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The Gathering Stagflationary Storm

roubini163_STEFANI REYNOLDSAFP via Getty Images_gas pricesSTEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

The Gathering Stagflationary Storm

While recent shocks have made the current inflationary surge and growth slowdown more acute, they are hardly the global economy’s only problems. Even without them, the medium-term outlook would be darkening, owing to a broad range of economic, political, environmental, and demographic trends.

NEW YORK – The new reality with which many advanced economies and emerging markets must reckon is higher inflation and slowing economic growth. And a big reason for the current bout of stagflation is a series of negative aggregate supply shocks that have curtailed production and increased costs.

This should come as no surprise. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many sectors to lock down, disrupted global supply chains, and produced an apparently persistent reduction in labor supply, especially in the United States. Then came  of Ukraine, which has driven up the price of energy, industrial metals, food, and fertilizers. And now, China has ordered  in major economic hubs such as Shanghai, causing additional supply-chain disruptions and transport bottlenecks.

But even without these important short-term factors, the medium-term outlook would be darkening. There are many reasons to worry that today’s  will continue to characterize the global economy, producing higher inflation, lower growth, and possibly recessions in many economies.

For starters, since the global financial crisis, there has been a retreat from globalization and a return to various forms of protectionism. This reflects geopolitical factors and domestic political motivations in countries where large cohorts of the population feel “left behind.” Rising geopolitical tensions and the supply-chain trauma left by the pandemic are likely to lead to more reshoring of manufacturing from China and emerging markets to advanced economies – or at least near-shoring (or “friend-shoring”) to clusters of politically allied countries. Either way, production will be misallocated to higher-cost regions and countries.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Fed Just Guaranteed a Stagflation Crisis in 2022 – Here’s How

The Fed Just Guaranteed a Stagflation Crisis in 2022 - Here Is How

Chair Powell leads a two day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held January 29-30th, 2019. Public domain photo courtesy of the Federal Reserve

I don’t think I can overstate the danger that the U.S. economy is in right now as we enter 2022. While most people are caught up in the ongoing drama of Covid-19, a real threat looms over the nation in the form of a stagflationary tidal wave. The mainstream media is attempting to place the blame on “supply chain disruptions,” but this is a misrepresentation of the issue.

The two factors are indeed intertwined, but the reality is that inflation is the cause of supply chain disruptions, not the result of supply chain disruptions. If we look at the underlying stats for price rises in essential products, we can get a clearer picture.

Before I get into my argument, I really want to stress that this is a truly dangerous time and I suggest that people prepare accordingly. In just the past few months I have seen personal expenses rise at least 20% overall, and I’m sure it’s the same or worse for most of you. Safe-haven investments with intrinsic value like physical precious metals are a good choice for protecting whatever buying power your dollars have left…

Higher prices everywhere

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is officially at the highest levels in 40 years. CPI measurements often diminish the scale of the problem because they do not include things like food, energy and housing which are core expenses for the public. CPI calculations have also been “adjusted” over the past few decades by the government to express a more positive view on inflation…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mainstream Economists Struggling to Hide the Incoming Economic Collapse

Alternative Economists Were Right, The Stagflation Crisis Is Here

Photo by Annie Spratt

For many years now there has been a contingent of alternative economists working diligently within the liberty movement to combat disinformation being spread by the mainstream media regarding America’s true economic condition. Our efforts have focused primarily on the continued devaluation of the dollar and the forced dependence on globalism that has outsourced and eliminated most U.S. manufacturing.

The problems of devaluation and stagflation have been present since 1916 when the Federal Reserve was officially formed and given power, but the true impetus for a currency collapse and the destruction of American buying power began in 2007-2008 when the Financial Crisis was used as an excuse to allow the Fed to create trillions upon trillions in stimulus dollars for well over a decade.

The mainstream media’s claim has always been that the Fed “saved” the U.S. from imminent collapse and that the central bankers are “heroes.” After all, stock markets have mostly skyrocketed since quantitative easing (QE) was introduced during the credit crash, and stock markets are a measure of economic health, right?

The devil’s bargain

Wrong.

Reality isn’t a mainstream media story. The U.S. economy isn’t the stock market.

