Should the Fed raise interest rates?


The Federal Reserve has been dragooned into all sorts of extraordinary extracurricular activities in the past year (buying up long-dated Treasurys, anyone?), so it's easy to forget that the central bank has only two mandates: maintain stable prices and promote maximum employment.

Too bad those goals are very much at odds these days. Keep rates low, and the Fed just might put folks back to work sooner rather than later, fulfilling its mandate on the jobs front. But keep rates too low for too long, and the Fed risks sparking inflation, thus failing in its mandate for stable prices.