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Tag Archives: Deflation

Retracing The Yield Gap For The Unemployment Rate Isn’t The Same Thing

Thomas Barkin is President and CEO of the Federal Reserve’s Fifth District branch headquartered in Richmond. Beginning the job during the tumultuous and confusing 2018 (for those wherever at the Fed), Barkin in 2021 is and has been a voting FOMC member. Whether he is judged a “hawk”, “dove”, or some other kind of feathering maniac I’d leave to the mainstream’s infatuation with Greenspan and Volcker legends. It isn’t actually important.On the contrary, the flattening yield curve particularly...

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The Curve Is Missing Something Big

What would it look like if the Treasury market was forced into a cross between 2013 and 2018? I think it might be something like late 2021. Before getting to that, however, we have to get through the business of decoding the yield curve since Economics and the financial media have done such a thorough job of getting it entirely wrong (see: Greenspan below). And before we can even do that, some recent housekeeping at the front of the curve where bill lives. Treasury bills have been in (our)...

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Far Longer And Deeper Than Just The Past Few Months

Hurricane Ida swept up the Gulf of Mexico and slammed into the Louisiana coastline on August 29. The storm would continue to wreak havoc even as it weakened the further inland it traversed. By September 1 and 2, the system was still causing damage and disruption into the Northeast of the United States.While absolutely tragic for those who suffered its blow, in economic terms this means that any weakness exhibited by whichever economic account during both August and September will be blamed...

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Slowing Down, Yes, But To What?

A couple of Economists have caused some noise by reviewing consumer confidence estimates in the United States, associating big declines in them with imminent recession, and then pointing out such substantial drops in both of the major consumer sentiment surveys just recently. If valid, their correlations would seem to suggest a US contraction.We’re meant to take these seriously for one of those academics, David Blanchflower of Dartmouth, had once “set interest rates at the BOE during the...

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Perfect Time To Review What Is, And What Is Not, Inflation (and why it matters so much)

It is costing more to live and be, so naturally people are looking for who it is they need to blame. Maybe figure out some way to stop it. You know and feel for the basics since everyone’s perceptions begin with costs of just living. This is what makes the subject of inflation so difficult, even more so in the era of QE. Money printing, duh. By clarifying the situation – demonstrating over and over how there is no money printing therefore there can’t be inflation – we aren’t saying that...

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Until This Changes, Forget Inflation: Banks Bought Epic Amounts of Safe, Liquid Assets in H1 ’21

The first half of 2021 was inundated with government helicopters, more QE’s, and then CPI’s put up with guarantees the “inflation” was going to continue for a long time. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan’s often hapless CEO, proudly declared US Treasuries beyond the touch of any 10-foot pole. With the economy on fire, he “reasoned”, who would ever want safe and liquid instruments?The Federal Reserve, ironically, since Mr. Dimon is always on the Fed’s side, provides us with a more than partial answer....

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Chip Shortages, Crude Boiling, Fed Explosion And…No Inflation

An integrated circuit (IC) is a set of electronic circuits put together on one small, flat semiconductor medium. We call this thing a chip, and it is essential for so much of what we do in the modern computerized, digital world. Manufacturers can’t even produce cars without them.It stands to reason, then, that any shortfall or hitch in the availability of IC’s could be a huge economic problem with systemic implications. Thus, when some trade magazine which is closely following the physical...

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What’s The Real Downside To Some of These Key Commodities?

Last night, Autodata reported its first estimates for September auto sales in the US. According to its own as well as those compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (the same government outfit which keeps track of GDP), vehicle sales have been sliding overall ever since April. For a couple months in the middle of Uncle Sam’s helicopter-fed frenzy, the number of vehicle units had surged to a high of more than 18 million (seasonally-adjusted annual rate) in both datasets.It’s been all...

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No Inflation Without Income; There’s No Income

Money, economy, income. Those are the three ingredients that make textbook inflation and keep it together. Money flowing naturally through the economy turns into organic income which if out of balance with the rest of the macro factors can create broad-based and sustained consumer price increases. If actually caused by the combination of those three, the result would be the latter two. Broad-based and sustained. This does not include whichever malevolent government force forcing its way...

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Revisiting The Last Overhang

One reason why I still believe the US most likely would have entered a recession at some point in 2020 even without COVID wasn’t just the yield curve inversion that popped up several months before then. In August of 2019, the small part of the Treasury curve most people pay attention to (2s10s) did send out that dreaded signal, suggesting already to expect contraction in the intermediate term ahead of then.  But there was more to it than that, much moving in the same way, the same idea and...

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