The Complexity of the Fed’s Interest Rate Angst

A Wall Street Journal piece on how Amazon (and online comparison shopping in general) is making life difficult for the Federal Reserve had this remark early on:

Web-driven comparison shopping complicates Fed decisions on how much and how fast to raise interest rates.

No, it doesn’t. Only the bureaucrats at the Fed and reporters in the NLMSM think this is complicated. The Fed wants inflation stable at 2%. The Fed knows that interest rates—the cost of money—are inherently inflationary. The Fed knows what benchmark rates historically are consistent with 2% inflation.

The Fed should set its benchmark rates at those levels consistent with 2% inflation, and then it should sit down and be quiet. Neither its bureaucrats nor its inherently bureaucratic political appointees need to manufacture busywork by artificially complexifying a simple function in order to preserve their jobs. Reporters don’t need to complexify this matter, either; their interns can find lots of other things about which they can write.

Easy peasy.

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