• I'm not smart enough to know what the Federal Reserve will do on interest rates on Tuesday. But I am smart enough to suspect, some of its members aren't feeling too smart.

    In fact, some are deeply worried — if not, quietly panicking. And all because they see an economy slowing and they see themselves as the reason.

    None of these guys would ever admit they raised interest rates too much. But job growth is slowing, home sales are languishing and increasingly Americans are worrying.

    All because the Fed has chased an inflation ghost that never materialized and now faces a much more threatening slowdown that has.

    Not one Fed member will say he or she blew it, but by likely doing nothing on rates this week, each will all but acknowledge it.

    That 17 consecutive interest rate hikes have all but told us to take a hike.

    If so, the Fed would be following historic form: tightening too much — recognizing that too late.

    I know it's macho for the Fed to fight inflation. I know it's equally macho to never admit you fought the wrong battle.

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