The March Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 8.5% annually, the highest since December 1981. But the mainstream narrative was that inflation had probably peaked because core inflation, stripping out more volatile food and energy, “only” rose by 0.3%. Mainstream pundits reasoned that the oil shock in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine primarily drove the huge 1.2% month-on-month CPI gain. And since core CPI appeared to be slowing, inflation was cooling.
The April CPI data undercuts this narrative.
We’ve been told inflation is caused by greedy corporations. We’ve been told that inflation is Putin’s fault. Other people just want to blame COVID-19. But are any of these really the root cause of inflation?
Economist Dr. Antony P. Mueller says none of these excuses really account for the rash of rising prices we’ve seen in recent months. At its core, this inflation is caused by a deeply flawed monetary system that allows central banks to create money out of thin air.
Last week, the Fed raised interest rates by 0.5%. It was the biggest rate increase since the year 2000. But it was hardly aggressive in light of the current bout of inflation. Not only that, Jerome Powell took a future 75 basis point hike off the table. In his podcast, Peter Schiff argued that no matter what the Fed does, it has already lost the inflation fight.
The Fed hiked rates 0.5% this week in an effort to stem the inflation tide. But the economy already looks shaky and the central bank has barely started this inflation fight. Friday Gold Wrap host Mike Maharrey breaks down the messaging that came out of the Fed meeting and concludes the central bank is getting closer and closer to a crossroads. What will the central bank do? And what will it mean for the economy?
Jerome Powell began hinting that inflation might be a problem last August. In November, Powell retired the word “transitory.” But here we are in May and the Federal Reserve still hasn’t done anything substantive to address the inflation problem.
And now it may be too late. It’s probably time to buckle up for more inflation – and perhaps a crashing economy.
The Federal Reserve came through with the second rate hike of this tightening cycle, bumping up the Fed Funds rate by 0.5%. It was the biggest interest rate boost by the Fed since 2000. But given the extent of the inflation fight, this hardly seems like a bold, aggressive move. In fact, it was a weak swing that looks more like shadow boxing. And one has to wonder just how long the Fed can stay in the ring.
The Federal Reserve has raised rates once – a mere 25 basis points (with another hike on the table today). So, it’s just getting started, but has it already popped the housing bubble? It sure looks that way. The question is how long will it take for the air to really start coming out.
As mortgage rates push up, mortgage applications continue to fall. As of last week, applications were down 17%, and at the lowest level since May 2020 when the economy was shut down for COVID, according to last week’s Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly Purchase Index. The index has dropped 30% from peak demand in late 2020 and early 2021.
Jerome Powell and other policymakers at the Fed keep telling us they can raise interest rates and slay the inflation dragon because the economy is strong. But these central bankers have a long history of being wrong. And as host Mike Maharrey explains in this episode of the Friday Gold Wrap podcast, the recent GDP numbers undercut this latest Fed narrative. He also talks about a startling confession from the IMF director and Q1 gold demand.
The Fed insists it can tighten monetary policy and tackle inflation without hurting the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and other central bankers claim the economy is strong enough to handle higher interest rates. Peter Schiff said this is just another in a long line of arrogant miscalculations by the Fed.
As Ron Paul explains, it was none of the above.
The blame for this inflationary fire falls squarely on the shoulders of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.