828cloud

Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Category Archives: Economy

The 20 Fastest Growing Jobs in the Next Decade

See large image . . . . . .

Source : Visual Capitalist

South Korea’s Chip Stockpile Swells in Warning Sign for Exports

Sam Kim wrote . . . . . . . . .

South Korea’s semiconductor stockpiles expanded at the fastest pace in more than six years, adding to concern about the outlook for exports that drive the country’s economic growth.

Nationwide inventory soared 79.8% in June from a year earlier, the statistics office said Friday, up from a 53.8% jump in May. At the same time, both production and shipments decelerated, suggesting a slowdown in the nation’s most profitable industry.

The result casts a pall over the outlook for an economy where the central bank is in the midst of a yearlong tightening cycle. Memory chips are sold worldwide and underpin the strength of the won, which has been one of Asia’s worst performing currencies this year as trade deficits mount.

South Korea was in the midst of a two-year export slump when chip inventories soared by 104.1% in April 2016.

The accumulation in stockpiles comes as Samsung Electronics Co. and SK Hynix Inc., two of the world’s largest memory-chip producers, warn future sales may weaken, adding to concerns about a global slowdown as inflation spurs global central banks to tighten.

The two firms’ shares prices have still gained in recent weeks as investors bet the companies will cut capital spending, a move that would eventually tighten supply. The tiny components are used in everything from smartphones to laptops and cars.

South Korea’s overall industrial production rose 1.4% in June from a year earlier, less than the 2.1% forecast by economists.


Source : BNN Bloomberg

Chart: American’s Biggest Inflation Concern

Source : Statista

China’s Property Market Slump and Weak Demand Highlight Fragile Economic Recovery

Orange Wang wrote . . . . . . . . .

An unexpected contraction in China’s factory activity in July has highlighted the stubborn headwinds facing the world’s No 2 economy, a situation that may demand more active fiscal measures and support for the ailing property sector, according to analysts.

The official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) slid from 50.2 in June to 49 last month, well below the 50-mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. A private survey also declined more sharply than analysts expected.

“The fastest period of recovery after the economic reopening is close to an end, with insufficient demand becoming a major constraint,” China Minsheng Bank said in a note on Sunday.

The private bank said the economy faced twin threats: weak demand overseas, with developed economies slipping into recession; while consumption and the real estate market were sluggish at home.

Simply relying on infrastructure investment was not enough to bolster the economy and more policy support was needed, the bank said.

Wary of fuelling the type of inflation ravaging Western economies, Beijing has ruled out large-scale stimulus, although it has made repeated calls for local authorities to help stabilise the economy ahead of a leadership reshuffle later this year. However, the increasingly precarious economic environment may mean authorities need to do more – and fast.

Liu Siliang, senior researcher at the Rushi Advanced Institute of Finance, said the property downturn was weighing on the whole economy, as the real estate sector and related industries accounted for about one third of gross domestic product (GDP).

China’s property sector has taken a sharp downwards turn over the past two years, due primarily to a regulatory crackdown on lending and the impact of the pandemic.

Output from the sector shrank by 7.0 per cent in the second quarter from a year earlier, the worst reading among all Chinese industries, according to government data. Among China’s top 100 developers, there was also a year-on-year drop of 39.7 per cent in contract sales in July, market data showed.

In the past month, mortgage-payment boycotts have erupted in a number of provinces.

“Although the government [worked] quickly to stop the spread of risks, it will take a long time for real estate to stabilise and recover, and residents’ expectations to change,” Liu said in a note on Monday.

At its half-year meeting on Monday, the People’s Bank of China said it would keep real estate credit, bonds and other financing channels stable, and explore new development models for the sector.

Ding Shuang, chief economist for Greater China and North Asia at Standard Chartered Bank, said the real estate market would be “the most important downside risk” for the Chinese economy this year.

