Skip to content
Opinion
Karl W. Smith

Jerome Powell Is Fighting Inflation — and Winning

Critics who say the Fed chair hasn’t been doing enough to keep prices stable are just repeating last year’s arguments.

He has reason to smile.

He has reason to smile.

Photographer: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP

When Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell speaks in Jackson Hole later this week, he will have no shortage of critics lying in wait to vivisect his every remark. Their nearly universal theme is that the Fed has done too little, too late to stem rising inflation. Powell, the argument goes, bought into the misguided view that 2021’s inflation would be transitory.

As a result, the Fed continued pressing on the gas when it should have been hitting the brakes, keeping interest rates at zero through 2021. To make up for those mistakes, Powell will have to convince the public that he’s abandoning the Fed’s policy framework and admit that he is prepared to deliver the pain.