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Global central bankers, who shared the limelight for skirting a pandemic-driven depression with quick action two years ago, are now stumbling through the aftermath as they try to quell an inflation surge none predicted or have been able to forestall.

If their response to the economic crisis triggered by the pandemic seemed bold and forward-looking, with its laundry list of new programs and massive monetary stimulus, the last few months have been an erratic, even awkward phase of failed forecasts, embarrassing mea culpas, increased political scrutiny and some evidence of lost trust.

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