Cents and Sensibility: the Inflation Guy Podcast
Ep. 31: Why Gold is Like TIPS (or Vice-Versa)

Ep. 31: Why Gold is Like TIPS (or Vice-Versa)

June 21, 2022

Gold isn't as simple as it looks, or feels. Or smells, for that matter. In this episode of Cents and Sensibility, the Inflation Guy explains why gold doesn't act much like a short-term inflation hedge, but actually behaves much more like TIPS. Should gold have an outsized position in your portfolio? Depends how you feel about inflation-linked bonds!

Ep. 30: This Month’s CPI Report: General Alarm

Ep. 30: This Month’s CPI Report: General Alarm

June 10, 2022

The Inflation Guy starts out his discussion of today's CPI report with a warm, folksy, home-spun tale. Because why can't inflation be warm and folksy? The problem is that today's data crushed the existing paradigm on which the market was depending - and opened up a whole new can of worms. The concern is not specific; it's general. And that's the problem.

Ep. 29: Waves and the Tide - What Housing Data is Really Saying

Ep. 29: Waves and the Tide - What Housing Data is Really Saying

May 24, 2022

The housing data for Existing Home Sales and Existing Home Sales over the last week have been very interesting not for the data themselves but for how they have been interpreted. The Inflation Guy in his inimitable style geeks out on the cognitive errors that are being manifested in these interpretations, and sets the record straight about how we need to adjust our thinking now that we no longer live in a stable inflation world.

Ep. 28: This Month’s CPI Report - Peak Changes, not Peak Prices

Ep. 28: This Month’s CPI Report - Peak Changes, not Peak Prices

May 11, 2022

Have we peaked? Well, arguably the Inflation Guy peaked in his 20s but we are talking about inflation here. While CPI has nominally peaked in terms of its year over year rate of change, that doesn't mean prices are going to go 'back to normal.' Even more important: it doesn't mean that we have reached peak inflation pressure. Listen while the Inflation Guy explains.

Ep. 27: Reflections on this Century’s First 50bp Rate Hike

Ep. 27: Reflections on this Century’s First 50bp Rate Hike

May 4, 2022

Today the Federal Reserve raised the overnight Fed Funds rate 50bps - the largest such increase since May 2000 (and the Inflation Guy is sticking by the title of this episode since technically the 20th century didn't end until 12/31/2000!), and Chairman Powell strode confidently to the microphone in the post-meeting presser. How does this action, and what Powell said, impact the inflation outlook and why did the markets behave the way they did? (The answers are: not much, and for unhealthy reasons, but listen to the podcast anyway.)

Ep. 26: I-Bonds - Smart Money with Small Money

Ep. 26: I-Bonds - Smart Money with Small Money

April 26, 2022

It has taken too long to get to this episode! Today (after spending approximately 8 minutes ranting) the Inflation Guy talks about I-Series Savings Bonds, affectionately known as I-Bonds, which should be the first investment that goes into a saver's "Emergency Fund." You can't do this with big money, but that doesn't mean you can't be the smart money even with small amounts. In this podcast, the IG refers to the "I Bond Manifesto," which is a good summary of the salient characteristics of I-Bonds. It can be found at https://tipswatch.com/i-bond-manifesto/ (among other places).

Ep. 25:This Month’s CPI Report - Peak CPI? Yay?

Ep. 25:This Month’s CPI Report - Peak CPI? Yay?

April 12, 2022

The Inflation Guy covers this month's CPI report. It is widely expected to be the peak CPI for the cycle, or at least for this year, and the IG agrees with that. But how excited should we be? How far down this peak will inflation tumble? It surely depends somewhat on the Fed - and the Inflation Guy is skeptical that they have the will to do what it takes when 'what it takes' is going to do bad things to other markets.

Ep. 24: Home is Where the Hedge Is

Ep. 24: Home is Where the Hedge Is

April 6, 2022

How should we think about property - investment property as well as the home you live in or want to buy rather than renting? In this episode, the Inflation Guy breaks down how he thinks about the drivers of value of real estate. This isn't a real estate sales pitch and the IG won't tell you how to choose the best location or how to evaluate the schools. He doesn't know that kind of stuff. What he does know is how real estate functions as a hedge, and what the big macro drivers are that you should pay attention to - especially now.

Ep. 23: Grumpy Old Man Edition

Ep. 23: Grumpy Old Man Edition

March 25, 2022

The Inflation Guy gives in to his internal grumpy old man, and talks about a few inflation-related items that are sticking in his 'craw.' Are stocks really an inflation hedge? What does it mean when the Fed says they will do 'whatever it takes'? And why are these kids on my lawn?

Ep. 22: This Month’s CPI Report - Balls in the Air

Ep. 22: This Month’s CPI Report - Balls in the Air

March 10, 2022

Another month, another 40+-year high in inflation. 7.9% y/y for headline, 6.4% on core, and we're not yet at the peak. Moreover, the peak is likely to be broader and not sharp, because inflation has infected the whole basket and changed the equilibrium that we are going to recede to. It's as if a juggler has moved from juggling two balls to juggling five; that is a stable equilibrium and will resist moving back. And the Fed is probably going to be careful before upsetting the juggler too much (the Inflation Guy really had to work hard to resist a balls pun).

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