All the Federal Reserve really accomplished was to forge a devil’s bargain: Trading one manageable deflationary crisis for at least one (possibly more) highly unmanageable inflationary crises down the road. Central banks kicked the can on the collapse, making it far worse in the process.

The U.S. economy in particular is extremely vulnerable now. Money created from thin air by the Fed was used to support failing banks and corporations, not just here in America, but around the world.

Why does it matter where those dollars came from?

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Stagflation is Here

QUESTION: When do we talk about stagflation?

F

ANSWER: We are already experiencing it. Normally, the standard definition of “stagflation” has been explained as slow economic growth with relatively high unemployment/or economic stagnation that takes place with rising prices. Some have also defined it as a period of inflation combined with a decline in the gross domestic product (GDP).

Stagflation became a term that defined the 1970s because economic growth was still positive, but the rate of inflation was far greater due to the price shock of the OPEC embargo. Because of the Democrats constantly pushing to raise taxes, they sent corporations fleeing offshore, and it was NOT merely because of the tax rate. I testified before the House Ways & Means Committee on taxation and they wanted to know why NO American company got a contract from China like constructing the Yellow River Dam. I explained that German companies were NOT taxed on worldwide income, and as such, they were already 40% less than an American company because Americans pay taxes on worldwide income, and the ONLY other country to that was Japan. Thus, American companies moved offshore, NOT because labor was cheaper, but so they could complete.

As a result, I provided our analysis that showed when we allocated trade according to the flag of the company instead of where something was manufactured, then the US had a trade surplus instead of a trade deficit. Trump understood that and offered a one-time tax deal to bring their profits home. The Democrats screamed because they wanted 40% in taxes. But they would not bring the money home and so they got 0%.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

IMF Issues Global Stagflation Alert: Cuts Global GDP As It Warns Of Rising Inflation And “Dangerous Divergence”

IMF Issues Global Stagflation Alert: Cuts Global GDP As It Warns Of Rising Inflation And “Dangerous Divergence”

In its latest World Economic Outlook report published on Tuesday morning, the International Monetary Fund voiced its starkest caution about stagflation yet, warning that the global economic recovery has lost momentum and become increasingly divided, even as it warned about rising inflation risks.

The fund warned threats to growth had increased, pointing to the delta variant, strained supply chains, accelerating inflation and rising costs for food and fuel. As a result, the IMF trimmed its global growth forecast and now expects world GDP to rise 5.9% this year, down 0.1% from what it anticipated in July and a bounce from the 3.1% contraction of 2020. The 2022 forecast was unchanged at 4.9%.

Pointing to this “dangerous divergence” in economic prospects across countries, the IMF said that this remains “a major concern.” And while the IMF trimmed its growth outlook, it also warned that the global economy is entering a phase of inflationary risk, and called on central banks to be “very, very vigilant” and take early action to tighten monetary policy should price pressures prove persistent.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Like The Dance Band On The Titanic, The Band Plays On

Like The Dance Band On The Titanic, The Band Plays On

As The Ship Goes Down The Band Plays On

It is said the dance band on the Titanic played on as the ship went down. This was all done as a grand effort to reassure the passengers and ease the panic in their hearts. Consider the possibility that behind all the noise we hear today a similar effort is being made to comfort us and take your attention off the hopeless feeling that comes when things sink away beneath your feet. For the last several months I have come to feel a similar story is playing out here. The Biden-Yellen-Powell economy is less than inspiring.Looking back, it is clear the Fed’s policies have hurt savers, It has caused savers to flee towards riskier investment in search of higher yields, driven speculation, increased equality, add added to inflation. Rather than using the bully pulpit and warnings of higher interest rates to keep government spending in check, the Fad has acted as an enabler to the crowd in Congress that loves nothing better than to sending taxpayer money back home calming it is a gift and proof they are “working hard for their district.”

With historically low-interest rates, rising inflation, and many consumers struggling to make ends meet. The economy is at a place where there is not much capability to increase consumption without throwing money from a helicopter and massively increasing the national debt. The problem with that is such stimulus programs are poorly focused. As we look about in this post-pandemic covid-lite era we see supply chains crumbling, stagflation mounting, and jobs being lost to automation. These are all immense problems even in the best of times.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

With Stagflation Ahead, How Will Gold Respond?

How Will Gold Price Perform During Stagflation?

