“Meteorologists tell us that global warming has created new problems for forecasters. Not only are hurricanes getting stronger, they’re also intensifying more rapidly than they used to, making it difficult to issue early warnings for communities in their path. Notably, officials in Florida’s Lee County waited for definitive evidence that they would be hit hard by Hurricane Ian before ordering evacuations — and by then it was too late for many people.
Is something similar happening with economic policy? Recently I wrote about the growing buzz from economists and businesspeople to the effect that the Federal Reserve, which has been trying to slow the economy to fight inflation, is braking too hard. Since then the buzz has intensified. And I’m increasingly convinced that, despite a disappointing inflation report and what still looks by some measures like a robust job market, the Fed is getting behind the curve.
We are, I’d now argue, just starting to see the effects of the interest rate hikes the Fed has been making since early this year. Never mind what inflation and jobs data are saying right now; there’s a lot of reduction in inflationary pressures — and a lot of drag on output and employment — already in the pipeline. The economy, as some business analysts like to say, may well be “rolling over.”
And the risks a hard-money policy poses to financial stability and the world economy in general are looming larger.”