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
FREETRADE - Stock Investing Platform, the Good, Bad and Ugly Review, Free Shares, Cancelled Orders - 15th Jan 22
WD 14tb My Book External Drive Unboxing, Testing and Benchmark Performance Amazon Buy Review - 15th Jan 22
Toyland Ferris Wheel Birthday Fun at Gulliver's Rother Valley UK Theme Park 2022 - 15th Jan 22
What You Should Know About a TailoredPay High Risk Merchant Account - 15th Jan 22
Best Metaverse Tech Stocks Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 14th Jan 22
Gold Price Lagging Inflation - 14th Jan 22
Get Your Startup Idea Up And Running With These 7 Tips - 14th Jan 22
What Happens When Your Flight Gets Cancelled in the UK? - 14th Jan 22
How to Profit from 2022’s Biggest Trend Reversal - 11th Jan 22
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: Are We Ready To Drop To 4400SPX? - 11th Jan 22
What's the Role of an Affiliate Marketer? - 11th Jan 22
Essential Things To Know Before You Set Up A Limited Liability Company - 11th Jan 22
NVIDIA THE KING OF THE METAVERSE! - 10th Jan 22
Fiscal and Monetary Cliffs Have Arrived - 10th Jan 22
The Meteoric Rise of Investing in Trading Cards - 10th Jan 22
IBM The REAL Quantum Metaverse STOCK! - 9th Jan 22
WARNING Failing NVME2 M2 SSD Drives Can Prevent Systems From Booting - Corsair MP600 - 9th Jan 22
The Fed’s inflated cake and a ‘quant’ of history - 9th Jan 22
NVME M2 SSD FAILURE WARNING Signs - Corsair MP600 1tb Drive - 9th Jan 22
Meadowhall Sheffield Christmas Lights 2021 Shopping - Before the Switch on - 9th Jan 22
How Does Insurance Work In Europe? Find Out Here - 9th Jan 22
MATTERPORT (MTTR) - DIGITIZING THE REAL WORLD - METAVERSE INVESTING 2022 - 7th Jan 22
Effect of Deflation On The Gold Price - 7th Jan 22
Stock Market 2022 Requires Different Strategies For Traders/Investors - 7th Jan 22
Old Man Winter Will Stimulate Natural Gas and Heating Oil Demand - 7th Jan 22
Is The Lazy Stock Market Bull Strategy Worth Considering? - 7th Jan 22
METAVERSE - NEW LIFE FOR SONY AGEING GAMING GIANT? - 6th Jan 2022
What Elliott Waves Show for Asia Pacific Stock and Financial Markets 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
Why You Should Register Your Company - 6th Jan 2022
4 Ways to Invest in Silver for 2022 - 6th Jan 2022
UNITY (U) - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 5th Jan 2022
Stock Market Staving Off Risk-Off - 5th Jan 2022
Gold and Silver Still Hungover After New Year’s Eve - 5th Jan 2022
S&P 500 In an Uncharted Territory, But Is Sky the Limit? - 5th Jan 2022
Quantum AI Tech Stocks Portfolio Current State - 4th Jan 2022
The Alibaba Stock Market - 4th Jan 2022
Will Gold & Silver Be Investment Outcasts in 2022 Again? - 4th Jan 2022
Stock Market Happy 2022 Entry - 4th Jan 2022
Complete paradigm shift will make Gold the generational trade - 4th Jan 2022
Corsair MP600 NVME2 1tb Drive Sudden DEATH Failures - Back Up NOW! - 4th Jan 2022
AI Tech Stocks Portfolio Updated Buying Levels and Zones Part 2 of 2 - 3rd Jan 2022
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: 2022 Can Be Your Best Year Ever - 3rd Jan 2022
2020-22 - Soaring costs of the West's Pandemic failure - 3rd Jan 2022
AUTODESK (ADSK) - CAD - Metaverse Stock Analysis Investing for 2022 and Beyond - 2nd Jan 2022
Stock Market Sector Themes In Play For 2022 - 2nd Jan 2022
Excuse Me Mr Gold. What Year Is It? - 2nd Jan 2022
Stock Market Early 2022 Should Continue Melt-Up Trend In January / February - 2nd Jan 2022
UK Energy Crisis WARNING 2022 - How to Avoid Huge Increase in Gas and Electric Fuel Bills Right Now! - 1st Jan 2022
Why You Need A PR Expert For Your Financial Startup - 1st Jan 2022
TENCENT- Chinese High Risk GAMING Metaverse Stock Analysus for Investing 2022 and Beyond - 31st Dec 21
Gold Price Forecast 2022 - The Golden Year - 31st Dec 21
Will 2022 Be Better for Gold Than 2021? - 31st Dec 21
Gold Stocks – Wishing And Hoping (And Losing) - 31st Dec 21
Sheffield Christmas Market 2021 SANTAS GROTTO at Peace Gardens, City Centre Sights and Sounds - 31st Dec 21
Nvidia Leaves planet Earth - AI Tech Stocks Analysis - 30th Dec 21
Google (Alphabet) AI Tech Stocks Analysis - 30th Dec 21
Stock Market Santa Rally Challenge - 30th Dec 21
Sheffield Christmas Market Stalls, Sights and Sounds 2021 - 30th Dec 21
Investment Roadmap for 2022 - 30th Dec 21
2022 – The Year of (Gold) Inflation? - 30th Dec 21
Overvalued Stocks and Housing Perfect Storm for Gold - 30th Dec 21
My Most surprising Crypto call to date - 30th Dec 21
What is a Rehab Clinic and How It Is Beneficial for People? - 30th Dec 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Investors Finally Fear the Inflation Precipice

Stock-Markets / Inflation Feb 10, 2011 - 10:28 AM GMT

By: Robert_Murphy

Stock-Markets

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleWell it's about time. The headline on Monday's CNBC article announces: "Investors Starting to Believe That Inflation Threat is Real."

