Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
INVESTING IN HIGH RISK TECH STOCKS - ALL OR NOTHING - 16th May 21
Is Stock Market Selling Madness About Over? - 16th May 21
Crypto Bubble Bursts! Nicehash Suspends Coinbase Withdrawals, Bitcoin, Ethereum Bear Market Begins - 16th May 21
Budgies Birds of Paradise Indoor Grape Vine Singing, Chirping and Flying Parakeets Fun 3D VR180 UK - 16th May 21
Wall Street Roiled by Hot Inflation Data: Is This REALLY “Transitory”? - 16th May 21
Inflation Going Stag - 16th May 21
CHIA Coins After 1st Week of Plotting 140 Plot 14tb Farm. Crunching the Numbers How to Win - 15th May 21
Tips to Create the Best Cross-Functional Teams - 15th May 21
Gold: Lose a Battle to Win the War - 14th May 21
Are You Invested in America’s “Two-Hour Boom” Fast Shipping Stocks? - 14th May 21
Gold to Benefit from Mounting US Debt Pile - 14th May 21
6 Solid Signs You Should Have Your Smart Device Repaired Right Away - 14th May 21
Ways to Finance Your Business Growth - 14th May 21
Cathy Wood Ark Invest Funds Bubble BURSTS! ARKK, ARKG, Tesla Entering Severe Bear Market - 13th May 21
How Much CHIA Coins Profit from 100 Plot 10tb Farm? Hard Drive Space Mining - 13th May 21
Stock Market Bulls Getting Caught in the Whirlwind - 13th May 21
Legoland Windsor Mini land and Sky Train Virtual Tour in VR 360 - UK London Holidays 2021 - 13th May 21
Peak Growth and Inflation - 13th May 21
Where’s The Fed? Watch Precious Metals For Signs Of Inflation Panic - 13th May 21
Coronavius Covid-19 in Italy in August 2019! - 13th May 21
India Covid Apocalypse Heralds Catastrophe for Pakistan and Bangladesh - 13th May 21
TESLA! Cathy Wood ARK Funds Bubble BURSTS! - 12th May 21
Gold Price During Hyperinflation - 12th May 21
Stock Market Extending Phase Two? - 12th May 21
Crypto 101 for new traders – ETH or BTC? - 12th May 21
Stock Market Enters Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast Time Window - 11th May 21
GOLD GDX, HUI Stocks - Will Paradise Turn into a Dystopia? - 11th May 21
Cathy Wood Bubble Bursts as ARK Funds CRASH! Enter into a Severe Bear Market - 11th May 21
Apply This Technique to Stop Rushing into Trades - 10th May 21
Stock Market Entering Early Summer Correction Trend Forecast - 10th May 21
CHIA Getting Started SSD Crypto Mining by Plotting and Farming on Your Hard Drives Guide - 9th May 21
Yaheetech Mesh Best Cheap Computer /. Gaming Chairs on Amazon Review - 9th May 21
Breaking US Trade Embargo with Cuba - Build 7 Computers in 14 Hours Before Ship Sales Challenge - 9th May 21
Dripcoin Applies New Technology That Provides Faster Order Execution - 9th May 21
Capital Gains Tax Hike News: Was It REALLY to Blame for Sell-off? - 7th May 21
Stock Market Transportation Index Continues To Grind Higher - 7th May 21
SPX Stock Market Correction Arriving or Not? - 7th May 21
How to Invest in an Online Casino? - 7th May 21
Gold & Silver Begin New Advancing Cycle Phase - 6th May 21
Vaccine Economic Boom and Bust - 6th May 21
USDX, Gold Miners: The Lion and the Jackals - 6th May 21
What If You Turn Off Your PC During Windows Update? Stuck on Automatic Repair Nightmare! - 6th May 21
4 Insurance Policies You Should Consider Buying - 6th May 21
Fed Taper Smoke and Mirrors - 5th May 21
Global Economic Recovery 2021 and the Dark Legacies of Smoot-Hawley - 5th May 21
Utility Stocks Continue To Rally – Sending A Warning Signal Yet? - 5th May 21
ROIMAX Trading Platform Review - 5th May 21
Gas and Electricity Price Trends so far in 2021 for the United Kingdom - 5th May 21
Crypto Bubble Mania Free Money GPU Mining With NiceHash Continues... - 4th May 21
Stock Market SPX Short-term Correction - 4th May 21
Gold & Silver Wait Their Turn to Ride the Inflationary Wave - 4th May 21
Gold Can’t Wait to Fall – Even Without USDX’s Help - 4th May 21
Stock Market Investor Psychology: Here are 2 Rare Traits Now on Display - 4th May 21
Sheffield Peoples Referendum May 6th Local Elections 2021 - Vote for Committee Decision's or Dictatorship - 4th May 21
AlphaLive Brings Out Latest Trading App for Android - 4th May 21
India Covid-19 Apocalypse Heralds Catastrophe for Pakistan & Bangladesh, Covid in Italy August 2019! - 3rd May 21
Why Ryzen PBO Overclock is Better than ALL Core Under Volting - 5950x, 5900x, 5800x, 5600x Despite Benchmarks - 3rd May 21
MMT: Medieval Monetary Theory - 3rd May 21
Magical Flowering Budgies Bird of Paradise Indoor Grape Vine Flying Fun in VR 3D 180 UK - 3rd May 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

Is Big Inflation Coming?

Economics / Inflation Jan 25, 2009 - 01:51 PM GMT

By: Mike_Shedlock

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleAdam Hamilton at Zeal is predicting Big Inflation Coming .

