Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell in Washington, D.C., June 2022
Elizabeth Frantz / Reuters

Two years ago, I predicted in Foreign Affairs that the COVID-19 recession, coming on top of the financial crisis of 2008, would lead rich democracies to redefine the outer limits of their monetary and fiscal power, ushering in an “age of magic money.” Because central banks had a long record of containing inflation, the penalty for profligacy would likely not materialize; supersized stimuli could coexist with stable prices. Of course, the success of this experiment would depend on the continued inflation-fighting credibility of central banks, the Federal Reserve foremost among them. “If the Fed loses its independence, the age of magic

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