It was either a calculated gamble or a display of utter certainty on Wednesday, when the Financial Times released a lengthy story describing a “crisis of confidence” among central bankers. The worry, according to the FT, centers on their ability to manage inflation and unemployment using the traditional tools of monetary policy. Indeed, it asks whether those tools have ever really operated in the way they were thought to in the first place.

The story came out on the same day that minutes from the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee were released, creating at least the possibility that the official record of the discussion among the Federal Reserve Board members and the Federal Reserve Bank presidents might douse the theory in cold water by displaying a level of confidence and certainty about the direction of inflation in the US.

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