Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
Stock Maket Trading Lesson - How to REALLY Trade Markets - 26th Nov 21
SILVER Price Trend Analysis - 26th Nov 21
Federal Reserve Asks Americans to Eat Soy “Meat” for Thanksgiving - 26th Nov 21
Is the S&P 500 Topping or Just Consolidating? - 26th Nov 21
Is a Bigger Drop in Gold Price Just Around the Corner? - 26th Nov 21
Financial Stocks ETF Sector XLF Pullback Sets Up A New $43.60 Upside Target - 26th Nov 21
A Couple of Things to Think About Before Buying Shares - 25th Nov 21
UK Best Fixed Rate Tariff Deal is to NOT FIX Gas and Electric Energy Tariffs During Winter 2021-22 - 25th Nov 21
Stock Market Begins it's Year End Seasonal Santa Rally - 24th Nov 21
How Silver Can Conquer $50+ in 2022 - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Betting on Hawkish Fed - 24th Nov 21
Stock Market Elliott Wave Trend Forecast - 24th Nov 21
Your once-a-year All-Access Financial Markets Analysis Pass - 24th Nov 21
Did Zillow’s $300 million flop prove me wrong? - 24th Nov 21
Now Malaysian Drivers Renew Their Kurnia Car Insurance Online With Fincrew.my - 24th Nov 21
Gold / Silver Ratio - 23rd Nov 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Can We Get To 5500SPX In 2022? But 4440SPX Comes First - 23rd Nov 21
A Month-to-month breakdown of how Much Money Individuals are Spending on Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
S&P 500: Rallying Tech Stocks vs. Plummeting Oil Stocks - 23rd Nov 21
Like the Latest Bond Flick, the US Dollar Has No Time to Die - 23rd Nov 21
Why BITCOIN NEW ALL TIME HIGH Changes EVERYTHING! - 22nd Nov 21
Cannabis ETF MJ Basing & Volatility Patterns - 22nd Nov 21
The Most Important Lesson Learned from this COVID Pandemic - 22nd Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Analysis - 22nd Nov 21
UK Covid-19 Booster Jabs Moderna, Pfizer Are They Worth the Risk of Side effects, Illness? - 22nd Nov 21
US Dollar vs Yields vs Stock Market Trends - 20th Nov 21
Inflation Risk: Milton Friedman Would Buy Gold Right Now - 20th Nov 21
How to Determine if It’s Time for You to Outsource Your Packaging Requirements to a Contract Packer - 20th Nov 21
2 easy ways to play Facebook’s Metaverse Spending Spree - 20th Nov 21
Stock Market Margin Debt WARNING! - 19th Nov 21
Gold Mid-Tier Stocks Q3’21 Fundamentals - 19th Nov 21
Protect Your Wealth From PERMANENT Transitory Inflation - 19th Nov 21
Investors Expect High Inflation. Golden Inquisition Ahead? - 19th Nov 21
Will the Senate Confirm a Marxist to Oversee the U.S. Currency System? - 19th Nov 21
When Even Stock Market Bears Act Bullishly (What It May Mean) - 19th Nov 21
Chinese People do NOT Eat Dogs Newspeak - 18th Nov 21
CHINOBLE! Evergrande Reality Exposes China Fiction! - 18th Nov 21
Kondratieff Full-Season Stock Market Sector Rotation - 18th Nov 21
What Stock Market Trends Will Drive Through To 2022? - 18th Nov 21
How to Jump Start Your Motherboard Without a Power Button With Just a Screwdriver - 18th Nov 21
Bitcoin & Ethereum 2021 Trend - 18th Nov 21
FREE TRADE How to Get 2 FREE SHARES Fractional Investing Platform and ISA Specs - 18th Nov 21
Inflation Ain’t Transitory – But the Fed’s Credibility Is - 18th Nov 21
The real reason Facebook just went “all in” on the metaverse - 18th Nov 21
Biden Signs a Bill to Revive Infrastructure… and Gold! - 18th Nov 21
Silver vs US Dollar - 17th Nov 21
Silver Supply and Demand Balance - 17th Nov 21
Sentiment Speaks: This Stock Market Makes Absolutely No Sense - 17th Nov 21
Biden Spending to Build Back Stagflation - 17th Nov 21
Meshing Cryptocurrency Wealth Generation With Global Fiat Money Demise - 17th Nov 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 16th Nov 21
Stock Market Minor Cycle Correcting - 16th Nov 21
The INFLATION MEGA-TREND - Ripples of Deflation on an Ocean of Inflation! - 16th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target

Economics / Inflation Oct 16, 2017 - 12:15 PM GMT

By: John_Rubino

Economics

Central banks in general and the Fed in particular are struggling to understand a world in which they’ve thrown everything they have at the economy without generating “beneficial” inflation. Their confusion can be traced back to some profoundly false assumptions.

