Inflation | timiacono.com

Inflation Since 1510 (in the U.K.)

Super long-term charts like the one below, painstakingly created at Deutsche Bank and appearing in this item at Business Insider, are fascinating in that they tell a story that few seem interested in hearing, namely, that the world’s financial system and conventional thinking about economics has transformed radically in recent decades as the world switched to a pure paper money system administered by central bankers.

Obviously, you’d see a similar chart for the U.S. where, prior to the 20th century, high rates of inflation used to coincide with wars and was followed by periods of deflation to reverse those price increases almost invariably caused by supply shocks and temporarily abandoning a hard money standard to fund the war effort. Technological advances also fueled prior bouts of deflation, however, even a hint of deflation these days is considered taboo and must be countered by central bank money printing on a grand scale.

In what is part of a growing trend, economists at Deutsche Bank are asking whether deflation is really as bad a thing as most dismal thinkers think it is, as conventional wisdom toward deflation increasingly appears to be another case of The Emperor’s New Clothes.

The Deflation Bogeyman

Given this year’s tumbling oil prices, the image below from this QuickTake at Bloomberg seemed to be about as good a way as any to close out 2014 – Happy New Year!

The article itself contains all the usual conventional wisdom about the ill effects of falling prices but, of course, it excludes 19th century monetary history that is notable because there were regular bouts of deflation and short-lived depressions during an era of sound money that, over nearly 100 years, produced zero percent inflation, as opposed to the roughly 2000 percent inflation we’ve seen since the founding of the Fed in 1913.

The Labor Department reported that annual inflation in the U.S. rose above 2 percent for the first time since late-2012 as a surge in energy prices added to broad-based inflation in other categories of consumer goods and services. Overall prices jumped 0.4 percent in May, the biggest gain in almost two years, and are now 2.1 percent higher than a year ago.

Expectations were for an increase of just 0.2 percent and “core” consumer prices – excluding food and energy – came in higher as well, up 0.3 percent versus a consensus estimate of 0.2 percent. On a year-over-year basis, core inflation now stands at 2.0 percent.

Overall energy prices jumped 0.9 percent last month paced by a surge of 2.3 percent in electricity costs and an increase of 0.8 percent for motor fuel. Food prices rose 0.5 percent with a gain of 1.4 percent for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs leading the way, closely followed by a gain of 1.1 percent for fruits and vegetables.

Tagged with:  

Rosenberg on Inflation and the Fed

Gluskin Sheff chief economist David Rosenberg talks about such things as wage inflation where it matters and nascent rising prices with a ditzy Trish Regan who seems intent on extrapolating from a single month of data (last week’s negative PPI print for May).

Rosenberg has been warning about higher inflation for some time now and it’s worth pointing out that his track record on this sort of thing is pretty good.

I’ll never forget a few years back when he was predicting 10-year yields of 1.5 percent and everyone, including myself, thought he was kind of nuts.

Page 1 of 4012345102030...Last »
© 2010-2011 The Mess That Greenspan Made