In terms of direct impact on every American, no Fed leader stood taller (literally and figuratively) than Paul Volcker, who died last week at age 92. His passing should be noted especially by the generation that followed for whom “inflation” is a foreign concept.
For the past two weeks we have been looking at economic cycles and typical policy responses. But the characteristics of cycles have evolved over time, as have the responses to countercyclical intervention. This suggests a good news-bad news scenario: lower economic volatility, but reduced impact of government responses.
The US has enjoyed an unusually long period of relative stability (the longest stretch of economic growth in our history), but after 10 years, there are some signs that the gas gauge is low. We cannot know when, but is useful to understand why booms turn into busts.