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Tag Archives: inflation

The spike in inflation is not a concern – yet

The spike in inflation is not a concern – yet By now you’ve probably already read a fair amount of commentary on yesterday’s consumer inflation report for May. I’m going to cut to the chase as to my take right off the bat: 1. The primary driver of this inflationary spike is supply bottlenecks rather than increased demand.2. The inflationary spike has wiped out any “real” wage gains during the past 10 months.3. The inflationary spike is not...

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Price rises should be short-lived – so let’s not resurrect inflation as a bogeyman

It’s Wednesday and I am somewhat besieged. So just a few reflections today before we delve into our latest music offering. I had an Op Ed published in the UK Guardian today (my time) which analysed the latest inflation scares that have been dominating the popular media. More and more mainstream macroeconomists are coming out and asserting that economies will overheat. The usual gold bugs have been delighted by this shift in the narrative back to the obsessions and manias that keep them...

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Criticism of failed economists is not cancel culture

Everybody is concerned with ‘herd immunity’ at present as the pandemic continues on ravaging our social and economic lives. But I have been studying the concept of ‘herd mentality’ for some years, aka – Groupthink. Mainstream macroeconomics is sustained, not by any internal logical consistency (on which it fails), by close congruency with the empirical data (on which it fails), which are the usual qualities of a dominant system of ideas, but, rather, by (using...

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The inflation mania is growing – but manias are manias

The other day I gave a talk to the ‘investment’ community in Melbourne and they wanted to talk a lot about inflation, which seems to be their foremost concern at the moment. Tomorrow, I am giving a similar presentation in Sydney and I expect a similar line of questioning. Think about it. Wages growth is projected to be so low over the next several years that real wages will decline for at least 3 to 4 years. The Output gaps are still significant and were significant even before...

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We all expected inflation to arrive: now it’s here

We all expected inflation to arrive: now it’s here This morning’s report on April inflation confirmed what we already knew: inflation, both from the demand and the supply side, was coming. Now it’s here. First of all, take the YoY numbers with a grain of salt. Last April saw actual price declines in the teeth of the worst of the pandemic deaths and lockdowns. Here’s the monthly %change since the beginning of 2020 in total inflation (blue),...

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Calculus for Economists

Gabriel Sterne complains about economists' loose use of mathematical terminology: Of course, it's not just economists who use "increase" and "accelerate" interchangeably. But economics is a mathematical discipline, and in mathematics, "increase" and "accelerate" mean different things. So is Gabriel's observation true, and if it is, is it a problem?To test Gabriel's hypothesis, I ran a little Twitter test. I asked this question: This was of course far from rigorous: the sample was...

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David and Goliath

Yesterday, someone who had been watching one of my (all too frequent) Twitter arguments about money made this comment: The "unknown person with few followers" was my protagonist. And the blue tick "classical expert" was me. I am Goliath. But ten years ago, I was David. Armed only with Blogger and Twitter, and my knowledge of banking and finance, I set out to slay the financial Philistines that rampaged across the internet in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. I published my first...

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No inflationary trends evident in Australia – latest data

I have been seeing a lot of crazy predictions that inflation is about to accelerate because of the elevated levels of government spending, record low interest rates and substantial government bond purchases by the Reserve Bank of Australia. It is almost as if the conservative, deficit-haters want that to happen so they can say “We told you so” as they cling on to their flawed macroeconomic theories. Well sorry to disappoint. Today (April 27, 2021), the Australian Bureau of...

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Bellwether Bullard versus Sirenic Summers

Bellwether Bullard versus Sirenic Summers  So this is about the now getting to be passe topic of what will happen to inflation this year, with Larry Summers having gone out of his way to make a lot of noise in criticizing the expansionary fiscal policy partly passed but partly still under consideration in Congress as threatening a possible outbreak of 60s-70s style inflation at an entrenched much higher rate than we are seeing now.  He has put the...

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Academic Agent versus “Adam Friended” on Price Inflation and MMT

Academic Agent has got into another row on MMT, but this time with someone called “Adam Friended.”In brief, “Adam Friended” responded to Academic Agent in the following video on the issue of MMT and price inflation:[embedded content]Academic Agent then produced this response on MMT here:[embedded content]Academic Agent is correct that Covid welfare payments and furlough schemes were not the fundamental drivers of inflation in some goods. It is also true that the Western world is far from...

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