July 28, 2022
Let's see, the cue card here says that money velocity is an anachronistic concept; velocity is a plug number that has no economic significance; its value has been 'disproven'; and anyway velocity is dead forever so, not to worry.
It's a good thing that the Inflation Guy doesn't read cue cards! Otherwise, he might not have expected the current turn higher in money velocity, and he might be tempted to believe market pricing that says inflation is about to obediently plunge back to the Fed's target. And where would be the fun in that?
July 14, 2022
The Inflation Guy is running out of ...what's the opposite of "superlatives?"...to describe the current inflation environment. The July CPI report was yet another new high and yet another upside surprise. So what is the Fed going to do in response? And why does the market seem so confident that inflation is about to plunge back to 2%, when it is still rising at the moment?
June 30, 2022
So they told the Inflation Guy: "People love 'whodunnits.'" We don't really know why they told him that but in any event we have one here: what a story! The tale of inflation futures starts in the 1800s; it has economists and hippies and heroes and villains; a noble quest and a tragic ending. Or is it really tragic? Or is it really an ending? Listen and find out!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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).
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.