Fed Tightening Is Having More Impact Than You Might Think

We’ve learned a lot about the transmission of disease in the past few years. Ideas, good and bad, are spread similarly.

Robert Shiller, the Yale University Nobel laureate, wrote in Irrational Exuberance of the epidemic model of the spread of information. The now-classic book about investment manias was published two decades ago, in the infancy of the World Wide Web and email, both of which accelerated direct person-to-person transmission of ideas. Moreover, Shiller noted, those ideas spread even more powerfully if accompanied by a “good, vivid, tellable tale” and without dry analysis from experts who might inject caveats.