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Hal Brands

Inflation’s Biggest Risk Is Geopolitical Unrest

The experience of the 1970s shows how skyrocketing prices at home can lead to dwindling U.S. power abroad.



Photographer: Chris Hondros/Getty Images

Inflation isn’t just a domestic problem. Sure, year-on-year inflation hitting 7%, the highest rate in four decades, is threatening to derail Joe Biden’s presidency. As my Bloomberg colleague John Authers has written, the inflationary trend appears broad and durable.

Yet now as before, inflation is a geopolitical phenomenon, which is rooted partly in rising global tensions and could have deeply corrosive effects on the U.S.-led world order.