Photo by Zlaťáky.cz

Analysts think stagflation might be the boost gold needs right now

The gold market continues to experience strange action, having most recently fallen to $1,720 only to bounce back to $1,760 by Friday’s time. It was a repeat of the week before, where strong selling pressure was met with a lot of buyers.

Kitco interviewed a number of market analysts for their take on the bigger economic picture and how gold will respond. Daniel Ghali, a commodity strategist at TD Securities, told Kitco that the headwinds gold seems to be facing come primarily in the form of the markets pricing in scenarios that may or may not happen:

What’s been driving gold these days is market pricing of Fed’s exit. Both the tapering and a potential rate hike on the horizon were being priced in. As a result of that, we’ve seen substantial repricing of the Treasury markets, and that has been primarily weighing on gold.

Even though it has been consistently pointed out that the Fed is poorly positioned for either tapering or rate hikes, the markets seem determined not to be surprised.

Ghali thinks the re-emergence of the threat of stagflation, a mixture of rising prices and a static or weakening economy, could be a wake-up call to market participants. Indeed, there seems to be little to support the idea of any kind of economic strength that would cause the Fed to act in a hawkish manner, and worries over inflation are by now ubiquitous.

Walsh Trading co-director Sean Lusk reiterated that gold ended the week with a bullish note:

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Threat Board is Looking Busy

The Threat Board is Looking Busy

Markets are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope. The Threat Board has seldom looked so complex: we can try to predict outcomes, but its notoriously difficult. The list of potential ignition points seems to be expanding exponentially: Energy Prices, Oil, Inflation, Stagflation, Supply Chains, Recession, China, Politics, Consumer Sentiment, Business Confidence, Property Markets, Liquidity, Bond Yields, Stock Prices.. you name it and someone is worrying about it.

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Blain’s Morning Porridge – 28th September 2021: The Threat Board is Looking Busy

“Many people have speculated that if we knew exactly why the bowl of petunias had thought that we would know a lot more about the nature of the Universe than we do now.”

This morning – Markets are never as bad as you fear, but never as good as you hope. The Threat Board has seldom looked so complex: we can try to predict outcomes, but its notoriously difficult. The list of potential ignition points seems to be expanding exponentially: Energy Prices, Oil, Inflation, Stagflation, Supply Chains, Recession, China, Politics, Consumer Sentiment, Business Confidence, Property Markets, Liquidity, Bond Yields, Stock Prices.. you name it and someone is worrying about it.

Relax. Calm. Breathe Deep.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Looming Stagflationary Debt Crisis

roubini153_OLIVIER DOULIERYAFP via Getty Images_USdebtOlivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Looming Stagflationary Debt Crisis

Years of ultra-loose fiscal and monetary policies have put the global economy on track for a slow-motion train wreck in the coming years. When the crash comes, the stagflation of the 1970s will be combined with the spiraling debt crises of the post-2008 era, leaving major central banks in an impossible position.

NEW YORK – In April, I  that today’s extremely loose monetary and fiscal policies, when combined with a number of negative supply shocks, could result in 1970s-style stagflation (high inflation alongside a recession). In fact, the risk today is even bigger than it was then.

After all, debt ratios in advanced economies and most emerging markets were much lower in the 1970s, which is why stagflation has not been associated with debt crises historically. If anything, unexpected inflation in the 1970s wiped out the real value of nominal debts at fixed rates, thus reducing many advanced economies’ public-debt burdens. 

Conversely, during the 2007-08 financial crisis, high debt ratios (private and public) caused a severe debt crisis – as housing bubbles burst – but the ensuing recession led to low inflation, if not outright deflation. Owing to the credit crunch, there was a macro shock to aggregate demand, whereas the risks today are on the supply side.

We are thus left with the worst of both the stagflationary 1970s and the 2007-10 period. Debt ratios are much higher than in the 1970s, and a mix of loose economic policies and negative supply shocks threatens to fuel inflation rather than deflation, setting the stage for the mother of stagflationary debt crises over the next few years.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Is All About Stagflation… The U.S. Is Walking Into The Early Stages Of The Fourth Turning”

“This Is All About Stagflation… The U.S. Is Walking Into The Early Stages Of The Fourth Turning”

We believe the U.S. is walking into the early stages of the Fourth Turning, a subject entertained below. In this note we break down the ideal 2020-2030 portfolio and why it is so different from the 2010-2020 vintage. Above all, by now it should be clear to a five year old; Global Central Banks are working together in a dollar containment regime. With conviction, we laid out this thesis a year ago (April 2020) in our “Lessons from Omaha” and it became the foundation under our overweight positioning in commodities, global large cap value, and emerging markets.

