Editor’s note: On November 22nd, after this article was published, the White House said it would nominate Jerome Powell to a second term at the Federal Reserve
THE FRISSON of relief among some of America’s most outspoken left-leaning economists is unmistakable. Whenever other countries report high inflation figures, they seize on it as evidence that America’s own bout of price rises is part of a global trend. “I hate to ruin the victory lap of all the people boasting that Biden’s Recovery Act would be inflationary, but the UK also had a big jump in inflation, with no big stimulus,” tweeted Dean Baker of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research, a think-tank, on November 17th. A few days earlier Paul Krugman, a Nobel-prizewinning economist, made a similar comparison between Europe and America. “What’s happening in the United States isn’t mainly about policy,” he concluded.