Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. The Trump Stock Market Trap May Be Triggered - Barry_M_Ferguson
2.Why are Central Banks Buying Gold and Dumping Dollars? - Richard_Mills
3.US China War - Thucydides Trap and gold - Richard_Mills
4.Gold Price Trend Forcast to End September 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Money Saving Kids Gardening Growing Giant Sunflowers Summer Fun - Anika_Walayat
6.US Dollar Breakdown Begins, Gold Price to Bolt Higher - Jim_Willie_CB
7.INTEL (INTC) Stock Investing to Profit From AI Machine Learning Boom - Nadeem_Walayat
8.Will Google AI Kill Us? Man vs Machine Intelligence - N_Walayat
9.US Prepares for Currency War with China - Richard_Mills
10.Gold Price Epochal Breakout Will Not Be Negated by a Correction - Clive Maund
Last 7 days
The State of the Financial Union - 18th Aug 19
The Nuts and Bolts: Yield Inversion Says Recession is Coming But it May take 24 months - 18th Aug 19
Markets August 19 Turn Date is Tomorrow – Are You Ready? - 18th Aug 19
JOHNSON AND JOHNSON - JNJ for Life Extension Pharma Stocks Investing - 17th Aug 19
Negative Bond Market Yields Tell A Story Of Shifting Economic Stock Market Leadership - 17th Aug 19
Is Stock Market About to Crash? Three Charts That Suggest It’s Possible - 17th Aug 19
It’s Time For Colombia To Dump The Peso - 17th Aug 19
Gold & Silver Stand Strong amid Stock Volatility & Falling Rates - 16th Aug 19
Gold Mining Stocks Q2’19 Fundamentals - 16th Aug 19
Silver, Transports, and Dow Jones Index At Targets – What Direct Next? - 16th Aug 19
When the US Bond Market Bubble Blows Up! - 16th Aug 19
Dark days are closing in on Apple - 16th Aug 19
Precious Metals Gone Wild! Reaching Initial Targets – Now What’s Next - 16th Aug 19
US Government Is Beholden To The Fed; And Vice-Versa - 15th Aug 19
GBP vs USD Forex Pair Swings Into Focus Amid Brexit Chaos - 15th Aug 19
US Negative Interest Rates Go Mainstream - With Some Glaring Omissions - 15th Aug 19
GOLD BULL RUN TREND ANALYSIS - 15th Aug 19
US Stock Market Could Fall 12% to 25% - 15th Aug 19
A Level Exam Results School Live Reaction Shock 2019! - 15th Aug 19
It's Time to Get Serious about Silver - 15th Aug 19
The EagleFX Beginners Guide – Financial Markets - 15th Aug 19
Central Banks Move To Keep The Global Markets Party Rolling – Part III - 14th Aug 19
You Have to Buy Bonds Even When Interest Rates Are Low - 14th Aug 19
Gold Near Term Risk is Increasing - 14th Aug 19
Installment Loans vs Personal Bank Loans - 14th Aug 19
ROCHE - RHHBY Life Extension Pharma Stocks Investing - 14th Aug 19
Gold Bulls Must Love the Hong Kong Protests - 14th Aug 19
Gold, Markets and Invasive Species - 14th Aug 19
Cannabis Stocks With Millennial Appeal - 14th Aug 19
August 19 (Crazy Ivan) Stock Market Event Only A Few Days Away - 13th Aug 19
This is the real move in gold and silver… it’s going to be multiyear - 13th Aug 19
Global Central Banks Kick Can Down The Road Again - 13th Aug 19
US Dollar Finally the Achillles Heel - 13th Aug 19
Financial Success Formula Failure - 13th Aug 19
How to Test Your Car Alternator with a Multimeter - 13th Aug 19
London Under Attack! Victoria Embankment Gardens Statues and Monuments - 13th Aug 19
More Stock Market Weakness Ahead - 12th Aug 19
Global Central Banks Move To Keep The Party Rolling Onward - 12th Aug 19
All Eyes On Copper - 12th Aug 19
History of Yield Curve Inversions and Gold - 12th Aug 19
Precious Metals Soar on Falling Yields, Currency Turmoil - 12th Aug 19
Why GraphQL? The Benefits Explained - 12th Aug 19
Is the Stock Market Making a V-shaped Recovery? - 11th Aug 19
Precious Metals and Stocks VIX Are About To Pull A “Crazy Ivan” - 11th Aug 19
Social Media Civil War - 11th Aug 19
Gold and the Bond Yield Continuum - 11th Aug 19
Traders: Which Markets Should You Trade? - 11th Aug 19
US Corporate Debt Is at Risk of a Flash Crash - 10th Aug 19
EURODOLLAR futures above 2016 highs: FED to cut over 100 bps quickly - 10th Aug 19
Market’s flight-to-safety: Should You Buy Stocks Now? - 10th Aug 19
The Cold, Hard Math Tells Netflix Stock Could Crash 70% - 10th Aug 19
Our Custom Index Charts Suggest Stock Markets Are In For A Wild Ride - 9th Aug 19
Bitcoin Price Triggers Ahead - 9th Aug 19
Walmart Is Coming for Amazon - 9th Aug 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

US Inflation Understated in Official Statistics - Prices are the Cart, Money Supply is the Horse

Economics / Inflation Oct 19, 2007 - 01:38 PM GMT

By: Peter_Schiff

Economics

Best Financial Markets Analysis ArticleThe sad truth is that despite the best efforts of monetary economists everywhere, fundamental misconceptions about inflation remain entrenched in government, business, and the media. 

