The Fed’s credibility shifted from Inflation Fighter under Volcker to Wealth Disparity Creator and Inflation Arsonist under Powell. And everyone knows it.
By Wolf Richter | 12 March 2022
WOLF STREET — As stunningly and mindbogglingly bizarre as this sounds, it’s reality: Inflation has been spiking for over a year, getting worse and worse and worse, while the Fed denied it by saying, well, the economy is recovering, and then it denied it by saying, well, it’s just the “base effect.” And when inflation blew out after the base effect was over, the Fed said it was a “transitory” blip due to some supply chain snags. And when even the Fed acknowledged last fall that inflation had spread into services and rents, which don’t have supply chains all over China, it conceded that in fact there was an inflation problem – the infamous pivot.
By which time it was too late. The “inflationary mindset,” as I called it since early 2021, had been solidly established.
I’ve been screaming about it for over a year. By January 2021, I screamed that inflation was spreading broadly into the economy. By February 2021, I screamed that inflation was spreading into the service sector. And I screamed about inflation in the transportation sector. By March 2021, it was obvious, even to me, that “something big has changed,” based on the fact that consumers were suddenly willing to pay totally crazy prices for used cars, when many of them could have just driven what they already had for a while longer, which would have brought the market down, and with it prices. […]