Friday, April 8, 2011

Inflation/Deflation, take your pick

Oil jumped 2.50 a barrel today and gasoline continues to climb despite excess supply. Natural gas futures are down sharply with higher than expected supply on hand. Too bad winter is over.

Used car prices have dropped by 5% mostly on the declining demand for SUVs and the sputtering economy. A shortage of parts from Japan will make new cars harder to get. Black and red models will be in short supply, the pigments are made inside the evacuation zone.

 Home prices continue to fall of course. 

Gold and silver are soaring as the USD falls through the floor.

The minutes of the last Fed meeting indicate some board members are pushing for higher interest rates to counter inflation. The European Central Bank has already raised interest rates to "fight inflation". The problem is that there isn't any "inflation". Unemployment is still high even in Europe (by their standards). The price of big ticket items are falling. The last thing to do right now is raise interest rates.

If you want to do something about rising commodity prices you could require speculators to put up more than 10% cash to buy futures contracts and ban derivatives (they were illegal up until Bill Clinton and the Republicans decriminalized them). The only problem is that might well add to the deflation spiral if prices fell through the floor.

It's really hard to get an economy going again if the first and foremost thing (well really the only thing) on the agenda is to maintain and increase the holdings of the extremely wealthy.


ickenittle said...

Meanwhile,the government nit-wits argue over the budget. Teabaggers want a shutdown arguing it's time to pull the plug on wasteful spending on pap smears and other silly woman's problems thingy's.

"War must come before pap smears" They claim,adding "We just can't afford both we're broke you know."


The Pill said...

It has been the economic agenda of the tea bagging Republicans to "break" what remains of representative government in the United States by and through increasing deficits and crashing the economy creating the perfect climate for the introduction of so-called "austerity" economic policies.

How to crush an economy the size of the U.S.?

You do this by starting multiple unfunded wars, spending billions in tax payer dollars, bailing out and compensating deregulated Wall street banker thugs, allow corporations to out source millions of jobs and factories, all penalty free, while compensating bankers who have foreclosed upon and displace millions of American families.

This setup makes a convenient narrative that succeeds in rationalizing the dismantling and dismemberment of domestic, social programs by shifting blame, making this the primary cause of our country's economic patty melt.

Through systematic, strategic targeting and implementing of "austerity" policies, more economic pain can be used to inflict upon and annihilate the diminishing middle class and those who are most vulnerable by cutting unemployment benefits, and other critical social, safety net programs.

However, since this is already happening, the right, seizing their opportunity, want not only to limit the power of government to serve its citizens, envisions a republic that is absolutely and totally impotent.

If crippling representative government to the point where it exist only at the behest of corporations and the insular wealthy elite were not enough, the right knows it can more easily control a starving population of hapless using their "austerity" policies and amping up the economic fears of insecurity and impending doom.

Financial Armageddon.

To think we were once led to believe it was nuclear Holocaust we were supposed to be in fear of.