Concerns over rising US interest rates have been behind much of the stock market turmoil on both sides of the Atlantic in recent weeks.
The Federal Reserve has made it abundantly clear it will increase rates as much as necessary to curb inflation.
Yet American monetary policy makers have had a tendency to "overshoot" when pushing rates ahead.
Inflation is contained, yes, but the rates also serve as a brake on economic growth. Fed rate rises can halt growth entirely, or even send the US economy into a recession, if rates are raised too far.
That is why shares have been in a month-long tailspin as Fed chairman Ben Bernanke talks tough on inflation.
Yet even Wall Street economists expect Mr Bernanke and other Fed officials to continue raising rates at their meeting n ext Wednesday and Thursday, and possibly at their August meeting as well.
"We disagree that more hikes are needed, but we also know that they're coming," said Michael Strauss, chief economist at Commonfund. "In fact, we believe if they go with a hike next week, that'll be overkill. But we fully expect them to go not only next week, but probably in August, too."
US interest rates currently stand at five per cent, and are likely to be raised by a quarter percentage point next week. An August jump would put the rate at 5.5 per cent - at which point Wall Street expects the Fed to signal that it will stop.
There was debate at the beginning of the year that Mr Bernanke would call a halt at 4.75 per cent. Higher-than-expected inflation data and higher-than-average commodity prices have led Fed policy makers to speak out, warning that inflation poses a longerterm threat to the economy than slower growth.
Another part of the equation is Mr Bernanke's need to establish his credibility as Fed chairman and as an inflation fighter.
"There's a necessity of an incoming Fed chairman to maintain credibility, and talking tough on inflation is part of that," said Anthony Chan, chief economist for JP Morgan Private Client Services and a former economist for the New York Federal Reserve Bank. "I'm inching and leaning toward them going with another rate hike in August."
Although the increases are expected, few agree that they're absolutely necessary to contain inflation.
"If you look at core inflation, it's still in excellent shape," Mr Strauss said. "Studies show that inflation peaks six to mine months after the economic cycle peaks, so really, this should be about it. Anything more at this point is overkill."
It is considered likely that if the Fed raises rates in both June and August it will actually have to cut them before Christmas, probably at its scheduled December 12 meeting. Economists say Mr Bern-anke would prefer to raise too much, then cut later, than to not raise rates enough and let inflation get out of hand.
"You've seen the Fed do it over and over again. They raise rates a bit too much, then adjust later," Mr Chan said, noting that the full effect of rate rises aren't felt for many months.