Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. US Housing Market House Prices Bull Market Trend Current State - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Gold and Silver End of Week Technical, CoT and Fundamental Status - Gary_Tanashian
3.Stock Market Dow Trend Forecast - April Update - Nadeem_Walayat
4.When Will the Stock Market’s Rally Stop? - Troy_Bombardia
5.Russia and China Intend to Drain the West of Its Gold - MoneyMetals
6.BAIDU (BIDU) - Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Stocks Investing To Profit from AI Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Stop Feeding the Chinese Empire - ‘Belt and Road’ Trojan Horse - Richard_Mills
8.Stock Market US China Trade War Panic! Trend Forecast May 2019 Update - Nadeem_Walayat
9.US China Trade Impasse Threatens US Lithium, Rare Earth Imports - Richard_Mills
10.How to Invest in AI Stocks to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
China Hang Seng Stocks Index Collapses and Commodities - 24th May 19
Costco Corp. (COST): Finding Opportunity in Five Minutes or Less - 24th May 19
How Free Bets Have Impacted the Online Casino Industry - 24th May 19
This Ultimate Formula Will Help You Avoid Dividend Cutting Stocks - 24th May 19
Benefits of a Lottery Online Account - 24th May 19
Technical Analyst: Gold Price Weakness Should Be Short Term - 24th May 19
Silver Price Looking Weaker than Gold - 24th May 19
Nigel Farage's Brexit Party EU Elections Seats Results Forecast - 24th May 19
Powerful Signal from Gold GDX - 24th May 19
Eye Opening Currency Charts – Why Precious Metals Are Falling - 23rd May 19
Netflix Has 175 Days Left to Pull Off a Miracle… or It’s All Over - 23rd May 19
Capitalism Works, Ravenous Capitalism Doesn’t - 23rd May 19
The Euro Is Bidding Its Time: A Reversal at Hand? - 23rd May 19
Gold Demand Rose 7% in Q1 2019. A Launching Pad Higher for Gold? - 23rd May 19
Global Economic Tensions Translate Into Oil Price Volatility - 22nd May 19
The Coming Pension Crisis Is So Big That It’s a Problem for Everyone - 22nd May 19
Crude Oil, Hot Stocks, and Currencies – Markets III - 22nd May 19
The No.1 Energy Stock for 2019 - 22nd May 19
Brexit Party and Lib-Dems Pull Further Away from Labour and Tories in Latest Opinion Polls - 22nd May 19
The Deep State vs Donald Trump - US vs Them Part 2 - 21st May 19
Deep State & Financial Powers Worry about Alternative Currencies - 21st May 19
Gold’s Exciting Boredom - 21st May 19
Trade War Fears Again, Will Stocks Resume the Downtrend? - 21st May 19
Buffett Mistake Costs Him $4.3 Billion This Year—Here’s What Every Investor Can Learn from It - 21st May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - Video - 20th May 19
A Brief History of Financial Entropy - 20th May 19
Gold, MMT, Fiat Money Inflation In France - 20th May 19
WAR - Us versus Them Narrative - 20th May 19
US - Iran War Safe-haven Reasons to Own Gold - 20th May 19
How long does Google have to reference a website? - 20th May 19
Tory Leadership Contest - Will Michael Gove Stab Boris Johnson in the Back Again? - 19th May 19
Stock Market Counter-trend Rally - 19th May 19
Will Stock Market “Sell in May, Go Away” Lead to a Correction… or a Crash? - 19th May 19
US vs. Global Stocks Sector Rotation – What Next? Part 1 - 19th May 19
BrExit Party EarthQuake Could Win it 150 MP's at Next UK General Election! - 18th May 19
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast 2019 May Update - 18th May 19
US Economy to Die a Traditional Death… Inflation Is Going to Move Higher - 18th May 19
Trump’s Trade War Is Good for These 3 Dividend Stocks - 18th May 19
GDX Gold Mining Stocks Fundamentals Update - 17th May 19
Stock Markets Rally Hard – Is The Volatility Move Over? - 17th May 19
The Use of Technical Analysis for Forex Traders - 17th May 19
Brexit Party Set to Storm EU Parliament Elections - Seats Forecast - 17th May 19
Is the Trade War a Catalyst for Gold? - 17th May 19
This Is a Recession Indicator No One Is Talking About—and It’s Flashing Red - 17th May 19
War! Good or Bad for Stocks? - 17th May 19
How Many Seats Will Brexit Party Win - EU Parliament Elections Forecast 2019 - 16th May 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

U.S. House Prices Analysis and Trend Forecast 2019 to 2021

Vote, vote, vote for central banking!

Politics / Inflation May 03, 2007 - 09:44 AM GMT

By: Adrian_Ash

Politics

"...What if the 'first win' of globalization didn't go to China ? What if it went to central bank policy wonks instead – free to keep real interest rates low despite oil prices trebling...?"