The good news is, the commodity cycle is still in the early innings.

There are trillions of U.S. dollars married to deflation bets (fixed income bonds and tech stocks) and the lawyers are writing up the divorce papers as we speak. Unintended consequences are popping up weekly, the latest variety points to a significant labor shortage developing in the U.S. with colossal side effects moving our way.

It’s going to be hilarious. Just when the last economist threw in the Phillips Curve towel, wrote the long winded obituary it will come roaring back to life. Wage inflation is about to explode, and this sword is swinging in the direction of profit margins.

Above all, the Fed is staring down the barrel of  runaway inequality, inequality that the Fed itself has created. The American Dream just isn’t the 1950s-2000s bright blue, a touch of grey has moved in forging left wing populism. If you listen carefully to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Fed Chair Jay Powell, they are focused on U 6 unemployment near 11% and the 9 million Americans who have left the Non Farm Payrolls since January 2020.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Crisis of the 70s Compared to the 20s

COMMENT: Hi Marty,

Your post today on inflation(when people see it coming) reminds me how things have changed from the 1970s. Then, the inflation we saw came from oil rising(Opec raising prices), unions demanding wage increases, and currencies untethered to the abandoned Bretton Woods agreement. Governments then seemed clueless how to stem this rise, with interest rates rising relentlessly, pressuring bonds and eroding earnings of still largely manufacturing-based economies. Globalization was not an issue as half the world still lived under communism.

Today, it seems central banks have “learned” how to rig interest rates by flooding markets addicted to debt. What is different today is governments now, instead of fearing inflation, actually want it. In fact, desire it to bring about the Great Reset. They appear to want to drive oil prices higher to such levels that this makes Green Energy cheaper and helps to accelerate the conversion over to electric cars. All at the expense of the consumer. On top of this, taxing old tech, principally oil and gas, only helps to fuel shortages, since companies have cut back on oil exploration. When you force people to stay home, the demand for energy shifts from driving to people staying home, more demand for computers, more energy required to supply the grid, more companies delivering products to the home. What has been accomplished? People fleeing high tax states to ones that remain open, those with no state income taxes, those in the south. The burden shifts to northern states, the advantage gained by southern states.

Today, governments are deliberately fueling these shortages…encouraging them, to expedite the transition away from globalization to one centrally controlled. No longer do they need access to debt markets, they can supply guaranteed income without fear of inflation or failed bond auctions…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

inflation, martin armstrong, armstrong economics, 1970s, stagflation

Stagflation Subterfuge: The Real Disaster Hidden By The Pandemic

Stagflation Subterfuge: The Real Disaster Hidden By The Pandemic

In recent economic news, headlines are being dominated by concerns over rising bond yields. Increased bond yields are a sign of a possible spike in inflation and, logically, they call for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in order to prevent that inflation.

Higher bond yields also mean there is a competitive alternative to stocks for investors – both factors that could trigger a plunge in the stock market.

If one studies the real history behind the stock market crash during the Great Depression, they will find that it was the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes that caused and prolonged the disaster after they had created an environment of cheap and easy money throughout the 1920s. Former Chairman Ben Bernanke openly admitted the Fed was responsible back in 2002 in a speech honoring Milton Friedman. He stated:

“In short, according to Friedman and Schwartz, because of institutional changes and misguided doctrines, the banking panics of the Great Contraction were much more severe and widespread than would have normally occurred during a downturn. Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again.”

This then raises the question – inflation or deflation? Will the Fed “do it again?”

Probably not in exactly the same way, but we will see elements of both inflation and deflation soon in the form of stagflation.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

brandon smith, alt-market, stagflation, government stimulus, pandemic, lockdowns, central banks, fed, us federal reserve, great reset, globalists, globalism

The Battle of the ‘Flations has Begun

The Battle of the ‘Flations has Begun

Inflation? Deflation? Stagflation? Consecutively? Concurrently?… or from a great height (apologies to Tom Stoppard).

