This article explains why the only cycle that matters is of bank credit, from which all other cyclical observations should be made. But that is not enough, because on their own cycles of bank credit do not destroy currencies — that is the consequence of central bank policies and the expansion of base money.
The relationship between base money and changes in a currency’s purchasing power is not mechanical. It merely sets the scene. What matters is widespread public perceptions of how much spending liquidity is personally needed. It is by altering the ratio of currency-to-hand to anticipated needs that purchasing power is radically altered, and in the earliest stages of a hyperinflation of prices it leads to imbalances between supply and demand, resulting in the panic buying for essentials becoming evident today.
Panics over energy and other necessities are only the start of it. Unless it is checked by halting the expansion of currency and credit, current dislocations will slide rapidly into a wider flight from currency into real goods — a crack-up boom.
For eighteen months, the world has seen a boom in commodity prices, which has inevitably led to speculation about a new Kondratieff, or K-wave. Google it, and we see it described as a long cycle of economic activity in capitalist economies lasting 40—60 years. It marks periods of evolution and correction driven by technological innovation.[i]
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