TAX PAYERS in Britain were invited to vote early and often in today's local council elections. The French will get to choose between one bone-head and another this weekend, too.


But amid the door-stepping and live TV wrangling in Europe right now, it's a poor central bank drudge who seems to want victory most.

Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England, celebrated its first decade of political independence with a speech in the City last night. No one lobbed bread rolls or fruit at the governor, not according to this morning's press reports at least. It's only polite to allow a guest speaker his views, after all.

But even a room full of "dismal scientists" must have gasped at the cheek of the man. To quote:

"Inflation expectations [in the United Kingdom] have been anchored," he said, "because the Monetary Policy Committee has responded to events that have pushed the outlook for inflation away from target – and households, businesses and financial markets have understood and anticipated our responses."

Oh yeah? The money supply has been growing at double-digits for two years running. But "the crucial achievement of the MPC is to have anchored inflation expectations," said King. "It is not, I believe, credible to dismiss that solely as the result of luck."

Bravo...encore!

"On that sunny Bank Holiday morning in 1997, we knew [the government] had given us an opportunity to change monetary policy for the better. We had to grab it with both hands. That is exactly what the Bank has done."

Vote, vote, vote for Mervyn King!

"The average deviation of inflation from target has been just minus 0.08 percentage points," the Trimmer went on. But he was big enough to mention – alongside his lack of good fortune – a couple of "downside" shocks to general price levels. First the Pound Sterling rose by 25%, he noted, squashing import prices by one fifth. Then we experienced the largest inflow of migrant labor since Harold Macmillan was prime minister in the early 1950s.

What Mervyn King failed to do, however, was add them together.

Sterling 's rise – plus the flood of cheap migrant workers, now reckoned at around 1% of the population every two years – has helped keep a lid on both wages and import prices. Not a word from Dr. King on this, however. More shocking still, he also failed to mention China , India , Asia , globalization, outsourcing, the global labour arbitrage, and the internet.

No kidding! Britain 's chief economist...talking about inflation...didn't mention the big win he's enjoyed from globalization. Not once. So let's mention it for him.

Take East Asian wage rates, for instance. What have they got to do with the price of fish, you might wonder. Well, the price of fish for British consumers rose 12.6% in the last 12 months, as it happens. But the cost of new clothes, mostly produced in East Asia today, fell more than 8% in the last two years alone. The price of a new television has sunk by one fifth. New cameras are 34% cheaper; furniture's unchanged; carpets and drapes are 7% cheaper; games and toys are more than 5% lower from Jan. 2005.

Worth a mention, Dr. King?

"Ricardian comparative advantage tells us that the first win [of globalization] goes to low-wage workers in developing economies," noted Stephen Roach, chief economist at Morgan Stanley, recently. "[They] enter the global economy initially through their involvement in export production and eventually as a new class of consumers."

"The second win [of globalization] is presumed to benefit the rich nations of the developed world," Roach went on – "where consumers can expand their standard of living by buying low-cost, high-quality goods from poor countries and where workers can ultimately gain from being involved in the production of more sophisticated products exported to increasingly prosperous developing economies."

This much seems true at first glance. "But it's not working as advertised," said the Morgan Stanley man. "The first win is hard to dispute. China has led the way, with more than a quadrupling of its per capita GDP since the early 1990s...[But] in recent years, the benefits of the second win have accrued primarily to the owners of capital at the expense of the providers of labor."

In short – and as in all inflationary periods – the returns to labor have been way outstripped by the returns to capital. But what if we go a step further, too? What if the "first win" didn't go to China ? What if it went to Western central bankers instead?

The shock disinflation enjoyed by the developed world since 1997 – in clothing, footwear, computers, TVs, DVDs, mobile phones, year-round fruit and vegetables – did it not give the "first win" of globalization straight to central bankers? Despite a tripling of oil prices, they've been able to keep real interest rates static...pushing property values up to all-time record levels...creating the biggest credit bubble in history...and reflating the world's stock markets as though spring 2000 never happened.

A central banker looking to take credit for "anchoring" inflation in the early 21st century might want, you would guess, to acknowledge this fact at least. He'd certainly nod towards globalization itself. But no.

In praising that sunny day in May 1997 when the Old Ladies were set free to make policy over tea and biscuits once a month, Mervyn King failed to mention the single biggest influence on consumer prices of the last decade – the sinking price of consumer goods.

Ten years on from winning his freedom, Mervyn King would do well to remember it. An end to this "first win" might let UK inflation – already rising at a 17-year record – slip anchor.

By Adrian Ash
BullionVault.com

Gold price chart, no delay | Gold prices live | Latest gold market news
City correspondent for The Daily Reckoning in London and a regular contributor to MoneyWeek magazine, Adrian Ash is the editor of Gold News and head of research at www.BullionVault.com , giving you direct access to investment gold, vaulted in Zurich , on $3 spreads and 0.8% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2007

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

 


© 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

6 Critical Money Making Rules