Where’s the Inflation?

I see that Larry Summers has caught up to the state of the art in galaxy-brain thinking:

The brief stagflation of the ’70s produced a hysteria out of all proportion to its oil-fueled origins. The real lesson of that era is that central banks can crush inflation whenever they want. It’s not easy or painless, but it can be done. Conversely, the lesson of the present era is that producing inflation out of thin air is hard. This means that inflation is an asymmetric threat: we know what to do about high inflation but we don’t know what to do about low inflation. This in turn means we should be less worried about inflation than we are.

But as in so many other areas, the ghost of the ’70s lingers even half a century later. It’s a decade that deserves far more attention than it gets. It is the fountainhead of so much that’s gone wrong with the world since, and we’re still nowhere near over it.


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