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Fed's Daly says equity is path to faster U.S. growth

FILE PHOTO: San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly poses at the bank’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, U.S., July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

(Reuters) – San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President Mary Daly on Wednesday intensified her call for a concerted effort to address racial and other inequalities as a way to boost the U.S. economy’s potential for growth.

Daly did not comment on the outlook for monetary policy or her views on the state of the economy in remarks prepared for delivery to the UCLA Anderson forecast webinar. Instead she focused her attention on the long-standing gaps in economic opportunity, wealth and well-being in the United States that have been brought into sharper focus during the pandemic.

Citing her own recent work and others, she said that such gaps have cost the economy nearly $23 trillion over the past 30 years. Inequitable access to education and financing, and lack of diversity in business and government, eats into the economy’s productive capacity, she said.

“We can take for granted that the outcomes we see today are inevitable, and watch as the pandemic makes existing gaps deeper and our prospects for future growth even slower,” Daly wrote. Or, she said, “we can see them as a sign that resources aren’t being used to their fullest and that people with great potential are being kept each day from realizing it.”

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