Governments love inflation. It is a hidden tax on everyone and a transfer of wealth from bank deposits and real wages to indebted governments that collect more receipts via higher indirect taxes and devalue their debts. That is why we cannot expect governments to take decisive action on inflation.
To curb inflation effectively, interest rates must rise to a neutral level relative to inflation, to reduce the excessive increase in credit and new money from negative real rates. Additionally, central banks must end the repurchase of bonds, exchange traded funds and mortgage-backed securities as this would immediately reduce the quantity of currency in circulation. Finally, and most important of all, governments need to cut deficit spending which is ultimately financed by more debt and monetized with newly created central bank reserves. These three measures are crucial. One or two would not be enough.
Continue reading Why Government Anti-Inflation Plans Fail
The most common question among investors these days is when to buy the dip. Very few market participants seem to be worried about a crisis or deep recession, let alone a nuclear threat.
However, those three scenarios are not unimaginable. In its Global Data Watch of June 17, JP Morgan says that its internal model only shows a 25% chance of recession in the next year. Furthermore, they clarify that the likelihood would rise to 40% if credit conditions were updated.
Still low, right? We must remember that in January 2008 Reuters reported that “expectations for the weakest consumer spending performance in 17 years during 2008 kept the odds of a recession at nearly 40 percent”.
Continue reading Markets Are Not Prepared For A Crisis
For years we have read that it was important for the Federal Reserve and the major central banks to push the limits of monetary policy to boost growth and jobs. Monetary policy stood at the forefront of all recovery plans. In 2008, quantitative easing seemed enormous, but the subsequent incremental plans have made that stimulus package virtually irrelevant.
Since 2008 each new government spending plan had to be larger. If it was not at least a couple of trillion dollars, it did not even make the headlines. As for monetary policy, limits were surpassed almost every five years. Negative real and even nominal rates, trillions of new money supply, and different purchase programs that included private debt and even, in the case of Japan, exchange traded funds (ETFs).
Continue reading Real Wages Fall In All Income Groups As Stimulus Backfire
Many have read that there is a food crisis looming and there are significant concerns about grain shortages. The main reason for this possible crisis is the Ukraine invasion. However, this is not the full picture.
Many countries around the world have a large deficit of cereal production, which is essential to feed livestock. The main culprit is rising government intervention that has made costs soar even in periods of low energy prices, and an unsustainable level of restrictions that have made it impossible for farmers to continue planting and producing grain.
In 2020, Ukraine produced 4% of the world’s wheat production, and Russia 10%. Together, they produce almost as much wheat as the entire EU, but the reason is that the EU has made it impossible to produce wheat in an economical way.
Continue reading Food Shortages May Come From Excessive Intervention