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Instead of Burns, we have Bernanke; instead of Carter, we have Bush.
And while I marvel at how much the world has changed, it never ceases to amaze me how little the Fed has learned.
Like the Burns Fed of the 1970s, the Bernanke Fed is trying to avert a chain reaction of failures. Like the decision-makers under Burns, the team under Bernanke is talking the talk of moderation, while walking the walk of inflation.
Can't they add up the numbers? Don't they see the handwriting on the wall?
Already, U.S. producer prices have risen by almost 7% over the past year. And right now, they're surging at an annualized pace of 13.2%.
Already, U.S. import prices have catapulted 14.8% compared to a year earlier. And in the most recent month alone, they rose at an annualized rate of 33.6%!
And already, critical energy and food prices are rising at a pace that makes some of the 1970s surges seem small by comparison:
Just in the past 12 months, for example, corn is up 70%, sugar is up 72%, and the all-important price of crude oil is up by an astounding 102%.