Archive for June, 2021

Will the Corona Economic Inflation Really Be Transitory?

Monday, June 21st, 2021

In layman’s terms, you (the consumer) must be feeling the heat when you’re paying extra for your groceries and gas this year–that’s inflation. We haven’t seen it this high in about 20 years in America.

On the one hand, nearly three-quarters of fund managers agree with the Fed that the current rate of high inflation is temporary. On the other hand, given that much of economics is based on psychology and not raw numbers, this is a difficult phenomenon to predict.

Take for instance, the notion that the above-linked article states most investors are presently only holding 3.9% of their portfolios in cash. Yet, oracle-investor Warren Buffett (of Berkshire Hathaway fame) is holding nearly 40% of assets in cash or cash equivalents. (In general, if an investor holds more cash relative their investments, it means they are less concerned with inflation, i.e., depreciation of the value of their money.)

Personally, I’m still not convinced that inflation is transitory considering that money supply will always remain ~40% above 2019 levels. Yes, that’s how much the Fed “printed” in the last two years, and you can’t “unprint” money that’s already been printed and circulated into the financial system. Here’s a good article explaining the relationship between printing money and inflation.

This is why “modern monetary theory” (MMT) people really irk the hell out of me. MMT advocates (directly or indirectly) think that the currently-low velocity of money will stay low enough to compensate for the massive increase in money supply in the last year. Milton Friedman must be rolling his grave at this thought. In my opinion, the only thing transitory is today’s relatively-low velocity of money, not the inflation rate as MMT folks like to believe.

For the sake of the well-being of the economy and in turn, the well-being of all people, I sincerely hope that I am wrong. Only time will tell. Let’s revisit this, say, in 2025?