We’ve reached a pivotal moment where all of the narratives of what is actually happening have come together. And it feels confusing. But it really isn’t. 

The central banks have run out of room to battle deflation. QE, ZIRP, NIRP, OMT, TARGET2, QT, ZOMG, BBQSauce! It all amounts to the same thing. 

How can we stuff fake money onto more fake balance sheets to maintain the illusion of price stability? 

The consequences of this coordinated policy to save the banking system from itself has resulted in massive populist uprisings around the world thanks to a hollowing out of the middle class to pay for it all. 

The central banks’ only move here is to inflate to the high heavens, because the civil unrest from a massive deflation would sweep them from power quicker. 

For all of their faults leaders like Donald Trump, Matteo Salvini and even Boris Johnson understand that to regain the confidence of the people they will have to wrest control of their governments from the central banks and the technocratic institutions that back them.

That fear will keep the central banks from deflating the global money supply because politicians like Trump and Salvini understand that their central banks are enemies of the people. As populists this would feed their domestic reform agendas.

So, the central banks will do what they’ve always done — protect the banks and that means inflation, bailouts and the rest. 

At the same time the powers that be, whom I like to call The Davos Crowd, are dead set on completing their journey to the Dark Side and create their transnational superstructure of treaties and corporate informational hegemony which they ironically call The Open Society.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

Do You Remember The Oil Crisis And “Stagflation” Of The 1970s? In Many Ways, 2019 Is Starting To Look A Lot Like 1973…

The price of gasoline is rapidly rising, economic activity is slowing down, the Middle East appears to be on the brink of war, and Democrats are trying to find a way to remove a Republican president from office.  In many ways, 2019 is starting to look a lot like 1973.  For many Americans, the 1970s represent a rather depressing chapter in U.S. history that they would just like to forget, but the truth is that if we do not learn from history it is much more likely that we will repeat our mistakes.  And without a doubt, right now a lot of things are starting to move in a very ominous direction.

“Stagflation” was a term that was made popular in the 1970s, and it occurs when there is a high rate of inflation but economic growth is declining or stagnant.

The U.S. hasn’t had a serious bout with stagflation in quite a while, but it appears that we may be moving in that direction.

Let’s talk about the slowdown in the economy first.  On Monday, we learned that sales of existing homes in the U.S. were way down in March

Home sales are struggling to rebound after slumping in the second half of last year, when a jump in mortgage rates to nearly 5% discouraged many would-be buyers. Spring buying is so far running behind last year’s healthy gains: Sales were 5.4% below where they were a year earlier.

On a year over year basis, existing home sales have now fallen for 13 months in a row.

That is terrible, and there is no way to “spin” that fact to make it look good.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Coming Inflation Threat

The Coming Inflation Threat

Falling asset inflation plus rising cost inflation equals stagflation.

Inflation is a funny thing: we feel it virtually every day, but we’re told it doesn’t exist—the official inflation rate is around 2.5% over the past few years, a little higher when energy prices are going up and a little lower when energy prices are going down.

Historically, 2.5% is about as low as inflation gets in a mass-consumption economy like the U.S. that depends on the constant expansion of credit.

But even 2.5% annually can add up if wages are stagnant. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), what cost $1 in January 2009 now costs $1.19. https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

That 19% decline in the purchasing power of dollars is tolerable as long as wages go up by 20% over the same period, but for many American households, wages haven’t kept pace with official inflation.

While the nominal hourly wages keep rising, adjusted for inflation, wages have stagnated for decades.  Here’s a chart based on BLS data that shows median weekly earnings adjusted for official inflation rose $6 a week after five years of decline:

But stagnant wages are only part of the inflation picture: official inflation under-represents real-world inflation on several counts.

First, the weightings of the components in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) are suspect.  Many commentators have explored this issue, but the main point is the severe underweighting of expenses such as healthcare, which is only 8.67% of the CPI but over 18% of the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Second, the “big ticket” components—rent/housing, healthcare and higher education—are under-reported for those who have to pay the unsubsidized cost.  The CPI reflects minor cost decreases in tradable commodity goods such as TVs and clothing that are small parts of the family budget, while minimizing enormous expenses such as college tuition and healthcare that can cost $20,000 annually or more.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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