Topic: Inflation

The Fed Targets a Crafted Measure of Inflation: A Cautionary Tale

– May 28, 2021

“Understanding government data for what they are and what they are not is vital to understanding the impossibility of targeting the cost of living, even though the Fed is targeting a crafted measure of price inflation.” ~ Gregory van Kipnis


Unemployment and Bankruptcies – Is This Time Different?

– May 27, 2021

“The recovery we are witnessing today is built on the crumbling foundations of the serial malinvestments which resulted from previous attempts to avoid the recessionary pain caused by the GFC. If structural inflation can be engendered, an escape from the worst ravages of overindebtedness may be nigh, but, until markets clear and zombies die, what economic growth there is will remain suboptimal.” ~ Colin Lloyd


Lift Your Gaze, Please: the April Inflation Overshoot is Not the Problem

– May 18, 2021

“A betting man, if he wants to remain a betting man, updates his priors. So, I side with Jason Bloom at the asset manager Invesco: ‘There is so much dislocation in the economy from the reopening and base effects from a year ago that it will take at least six to 12 months before we get a clear view of the underlying inflation trend.’ I will make a different sort of prediction, though: no matter what the future holds, the Chickens will be there to squawk about it.” ~ Joakim Book


Monetary Inflation’s Game of Hide-and-Seek

– May 18, 2021

“Whether the CPI records a higher or a lower rate of general price inflation, the more deleterious effects resulting from monetary inflation are those relative price and wage distortions, and resource, labor and capital misallocations and misdirection, that are hidden beneath the ‘surface’ of the general price level, but nonetheless set in motion the phases and consequences of the business cycle.” ~ Richard M. Ebeling


Lumber, Labor, and Gas Markets Tell SAD Stories

– May 17, 2021

“As economists emphasize whenever price gouging rules kick in, ignoring what supply and demand analysis has to teach us usually means making the problem worse rather than better.” ~ Art Carden


War Of Words Over Inflation Stirs Questions for the Fed

– May 15, 2021

“Does it make sense, for a nation founded on the notion of individual liberty, equality under the law, and personal property rights, to allow a government agency to manipulate the value of the currency used by its citizens? Would it be better to have a stable monetary foundation to facilitate free-market outcomes, rather than empower the Federal Reserve to distort interest rates and dilute dollars in the service of government policy?” ~ Judy Shelton


There Is No Avoiding the Long Run: A Low Interest Rate Environment Is a Low Growth Environment

– May 14, 2021

“We’ve trod down the post-Bernanke path long enough to learn that the cost of following a policy of resource allocation by the Federal Reserve instead of allowing a modestly higher rate of inflation is lower growth of real income.” ~ James L. Caton


Assessing Potential for Higher Inflation

– May 12, 2021

“Monetary policy is intentionally supporting fiscal policy and supporting levels of indebtedness from the Federal government that are unprecedented. The result has been an explosion of M2 that increases the risk of inflation. There is a fair chance that policymakers will succeed. But, for the possibility of success, they risk a monetary-fiscal crisis.” ~ James L. Caton


A Trillion Here, a Trillion There

– April 2, 2021

“In the end, the total of what comes out of the economy is limited by the total of what is produced, no matter that you can borrow or print up unlimited amounts of money. Borrowing and printing up trillions and trillions of dollars isn’t real. It’s a special form of deceit we economists call inflation.” ~ Clifford F. Thies


Understanding The Rise In Inflation Expectations

– April 1, 2021

“Bond markets are currently pricing in a little more than two percent inflation on average over the next ten years, which suggests inflation will pick up. So far, Fed officials seem willing to permit inflation to run a bit high over the next decade. Whether they will remain so permissive when the inflation numbers start rolling in––or, ratchet up IOR to bring inflation down to two percent––remains to be seen.” ~ Nicolás Cachanosky


Rising Interest Rates and Inflation

– March 31, 2021

“A 5 to 10 percent jump in inflation expectations could be enough to set off a fiscal crisis for the federal government. And a fiscal crisis could be enough to generate a crisis of confidence in the dollar. There are numerous traps to avoid on the road ahead. Yet, monetary and fiscal policy both continue on expansionary paths with the greatest boldness that we have seen since the chairmanship of Arthur Burns.” ~ James L. Caton


Lots of New Money, But Still-Low Inflation. What Gives?

– March 29, 2021

“Just because a reckless central bank foists tons of fake money on banks, businesses, and households does not mean any of them must spend it. Fiscal-monetary recklessness itself can signal private-sector actors not to part with safe, liquid assets. Eventually, of course, they may choose to flee the money and the debt, bringing higher inflation rates and higher interest rates. Meantime, the prudent observer must never neglect to consult the demand side of money.” ~ Richard M. Salsman