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Walking the tightrope

The Federal Reserve (Fed) and the money markets seem to agree that it’s time for the Fed to shore up its inflation-fighting credentials. As economic data continued to come in hot over the past few months — showing a tight labor market and inflation not seen for generations — the prospect of accommodation removal in its various forms moved from a distant event to one likely to begin soon. The Fed has signaled it will raise rates at its March meeting; the main question over the past month or so has been whether the first increase would be 25 basis points (bps; 100 bps equal 1.00%) or 50 bps.