The powers that be insist that inflation is low. In fact, the central bankers at the Federal Reserve tell us that low inflation is one of the reasons they can keep interest rates artificially low. But everyday people who go to the store each week smell a rat. We know our dollar doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. If inflation is so low, why do prices seem to keep going up?
The only logical explanation is maybe inflation isn’t as low as the pundits keep telling us.
Where’s the inflation?
The Federal Reserve printed money for nearly a decade, and yet, inflation – as measured by the government – has been “muted.”
Here’s a strange headline for you: “Gold prices near daily highs despite better-than-expected inflation in October.”
This headline is bizarre on a couple of levels. First, since when are rising consumer prices and good news? And second, why wouldn’t inflation be good for gold?
You really have to buy into the mainstream narratives to write that headline.
The August jobs report came out last Friday. Mike Maharrey offered a little bit of analysis during the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, saying he was skeptical that the actual employment situation is as great as the mainstream seems to think. Peter Schiff offered a more in-depth breakdown of the employment report in his latest podcast, saying it was “anything but strong.”
Over the last 12 months, the purchasing power of your dollar has dropped at the fastest rate since 2011.
According to the latest data released by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped by 2.8% year-over-year in May. That follows on the heels of a 2.5% leap year-over-year in April.
In other words, prices are going up. That’s not good news for people who buy stuff.
Inflation is low – so we’re told. But this simply isn’t true.
Now, it is true that the consumer price index (CPI) has remained relatively low. But rising prices aren’t in-and-of themselves inflation. In fact, we can have inflation without a corresponding rise in CPI – at least in the short-term. That’s exactly what we’ve had over the last decade. We’ve had rampant inflation, but it hasn’t manifested in broad-based rising prices – yet.
When the Fed launched its aggressive monetary policy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, many free-market economists predicted it would result in massive price inflation. That never materialized. As a result, Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman love to finger-point and mock those who criticize easy money policies designed to “stimulate aggregate demand.” They claim the lack of price inflation proves they were right all along. You can massively increase the money supply during a downturn to stimulate the economy without sparking inflation. Free-market people are wrong.
But just because we don’t see price inflation doesn’t mean there isn’t any inflation at all. After all, the new money has to go someplace. If we don’t see it manifested in rising prices, it’s because we’re looking in the wrong place.
News of hotter than expected inflation numbers caused gold to sell off Tuesday. The markets seem to think rising inflation is bullish for the dollar and bearish for gold.
But is it really? Is higher inflation really bad for gold?
As Peter Schiff points out in his latest podcast, this whole notion is rather absurd.