For some time, I have been a proud member of the fuddy duddies who have been predicting the return of serious stagflation. Thus far, our prognostications have clearly been half-right — the "real economy" is indeed caught in a terrible rut, far worse than most of the Keynesian economists recognized even in late 2008.


However, on the (price) inflation front, things are not as clear-cut. Although asset prices and producer prices have surged in response to Bernanke's monetary pumping, retail consumer prices (at least as officially reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) have not been rising at alarming rates.

I am not the first economist to explain this apparent anomaly by reference to Wile E. Coyote: The serious inflation won't hit until everyone thinks it is going to hit. And although the "fundamentals" of serious price inflation have been in place since late 2008, we are seeing more and more signs that Bernanke's dam of obfuscation is starting to crack.

A Simple Picture

Simplistic as it may seem, I still cannot shake the feeling that the below chart is all we really need to know that eventually, we will experience large price hikes:

Yes, yes, there are all sorts of sophisticated arguments for why there's nothing to see here, just keep moving along, the dollar will be fine. In particular, there are arguments about the demand for holding "base" money totally offsetting Bernanke's injections, and the huge increase in excess reserves means that the new money isn't "leaking out" into the broader economy.

However, when the serious price inflation comes — as I still believe it will — I think we will all look back at the above chart and be shocked that people were worried about deflation in 2008-2010. And there is precedent for this sort of thing; remember that in 2005 and 2006 plenty of really smart people (including Ben Bernanke) denied that there was a housing bubble[1]:

In Bernanke I Don't Trust

It is true that Bernanke could reverse course before things are too late, as far as the purchasing power of the dollar is concerned. But this would entail devastating pain to the banking sector, since the Fed would have to reverse the policies that bailed out the overleveraged titans in the first place. If Bernanke has to choose between saving rich bankers or the dollar, I am confident he will choose the former.

When Bernanke made his infamous appearance on 60 Minutes, most analysts understandably focused on his absurd claim that he wasn't printing money. But the thing that most alarmed me was this exchange (starting at about 7:20 in this video):

BERNANKE: There really is no problem with raising rates, tightening monetary policy, slowing the economy, reducing inflation at the appropriate time. …

Q: You have what degree of confidence in your ability to control this?

BERNANKE: A hundred percent.

Now that should be terrifying. Realistically, Bernanke shouldn't have 100 percent confidence that he can control his toaster. I mean, he might turn the dial up too high, or someone might spill water on it. It could happen.

By the same token, there are all sorts of scenarios where the natural "unwinding" of the Fed's extraordinary policies won't work as planned. In particular, if even official CPI inflation starts creeping above 4 and 5 percent on an annual basis, while unemployment remains above (say) 8 percent, then it will become apparent that Bernanke's "exit strategy" leads into a brick wall.

"Well, If the Fed Started Monetizing the Debt, Then I'd Worry About Inflation …"

One of the more absurd stances rejecting the inflationist warnings comes from people who think Federal Reserve policy is completely divorced from the Treasury's fiscal position. Such naïve analysts think that Bernanke's decision to soak up more than one trillion in government debt had nothing to do with the massive deficits that the government has been and will continue to run.

Those pooh-poohing our current situation will concede that interwar Germany or modern Zimbabwe got into trouble all right, but those were situations where the central bank "monetized the debt." This supposedly stands in sharp contrast to the scientific monetary policies of the "independent" Federal Reserve.

To put these claims in context, note that in the 2nd quarter of 2009, the Fed's absorption of Treasury debt amounted to 48 percent of the new debt issued in that period. And ZeroHedge posted the following chart showing that the Fed is currently the world's largest single holder of Treasury securities, surpassing China:

Conclusion

No one knows the future for certain. But given the economic and political realities, I still remain confident that prices quoted in US dollars will continue to escalate, not only in commodities and certain asset classes, but eventually in most consumer goods. At some point it will be so obvious that not even Ben Bernanke will be able to deny it.

When will the breakout occur? Again, no one can know such things for sure, but there are growing signs that "the market" will soon recognize that Bernanke & Co. have painted us into a very tight corner.

Robert Murphy, an adjunct scholar of the Mises Institute and a faculty member of the Mises University, runs the blog Free Advice and is the author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism, the Study Guide to Man, Economy, and State with Power and Market, the Human Action Study Guide, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Great Depression and the New Deal. Send him mail. See Robert P. Murphy's article archives. Comment on the blog.

© 2011 Copyright Ludwig von Mises - 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