Measures of inflation surge

More

Consumer price inflation was surprisingly high last month, coming in at a worrying 0.4%. The headline figure was driven by rising oil prices, to be sure--we hit $100 a barrel yesterday--but now core inflation, at 0.3%, is keeping a close tail on the headline number. Whether this represents the long-awaited trickling through of higher oil prices into other sectors, or excessive liquidity from the Fed, one can be sure that the central bankers are worried. For the first time in a long time, the central bankers may really have to choose between recession and dangerously accelerating inflation.

When I interviewed him last month, Austan Goolsbee pointed out that after Greenspan stepped down, and Bernanke was tapped for the chair, you saw a lot of monetary economists on our nation's more famous campuses who were clearly thinking "Why wasn't it me, God?" Now they're more likely to be thinking "Thank God it wasn't me." This is the time when central bankers start feeling, in the immortal words of Tom Lehrer, "about like a Christian Scientist . . . with appendicities."

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Did I Study Physics?

In this hand-drawn animation, a college graduate explains why she chose her major—and what it taught her about herself.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Video

What If Emoji Lived Among Us?

A whimsical ad imagines what life would be like if emoji were real.

Video

Living Alone on a Sailboat

"If you think I'm a dirtbag, then you don't understand the lifestyle."

Video

How Is Social Media Changing Journalism?

How new platforms are transforming radio, TV, print, and digital

Video

The Place Where Silent Movies Sing

How an antique, wind-powered pipe organ brings films to life

Feature

The Future of Iced Coffee

Are artisan businesses like Blue Bottle doomed to fail when they go mainstream?

Writers

Up
Down

More in Business

Just In