In an exchange earlier this week on CNBC, a guest explained that rising oil prices can not cause inflation because prices for other goods must fall as spending is diverted to pay for more expensive oil. That explanation prompted host Becky Quick to ask: “If rising oil prices do not cause inflation, then what does?” Since that question was left unanswered on the air, I thought I would take the time to answer it here.


Inflation has only one cause and that is the Federal Reserve itself. In the United States , the supply of money and credit is regulated by the Fed. Since inflation is by definition an increase in the supply of money and credit, only the Fed can create it. If the money supply were held constant, increases in some prices would be offset by decreases in others. The result would be no overall inflation. In fact, without government created expansions of the money supply, the natural tendency of prices would be to decline as technology allowed for more efficient production of goods and services. So while most regard the Fed as the primary inflation fighter, in reality it is the sole inflation creator.

The main problem for consumers is that most inflation is not detected by the Fed's preferred measuring tools. As a result, inflation has been allowed to grow unchallenged.

For example, on Wednesday the government told us that consumer prices as measured by the CPI rose by only 2.8% over the past year. My estimate is that the actual rise was at least three times as great. The report showed that energy prices only rose by only 5.3%. Given that crude oil prices are up over 35% and heating oil prices are up 20% during that time period, how is it possible that energy prices are up only 5%? Are other energy costs falling to compensate -- firewood perhaps? The same CPI report claimed that medical costs rose by 4.6%.

As a small business owner, I can't remember the last time my company's health insurance premiums rose less than 5% per year, and they typically rise at an annual rate of more than twice that. Perhaps the most incredulous of all the data in this week's CPI report is that food prices only rose by 4.5% during the past year. I don't know where the guys at the Bureau of Labor Statistics buy their groceries, but I'm spending at least 15% - 20% more for food this year than last. Wheat prices alone have practically doubled in the past year! The last time I checked, people tend to eat a lot of wheat. Does anyone really believe food prices are only up 4.5%?

As the U.S. dollar weakens, a few analysts are beginning to wonder whether we will now be “importing” inflation as the cost of imported goods rises to reflect the lower value of the dollar. Once again, Wall Street still doesn't get it. Our inflation problem is home grown. The reason the dollar is losing value in the first place is that we are creating too many of them. Since our biggest export is U.S. dollars, which foreign central banks have been foolishly monetizing, if anything it is our nation that exports its inflation to the rest of the world.

My guess is that right now inflation is already as bad as anything we experienced back in the 1970's. Some may argue that rising prices for food and energy are being offset by falling prices for such things as cell phones, iPods, digital cameras, plasma TV, etc. However, back in the 1970's, prices for similar items, such as television sets, clock radios, digital watches, calculators, etc. were also falling in price. However, despite such price declines, the more honest CPI yardsticks we used at that time still recorded double digit annual gains.

Still, the intoxicating effects that inflation has on nominal asset prices and GDP figures will eventually fade. When this happens Wall Street will sober up to the reality that the U.S. economy has actually been mired in recession for years, and that U.S. stocks have been in a stealth bear market all along. Priced in gold, euros, or Canadian dollars, (which are more accurate ways to adjust for inflation than phony government numbers) both the U.S. stock market and U.S. GDP have declined by approximately 58 %, 17 % and 21% respectively since January 2000. No wonder the government and Wall Street hang their hats on official inflation measures.

Like a student allowed to grade his own report card, he can ditch his classes, not do his homework, flunk his exams, yet still bring home straight A's. As long as Wall Street and the media continue to represent government inflation numbers as if they had any validity whatsoever, inflation is only going to get worse.

For a more in depth analysis of the tenuous position of the Americana economy and U.S. dollar denominated investments, read my new book “Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.” Click here to order a copy today.

By Peter Schiff
Euro Pacific Capital
http://www.europac.net/

More importantly make sure to protect your wealth and preserve your purchasing power before it's too late. Discover the best way to buy gold at www.goldyoucanfold.com , download my free research report on the powerful case for investing in foreign equities available at www.researchreportone.com , and subscribe to my free, on-line investment newsletter at http://www.europac.net/newsletter/newsletter.asp

Peter Schiff Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Comments

Stephen
24 Apr 08, 14:24
2007 Inflation

For work purposes I need to know the Inflation of 2007 in the US. Not the CPI, but the Inflation.

Any idea of the real number ? and source ?

Thank you in advance.


Joe
12 May 08, 12:27
Excellent explanation of Inflation

You really hit the nail on the head. I completely agree that inflation is consistently understated and that the Fed is greatly responsible for the deterioration of the dollar.

This issue is never brought up in main stream media and the vast majority of Americans are completely in the dark when it comes to understanding the causes of inflation and how it works.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules