The Fed has done a terrible job on the one mission it was charged with at its founding: preserving the value of the dollar. It can beat up banks to lend to minorities, but whether that will increase or decrease racism is not something it can control. From Ron Paul at ronpaulinstitute.org:
House Financial Services Chair Maxine Waters and Senator Elizabeth Warren have introduced the Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act. This legislation directs the Federal Reserve to eliminate racial disparities in income, employment, wealth, and access to credit.
Eliminating racial disparities in access to credit is code for forcing banks and other financial institutions to approve loans based on the applicants’ race, instead of based on their income and credit history. Overlooking poor credit history or income below what would normally be required to qualify for a loan results in individuals ending up with ruinous debt. These individuals will end up losing their homes, cars, or businesses because banks disregarded sound lending practices in an effort to show they are meeting race-based requirements.
Forcing banks to make loans based on political considerations damages the economy by misallocating resources. This reduces economic growth and inflicts more pain on lower-income Americans.
The Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act has already shown what happens when the government forces banks to give loans to unqualified borrowers. This law played a significant role in the housing boom and subsequent economic meltdown. The Federal Reserve Racial and Economic Equity Act will be the Community Reinvestment Act on steroids.