In 1937, on the eve of a major policy mistake, U.S. economic conditions were surprisingly similar to those in the nation today. Consider, for example, the following summary of economic conditions: 1 Signs indicate that the recession is finally over. 2 Short-term interest rates have been close to zero for years but are now expected to rise. 3 Some are concerned about excessive inflation. 4 Inflation concerns are partly driven by a large expansion in the monetary base in recent years and by banks’ massive holding of excess reserves. 5 Furthermore, some are worried that the recent rally in commodity prices threatens to ignite an inflation spiral.
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