The Politburo meeting last Thursday suggested that authorities might move to ensure cash-strapped developers had credit, he said, noting it also stressed the responsibilities of local governments in delivery of commodity housing units.

“That is supposed to be a positive signal,” he said.

The meeting mentioned stabilising the property market ahead of an oft-repeated line about curbing housing speculation. It also ordered local governments to ensure delivery of commodity housing units and make full use of policy tool kits.

“That is of great significance to stabilise market confidence, especially the sales market,” said Tao Chuan, chief macro analyst at Soochow Securities.

“But the direct effect on stabilising property investment is still limited,” he added in a note on Friday, expecting more measures by local governments in the second half of the year.

Ding said Chinese authorities are likely to issue an additional 1.5 trillion yuan (US$221.8 billion) of local special-purpose bonds in the second half of the year to boost the economy.

The Politburo sent a clear message that “expanding demand” should stand at the core of China’s fiscal and monetary policies. But it skipped any mention of the annual economic growth target of “around 5.5 per cent”, vowing instead to “strive for the best outcome” and maintain dynamic zero-Covid control as a priority.

The statement added to expectations that Beijing would not release another fiscal support package after unveiling a 33-point plan to stabilise growth in May.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in late July, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang made it clear that Beijing will not flood the economy with stimulus.

“Under current circumstances, there is room in fiscal and monetary policies to achieve a fairly high growth rate in the second half of the year. But we cannot compromise future interests, and we need to both stabilise growth and avert inflation,” he said.

At a State Council meeting on Friday, Li said the third quarter was crucial for China’s economic rebound as it is the peak season for construction.

Projects receiving central government budgetary investment will be accelerated and local governments have been urged to expedite the use of special-purpose bonds, according to the meeting.


Source : SCMP

Chart: China Electricity Consumption Rose in June 2022

Source : 新华网

China Factory Activity Sinks, Weighing on Weak Economy

Joe Mcdonald wrote . . . . . . . . .

Chinese manufacturing’s recovery from anti-virus shutdowns faltered in July as activity sank, a survey showed Sunday, adding to pressure on the struggling economy in a politically sensitive year when President Xi Jinping is expected to try to extend his time in power.

Factory activity was depressed by weak global demand and anti-virus controls that are weighing on domestic consumer spending, according to the national statistics agency and an official industry group, the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing.

A monthly purchasing managers’ index issued by the Federation and the National Bureau of Statistics retreated to 49 from June’s 50.2 on a 100-point scale on which numbers below 50 indicate activity declining. Sub-measures of new orders, exports and employment declined.

“Downward pressure is great,” said economist Zhang Liqun in a statement issued by the Federation. “The impact of the epidemic is still on the rise.”

The ruling Communist Party has stopped talking about this year’s official economic growth target of 5.5% after output shrank in the three months ending in June compared with the previous quarter.

The slowdown, which raises the risk of politically volatile job losses, adds to challenges for Beijing ahead of a ruling party meeting in October or November when Xi is expected to try to break with tradition and award himself a third five-year term as party leader.

An announcement Thursday by party leaders promised to “strive to achieve the best results” but avoided mentioning the annual growth target announced in March.

The party has promised tax rebates and other aid to help entrepreneurs after anti-virus controls temporarily shut down Shanghai and other industrial centers starting in late March.

The port of Shanghai, the world’s busiest, says activity is back to normal, but factories and other companies are operating under anti-virus controls that limit their workforces and weigh on production.

An index of production tumbled to 49.8 from June’s 52.8. New orders declined 1.9 points to 48.5. New export orders lost 2.1 points to 47.4.

Chinese leaders have avoided large-scale stimulus spending, possibly for fear of reigniting a rise in debt that they worry is dangerously high.


