No government looking to massively expand its size in the economy and monetize a soaring deficit is going to act against rising prices, despite claiming the opposite.
One of the things that surprises citizens in Argentina or Turkey is that their populist governments always talk about the middle classes and helping the poor, yet inflation still soars, making everyone poorer.
In the economy, real economic return on investment is not just an important metric. It is crucial. That is why I find it so intellectually dishonest when some economists look at the GDP and employment growth without putting it in the context of the massive increase in debt, spending and money supply.
A stimulus plan is supposed to generate higher and faster growth than the normal trend would dictate. Furthermore, the definition of a stimulus plan is that it should improve the long-term trend.
This week the wholesale price of electricity has exceeded the psychological barrier of 200 eurosper megawatt hour in most countries of the European Union. Although the daily price currently only affects 15% of the energy sold, since the rest is locked for almost twelve months since last winter at much lower prices, it is a sign of future risk. Thousands of contracts are going to have to be revised with huge price increases in the next three months when the locked contracts expire.
The price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has soared to $34/mmbtu delivered in December and January. In comparable energy terms it would be about $197 per barrel of oil equivalent, according to Morgan Stanley. Meanwhile, the price of natural gas (NBP) has risen more than 200% in 2021.
The bankruptcy of the Chinese real estate company Evergrande is much more than a “Chinese Lehman”. Lehman Brothers was much more diversified than Evergrande and better capitalized. In fact, the total assets of Evergrande that are on the brink of bankruptcy outnumber the entire subprime bubble of the United States.