Facing mounting pressure to roll back rate hikes, including protests by farmers and car dealers along with bipartisan political intervention, the Federal Reserve yielded. As unemployment exceeded 7% in May, the Fed chose to substantially lower the federal funds rate, even though inflation had reached a staggering 14.7% in April. This move tarnished Volcker’s reputation as a champion against inflation, and throughout the remainder of 1980, inflation persisted at over 12%.
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