Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Why stagfaltion is coming

Both the money supply and federal spending have increased at breathtaking rates over the past year, unprecedented in peacetime. The policy decisions made by the Federal Reserve Board and Congress virtually assure we will enter a period of 1970s-like stagflation.

The recovery, when it comes, will combine slow economic growth, unusually long un- and underemployment, stagnating real incomes, rising interest rates and inflation. There is little that policymakers, having made colossal mistakes, can do to prevent such an outcome. However, there are steps that can be taken to shorten the period of stagflation and return to an era of robust economic growth, good jobs and stable asset and consumer prices.

The money supply is measured several different ways. They all show alarming increases. The monetary base (coins, currency and bank reserves) has doubled over the past year. It is increasing at a rate 12 times the average since 1981. M1 (the monetary base plus checking deposits) increased last year by roughly 16 percent, a near record and three times faster than average since 1981. M2 (M1 plus most savings deposits and money market funds) increased 9 percent in the past 12 months (a rate more than 50 percent higher than the average since 1981).

The demand for money is relatively stable and generally increases in proportion with economic activity (although precautionary motives play a role). Given the huge increases in the money supply and credit, future inflation is virtually ensured. Money supply will outstrip money demand, and the excess money will cause prices to be bid up.
Read the rest here

Hat tip Brian

1 comment:

Reactionary said...

This is correct. We are headed for the 1970's again. Cheapened products, debauchery, hyper-regulation of economic activity. It's all going to be there with a vengeance.

An under-explored dynamic: this is all happening while we are still rather early into the experiment of putting men and women in head-to-head economic competition with each other.