OPINION:

As a Babson MBA graduate, I am highly disappointed with the Federal Reserve‘s very late recognition of the runaway inflation affecting our country. Inflation is running at 8.5% compared to a year ago, and the Fed only started to increase interest rates in March 2022 in an effort to reach its target of 2.0%. How did we get here?

The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the implementation of relief plans, which had the Treasury Department pump almost $4 trillion into programs and tax credits. The availability of these funds and the savings accumulated by consumers in 2020 and 2021 provided a springboard of demand unleashed in the last half of 2021 and into 2022. This created the primary impetus for escalating inflation. A secondary cause has been supply chain constraints, and a tertiary cause is the war in Ukraine.


But where was the Fed in its role to implement monetary policy and control inflation? During 2020 and 2021 the Fed kept its federal funds rate at a bottom-floor level of 0.00%-0.25%, and with Quantitative Easing increased its balance-sheet assets from $4 trillion to $9 trillion. This monetary policy was designed to combat the economic impact of the pandemic, but inflationary pressures were ramping up around the middle of 2021, when I told family members the Fed should be increasing interest rates and ending its QE program.

Yet the Fed continued its near-zero interest rate and large monthly purchases of tens of billions of dollars in Treasury securities into 2022, which increased the money supply and the availability of bank loans. This was expansionist and continued the upward inflationary pressures. The Fed only woke up, determined inflation was pervasive and belatedly began raising interest rates and ending its purchases of Treasury securities in March 2022.

DONALD MOSKOWITZ

Londonderry, New Hampshire


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