Jerome Powell’s unusual quest at the Fed: define what’s “normal” for the US

Jerome Powell’s work finally begins.

Today (March 21), the Federal Reserve raised rates for the sixth time since 2015, bringing the rate banks must pay to borrow funds to 1.75%. Markets stirred on the news, registering a brief rise. The ultimate response, though, was a shrug—nothing to see here.

The world’s momentary indifference to the work of the Fed chair and his committee makes sense. Powell’s predecessors, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, oversaw the response to the most...

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