High inflation in many countries will not be defeated by firm monetary policies alone, nor will it be tackled without them. Even if monetary policies are tightened massively, inflation will not fall relatively quickly and sustainably to the desired levels until fiscal expectations are stabilized. 

During a short time span, the macroeconomic backdrop and monetary policy challenges shifted dramatically in a way hardly seen in the recent history. Thereby, from a prolonged period of subdued inflation to a period of high inflation and potentially stagflation; from persistent and extended efforts to increase the degree of monetary accommodation to sustained actions of tightening to rein in the runaway inflation

This book is a collection of studies written from 1993 to 2017 by economists who worked or are still working at the National Bank of Romania. Specifically, the book contains nine such studies, of which eight make up the bulk of another book published in Romanian. I had the honour of being asked to write the forewords for both works. For this reason, the foreword to this book is vastly similar to the one worded for the book published in Romanian. The two forewords are different in that this one makes reference to the two papers that this book contains aside from the one in Romanian and, obviously, does not refer to the studies contained in the book published in Romanian but not included in this book, with three exceptions, about which I will warn the reader right before I refer to them. The reason why I will refer to those three studies, although they are not included in this book, is that they treat similar issues and are more recent. I will make the reader aware of the references to these three papers at the right moment.

I had qualms about using the expression dismal science to portray economics; this term goes back to the XIX century, in controversial writings by Thomas Carlyle and in Thomas Malthus’ thoughts on the scarcity of natural resources facing population dynamics –which is a theme resuscitated by the Club of Rome about half a century ago. My reservations originated in a fear that this “dark” qualification would be exceedingly pessimistic, that it is not appropriate to compare the current scientific-technological era with the age when a multifaceted industrial revolution was underway in Great Britain; that the society described by Charles Dickens’ gloomy novels is not to be compared with the modern world, that brought many hundreds of millions of people out of abject poverty outside Europe and North America.
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