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Economic Quarterly

Winter 1998

Arthur Burns and Inflation

Robert L. Hetzel

Arthur Burns, Chairman of the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve System from February 1970 until December 1977, was fiercely opposed to inflation. Yet, over his eight-year tenure, prices increased at an annualized rate of 6.5 percent. Why? One reason was Burns's belief that inflation arose from a variety of special factors, each of which was largely out of the control of the Federal Reserve.

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