In February 2018, Jerome Powell had taken over as chair of the FOMC. At first glance, the macroeconomic conditions inherited by Powell appeared favorable for continued stability: unemployment and inflation were low, and the economy had been steadily growing for nearly a decade. Yet despite the appearance of stability, the economy faced significant risks that required the Federal Reserve's attention. Was an uptick in inflation imminent, and if so, should Powell raise rates to limit any inflationary pressure? Or was the economy still operating below capacity, and if so, should the Federal Reserve take a more accommodative stance? To gain perspective, Powell needed to look back at the past fifty years of monetary policy in the United States.