Some Thoughts And Assertions
An inflation target implies that modest inflation is actually a good thing. This is simply wrong. Inflation is a “stealth tax” through which governments confiscate a bit of savers’ wealth each year without admitting it. If explained honestly such a trick would be a political loser always and everywhere.


Nor do rising prices increase growth or reduce debt. Just the opposite. Knowing that a currency is going to depreciate because the government has promised to make it so, rational citizens borrow as much money as possible since they’ll be paying future interest in ever-cheaper currency. This leads to what mainstream economists define as “growth” but is actually just 1) pulling future consumption into the present at the cost of lower consumption in the future and 2) malinvestment, as businesses, seduced by artificially-low interest rates, start projects that wouldn’t pass muster if the cost of money was realistic (that is, determined by market forces). So the quality of the capital stock declines over time and productivity falls.

The result: A system where the amount of debt soars, the amount of bad debt rises as a share of total debt, productivity growth slows and the inflation needed to generate future “growth” rises steadily. Governments are then forced to push interest rates ever-lower and eventually negative, which drains savers’ capital even more aggressively and tricks businesses into even more extreme malinvestment. Sound familiar?

An inflation target implies that economists can actually measure the phenomenon. This is also false. Right now, governments create an official inflation number by arbitrarily including some things and excluding others – like stocks, bonds, and house prices. The latter “assets” are for some reason assumed not matter to “the cost of living” when in fact they matter greatly. And many of them are soaring. As the following chart illustrates, stocks and junk bonds are up over 200% since 2009.

If you’re trying to save and invest, soaring financial asset prices make that process vastly more expensive, which is one definition of inflation. If you’re trying to find a decent home for your family, soaring home prices either make this impossible or squeeze out the other crucial things like health care, high quality food and good schools. Which is also a form of inflation.

Here’s a former central banker (funny how the former ones always seem to make more sense) on this subject:

Inflation isn’t low, it’s just hiding in the stock market: ex-head of Bank of Israel

(Fidelity) – Inflation is not really low, nor is its cause a mystery, Jacob Frenkel, the former head of the Bank of Israel said Friday.

The culprit is the global central banks, said Frenkel, who is now the chairman of JPMorgan Chase International.

Keeping rates excessively low just gives people incentive to invest in the stock market, and nowhere else, he said. “Then all the inflation is reflected in the market, something that is not included in consumer price gauges.”

Frenkel said the low rates are also weakening the insurance companies and the pension systems that transmit monetary policy to the economy. So if you weaken the system, the effectiveness of policy is diminished.

“So don’t be surprised if you are missing” a 2% inflation target, he said.

Fed officials are debating whether they should raise rates again in December because inflation is so low.

Frenkel said the markets would welcome higher rates. The Fed “should just do it,” he said.

But the biggest problem with an inflation target is that it’s a potentially disastrous admission of defeat. Lowering the value of your currency is, in effect, telling the world that you can’t manage your own finances without secretly stealing from those who trust you. Like most breaches of trust, this eventually leads former friends to abandon the relationship.

In finance, this manifests as an unwillingness to hold the offending money. Citizens in an inflationary economy quickly convert their paychecks into real things before prices rise further. Trading partners accumulate as little of the depreciating currency as possible, and swap the excess for better stores of value like sound currencies and gold.

Once this mindset takes hold, it’s game over for the inflating country. The Austrian School of economics calls the end of this process a “crack-up boom,” and historically it’s been the ultimate fate of badly managed currencies.

As for what should replace an inflation target managed by omniscient central bankers, the classical gold standard offers an example. For over a century prior to World War I, governments didn’t bother trying to manipulate prices. They simply defined their currencies as various weights of gold, a form of money whose supply rises by about 1.5% a year. This limited supply kept prices in line – inflation was, on average, negative throughout this time – without hampering growth.

One other positive side effect: People in those days weren’t forced to listen to clueless central bankers’ pointless debates.

By John Rubino

dollarcollapse.com

Copyright 2017 © John Rubino - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in