The growing legions of deflationists see an unstoppable depression-like deflationary spiral approaching like a freight train. They cite some convincing data. The stock markets have been cut in half in just a year. In the past 6 months, some key commodities prices fell farther and faster than they did in the entire Great Depression. House prices are down by double digits across the nation, with no bottom in sight. And credit is a lot harder to come by today than in any other time in modern memory.


My Comment : Well yes, that is convincing data. Indeed a perfect 15 out of 15 conditions experienced in the great depression are happening today as discussed in Humpty Dumpty On Inflation .

Of course Humpty Dumpty can and does pretend that deflation is specifically about money supply, totally ignoring credit. And those same Humpty Dumpties were amazed by the collapse in commodities and were crushed shorting treasuries because they did not see this coming.

In light of these universal falling prices, how could we not be entering a sustained deflationary period? The case may seem airtight, but I'd like to offer a contrarian view in this essay. Believe it or not, despite 2008's price collapse there is plenty of overlooked evidence suggesting big inflation is coming. You won't hear much about this on CNBC, but it could have a big impact on your investments in the years ahead.

My Comment : I am not sure what Hamilton means by "sustained". We have been in deflation for about a year, and maybe it lasts another, or five. Then again, perhaps we drift in and out of a slow growth recessionary period much like Japan for a decade. We have to take this one step at a time.
Inflation and deflation are purely monetary phenomena.

Inflation is not just a rise in prices, lots of things can drive prices higher. Inflation is the very specific case of a rise in general price levels driven by an increasing money supply.

My Comment : That last sentence puts the cart in front of the horse. Inflation is not rising prices; rising prices are a result of inflation (an increase in money supply and credit).

Acknowledging that debt-financed house prices are a special case that may indeed be deflationary (contraction of credit), I am focusing on stocks and commodities in this essay. From October 2007 to November 2008, the flagship S&P 500 stock index plunged 51.9%. About 4/7ths of these losses snowballed in just 9 weeks during the stock panic. From July 2008 to December 2008, the flagship Continuous Commodity Index plummeted 46.7%. Almost half of this mushroomed during the stock panic.

Deflationists argue these price drops are proof of deflation, and most people today believe this. But they are only deflationary if they were driven by a contraction in the money supply. Stocks and commodities are generally cash markets. Credit such as stock margin can be used, but it is trivial relative to the market sizes. And real commodities purchased for industrial uses are paid for in cash or near-cash (short-term trade loans), not multi-decade loans like houses. So the money supply during 2008's slides is the key.

My comment : What deflationist has argued that commodity price declines are proof of deflation? Can I have a name? Most mainstream media is concentrating on prices.

More to the point, no single indicator alone can constitute proof. However, 15 out of 15 symptoms one might expect to see in deflation should be ample proof for anyone.

If available money to spend indeed contracted, then the deflationists are right about seeing deflation in 2008. But if the money supply fell by less than stocks and commodities plunged, was flat, or even grew, then deflationists are wrong. When prices fall simply because demand declines (too much fear to buy anything immediately), this is merely supply and demand. If money didn't drive it, then it isn't deflation.

There is the humpty dumpty argument again. And again I reply that it is foolish to ignore credit (debt). Debt is actually more important than money simply because it dwarfs base money. And much of that debt cannot be paid back and that is why banks are failing.

Come to think of it, I need to add bank failures to my list. That makes a perfect 16 out of 16 things.

The key point in this rebuttal is that money supply does not have to shrink to cause deflation unless you insist on a humpty dumptyish definition that has no real world practical application.

Here is a practical application: There is no money to pay back loans. What cannot be paid back will be defaulted on and the default avalanche has been triggered. Once an avalanche starts, it is impossible to stop.

That avalanche of defaults amounts to deflation if it exceeds the expansion of money supply.

Banks are attempting to hide the avalanche by not marking their books to market. Citigroup alone is sitting on over $800 billion in SIVs of dubious value. However pretending credit will be paid back does not make it so, just as ignoring an avalanche does not stop it.

Hamilton goes on and on with straw man arguments about what deflationists believe. In practice I do not know a single deflationist who believes the strawman Hamilton is rebutting.

Hamilton also talks about various money supply charts as if they are proof of inflation. Here is my rebuttal.

Base Money % Change From A Year Ago



Hamilton's definition shows there was massive inflation during the great depression, starting in 1931!

Of course that is ridiculous. But it is what one must conclude if one defines inflation as an expansion of money supply alone.

That chart shows why it is foolish to look at one indicator as proof of inflation. A more practical approach and a more practical definition, gives more practical results.

Soaring base money supply is not proof "Big Inflation Is Coming" soon, just as it was not proof that "Big Inflation" was coming in 1931. There cannot possibly be any other logical conclusion when confronted with the data.

By Mike "Mish" Shedlock
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com

Click Here To Scroll Thru My Recent Post List

Mike Shedlock / Mish is a registered investment advisor representative for SitkaPacific Capital Management . Sitka Pacific is an asset management firm whose goal is strong performance and low volatility, regardless of market direction.

Visit Sitka Pacific's Account Management Page to learn more about wealth management and capital preservation strategies of Sitka Pacific.

I do weekly podcasts every Thursday on HoweStreet and a brief 7 minute segment on Saturday on CKNW AM 980 in Vancouver.

When not writing about stocks or the economy I spends a great deal of time on photography and in the garden. I have over 80 magazine and book cover credits. Some of my Wisconsin and gardening images can be seen at MichaelShedlock.com .

© 2009 Mike Shedlock, All Rights Reserved

Mike Shedlock Archive

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


Comments

ridegerunner/tndudeman
25 Jan 09, 19:56
it looks deflationary

tell 'em mish this hamilton dude has it backwards ~~~ imo (: don


kevin
01 Feb 09, 04:21
Inflation?

so, inflation is unlikely to happen until more money is printed than the equivalent amount of credit that has dried up?


Post Comment

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