The Daily Reckoning perspective is one of “soft-core deflationism”… where the economy looks likely to experience both less recovery and more deleveraging than most prognosticators probably now anticipate.
Yet, an international panic, political or otherwise, could instead lead the nation onto an inflationary path. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph, himself a deflationist, looked yesterday at how historical precedents of inflation, and hyperinflation, also offer guidance for the future.
From the Telegraph:
“Each big inflation — whether the early 1920s in Germany, or the Korean and Vietnam wars in the US — starts with a passive expansion of the quantity money. This sits inert for a surprisingly long time. Asset prices may go up, but latent price inflation is disguised. The effect is much like lighter fuel on a camp fire before the match is struck.
“People’s willingness to hold money can change suddenly for a ‘psychological and spontaneous reason’, causing a spike in the velocity of money. It can occur at lightning speed, over a few weeks. The shift invariably catches economists by surprise. They wait too long to drain the excess money.
“‘Velocity took an almost right-angle turn upward in the summer of 1922,’ said Mr O Parsson. Reichsbank officials were baffled. They could not fathom why the German people had started to behave differently almost two years after the bank had already boosted the money supply. He contends that public patience snapped abruptly once people lost trust and began to ‘smell a government rat’.”
If all it takes is the whiff of a “government rat” to snap public patience we could indeed be closer to inflationary times than we’d like to admit. Further, Evans-Pritchard goes on to note the huge increase in the “US monetary base from $871bn to $2,024bn in just two years,” makes for quite the pool of “lighter fuel” in the event the velocity of money suddenly reverts back to more historically common levels. He describes more history of the Weimar inflation, and includes stories written in diaries at the time, in the Telegraph’s coverage of the death of paper money.
The Daily Reckoning
Rocky Vega is publisher of Agora Financial International, where he advances the growth of Agora Financial publishing enterprises outside of the US. Previously, he was publisher of The Daily Reckoning, and founding publisher of both UrbanTurf and RFID Update -- which he ran from Brazil, Chile, and Puerto Rico -- as well as associate publisher of FierceFinance. Rocky has an honors MS from the Stockholm School of Economics and an honors BA from Harvard University, where he served on the board of directors for Let?s Go Publications, Harvard Student Agencies, and The Harvard Advocate.
Here in Canada it is a $3,000,000 fine for starting a forest fire.
And if you folks burn down America?
Few understand how to value gold, and even fewer understand that gold is not really an investment — it is money. Jim Rickards illustrates this point further and gives you actionable methods to accumulate wealth in gold. Read on...
With summer vacation on the horizon across the United States, kids who are carrying measles from states hard hit like California and Arizona will be mingling to with kids from other states with almost no cases. And officials are still wary about this year’s mini-epidemic. Stephen Petranek has more…
Currency wars are one of the most important dynamics in the global financial system today. Jim Rickards gives a brief history of currency wars and explains the reason why they occur. Read on...
Remember, only 0.25% of the water on our planet is usable. As Jody shows, investing in water presents a long-term opportunity to get exposure to a sector that is going to have the wind at its back for a very long time. And he’s got a great ticker to share…
Mickey D's has a new CEO to fix this mess. No matter. This dinosaur of a fast-food chain is on the road to ruin. Ronald is dying a slow, painful (possibly diabetes-related) death. And there's nothing anyone can do about it.