IN THE 1970S, high inflation wasn't just imagined -- it was very real. Today, however, those clamoring for rate hikes seek to head off potential threats -- of higher inflation, asset bubbles, and the like -- and ensure that U.S. growth continues to accelerate. In fact, inflation expectations in the U.S. have been falling recently, not rising. The risk becomes that the U.S. ends up repeating the '70s in reverse. Remember, in that decade, rates weren't hiked enough, causing inflation to reignite quickly, which never solved anything. Today, tighter policy could mean the economy never reaches escape velocity, instead remaining mired at 2% growth. And that's a mistake we don't want to make.
~ Ben Levisohn, "The '70s in Reverse," Barron's, September 15, 2014