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Economics

Powell Price Fight Risks Lawmaker Ire If Employment Falters

  • Fed chair so far avoiding hard criticism for inflation error
  • Lawmakers focused on blaming each other but that could change
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, on June 22.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing in Washington, on June 22.Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has mostly escaped political criticism for inflation as Republicans blame Democrats, who in turn blame Russia and greedy corporations. That may be changing.

Scorching price pressures are expected to push the Fed to raise interest rates 75 basis points on Wednesday for the second straight month. The tougher it acts, the harder it gets to avoid a sharp increase in unemployment and the subsequent political fallout.