Path Forward: The Economy

The U.S. economy is just beginning to recover. With millions of Americans displaced from work in the ongoing pandemic, businesses and employees are fighting to stay afloat. How will the Federal Reserve help the recovery to benefit Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum? Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, joins Washington Post economics correspondent Heather Long to discuss how to rebuild an economy that works for all Americans.
  • Jul 1
Mary Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, says she doesn’t think the U.S. economy has reached the recovery stage, added the virus will dictate the pace at which we can go. ‘I would hesitate to call this a recovery...a V-shaped recovery is certainly not something that I think is happening.’
  • Jul 1
When asked why the Federal Reserve has been buying corporate debt and whether it helps working-class Americans, Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said if corporate businesses can’t get the financing they need, it’s more difficult for them to buy inventory or pay their employees. “We’ve looked for pockets of dislocations or breakage in the financial markets…One of those pockets was the corporate debt markets. Now, for many, they say ‘Well, wait isn’t that Wall Street?’ And the answer I really want people to hear is that Main Street and Wall Street are just interconnected. We all live in one economy, it’s an ecosystem…Us helping the ecosystem of the economy helps everyone.”
  • Jul 1
When asked whether the Federal Reserve is making wealth inequality worse, Mary Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said the Fed’s actions to stimulate the economy can increase wealth inequality. “When we take actions to stimulate the economy…the stock market, which is quite forward looking, often goes up and that increases wealth inequality. But others, don’t go up. They don’t widen as much as they would have, or they narrow…There are systemic inequities in our society…’
  • Jul 1
Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, says she thinks there will be a lot of changes to our world post-covid, including. businesses choosing not to use commercial real estate for their offices. ‘ I think one thing that’s really important...is that we begin to think not how do we get the world back to what it looked like before covid, but how do we, in fact, pivot and work on the world that’s likely to emerge...’
  • Jul 1
Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, says she still believes a four-year college degree matters, explaining that a four-year degree allows you to earn more and allows for more economic stability. ‘I never hear people from a low-income background tell me that they don’t want a college degree. It’s only people from middle and higher-income that suggest that maybe they don’t need one.’
  • Jul 1
When asked what’s the best short-term policy to address racial income inequality, Mary C. Daly, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said education is the best way to close the earnings gap.
  • Jul 1
Mary C. Daly
President and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Mary C. Daly is the President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. As a participant on the Federal Open Market Committee, she helps set American monetary policy that promotes a healthy and stable economy. Since taking office in October 2018, Dr. Daly has committed to making the San Francisco Fed a more community-engaged bank that is transparent and responsive to the people it serves. She works to connect economic principles to real-world concerns and is a sought-after speaker on monetary policy, labor economics, and increasing inclusion and diversity within the economics field. Dr. Daly began her career with the San Francisco Fed in 1996 as an economist specializing in labor market dynamics and economic inequality. She went on to become the Bank’s Executive Vice President and Director of Research. She has also served on the advisory boards of the Congressional Budget Office, the Social Security Administration, the Office of Rehabilitation Research and Training, the Institute of Medicine, and the Library of Congress. Dr. Daly earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master’s degree from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Ph.D. from Syracuse University. She also completed a National Institute of Aging post-doctoral fellowship at Northwestern University. A native of Ballwin, Missouri, Dr. Daly now lives in Oakland, California, with her wife Shelly.
Heather Long
The Washington Post
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.