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June 13, 2006

Inflation Fears From Highly Placed Sources

Yesterday I made note of an opinion piece by Kevin Hassett, wherein said Mr. Hassett opined that the seeds of today's monetary policy challenges were sewn sown during the considerable period of time that the Federal Open Market Committee held the federal funds rate at 1%, and nurtured by the too-measured pace at which that accommodation was removed during the last year-and-a-half of Alan Greenspan's tenure.  (The Hassett article was also noted by Claus Vistesen -- hat tip to Edward Hugh for bringing Claus's blog to my attention.)

Today, David K. Smith informs us that the main man at the Bank of England is also concerned that global inflationary pressures may be baked in the cake. The Skeptical Speculator has the key details:

... Bank of England Governor Mervyn King says that "global interest rates may have been too low for too long".

"During the fastest three-year period of world economic growth for a generation, monetary policy around the world may have simply been too accommodative," said King in a speech to business leaders in Edinburgh. "Even though the monetary stimulus around the world is now being withdrawn, its effects are still being felt."

Oh yeah.  Comments yesterday by at least one Federal Reserve official were generally interpreted as hawkish.

All eyes, then, on today's U.S. Producer Price Index and tomorrow's Consumer Price Index reports.

UPDATE: Tim Duy has a terrific round-up of commentary within and without the Federal Reserve, including links to many items I should have linked to (and would have, had only real life not intruded on my blogging).