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Clive Crook

The Simplest Way to Improve Monetary Policy

Persistent inflation has taken the Fed by surprise. It didn’t need to happen.

It has a better tool to tame inflation. 

It has a better tool to tame inflation. 

Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

Suddenly the Federal Reserve seems to agree with critics who say its efforts to control inflation have come too late. Its delay has given inflation longer to get entrenched, and now that the Fed is hurrying to catch up, investors are having to shift their assumptions abruptly. Both factors complicate the central bank’s job, making it harder to curb inflation without tipping the economy into a recession.

It didn’t have to be this way.