The Financial Repression Index: U.S Banking System Since 1984

11 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2018 Last revised: 11 Jun 2019

See all articles by Richard Christopher Whalen

Richard Christopher Whalen

Whalen Global Advisors LLC; Mortgage Bankers Association; National Mortgage News; FINRA

Date Written: June 8, 2019


This paper reviews the research literature concerning financial repression. The paper then presents an empirical measure for financial repression in the US banking system entitled “The Financial Repression Index,” drawing upon public data going back to the early 1980s The paper draws some preliminary conclusions about the economic impact of financial repression in the US based upon observations of the banking system and related data. Overall this paper concludes that bank depositors and investors have been the victims of significant financial repression since the 1990s and particularly since the 2008 financial crisis as measured by the dramatic shift in net interest income in favor of banks. The paper also concludes that while banks themselves have received a significant subsidy due to financial repression, banks have also suffered decreased asset returns as a result of the low interest rates policies and open market operations of the Federal Open Market Committee.

Keywords: Financial Repression, Reinhart, McKinnon, Rogoff, Volcker, Banking, Net Interest Margin, Interest Income

JEL Classification: G00, G01, G12, G18, N00, N20, N2, N4, P1

Suggested Citation

Whalen, Richard Christopher, The Financial Repression Index: U.S Banking System Since 1984 (June 8, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

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