Source : AP


Source : Trading Economics

Charts: Hong Kong’s Economy Shrank YoY in Q2 2022

Source : Trading Economics

China’s Gen Z Is Dejected, Underemployed and Slowing the Economy

The most educated generation in China’s history was supposed to blaze a trail towards a more innovative and technologically advanced economy. Instead, about 15 million young people are estimated to be jobless, and many are lowering their ambitions.

A perfect storm of factors has propelled unemployment among 16- to 24-year-old urbanites to a record 19.3%, more than twice the comparable rate in the US. The government’s hardline coronavirus strategy has led to layoffs, while its regulatory crackdown on real estate and education companies has hit the private sector. At the same time, a record number of college and vocational school graduates—some 12 million—are entering the job market this summer. This highly educated cohort has intensified a mismatch between available roles and jobseekers’ expectations.

The result is an increasingly disillusioned young population losing faith in private companies and willing to accept lower pay in the state sector. If the trend continues, growth in the world’s second-largest economy stands to suffer. The sheer number of jobless under-25s amounts to a 2% to 3% reduction in China’s workforce, and fewer workers means lower gross domestic product. Unemployment and underemployment also continue to impact salaries for years—a 2020 review of studies reported a 3.5% reduction in wages among those who had experienced unemployment five years earlier.

More young people taking roles in government may leave fewer jumping into new sectors and fueling innovation.

“The structural adjustment faced by China’s economy right now actually needs more people to become entrepreneurs and strive,” said Zeng Xiangquan, head of the China Institute for Employment Research in Beijing. Lowered expectations have “damaged the utilization of the young labor force,” he added. “It’s not a good thing for the economy.”

Pre-pandemic, 22-year-old Xu Chaoqun was prepared for a career in China’s creative industries. But a fruitless four-month job hunt has left him setting his sights on the state sector. “Under the Covid outbreak, many private companies are very unstable,” said Xu, who majored in visual art at a mid-ranked university. “That’s why I want to be with a state-owned enterprise”.

Xu is not alone. Some 39% of graduates listed state-owned companies as their top choice of employer last year, according to recruitment company 51job Inc. That’s up from 25% in 2017. A further 28% chose government jobs as their first choice.

It’s a rational response in a pandemic-hit labor market. All workplaces have been hit hard by China’s snap lockdowns and strict quarantine measures, but private companies were more likely to lay off workers. Beijing’s main employment-boosting policy has been to order the state sector to increase hiring.

President Xi Jinping may be relieved that the country’s unemployed youth are trying to join the government rather than overthrow it. During a June visit to a university in the southwestern China’s Sichuan province, he advised graduates to “prevent the situation in which one is unfit for a higher position but unwilling to take a lower one.” He added that “to get rich and get fame overnight is not realistic.”

The message is getting through: Graduate expectations for starting salaries fell more than 6% from last year to 6,295 yuan ($932) per month, according to an April survey from recruitment firm Zhilian. State-owned enterprises grew in appeal over the same period, the recruiter said.

But lower income expectations and talent shunning the private sector are likely to lower growth in the long term, challenging the president’s plan to double the size of China’s economy from 2020 levels by 2035—by which point it would likely overtake the U.S. in size.

The phrase “tang ping”—“lying flat”—spread through China’s internet last year. The slogan invokes dropping out of the rat race and doing the bare minimum to get by, and reflected the desire for a better work-life balance in the face of China’s slowing growth. As the unemployment situation has continued to worsen, many young people have adopted an even more fatalistic catchphrase: “bailan,” or “let it rot.”

That concept is “a kind of mental relaxation,” said Hu Xiaoyue, a 24-year old with a psychology masters degree. “This way, even if you fail, you will feel better.” When Hu started looking for work last August, she found it easy to land interviews. “But when it came to spring, only one in 10 companies would offer an interview,” she said. “It fell off a cliff.”

China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) aren’t all unproductive behemoths. But the weight of economic evidence suggests they are, on the whole, less efficient and less innovative than privately-owned companies. China’s economic boom has coincided with a falling share of SOE jobs in urban employment—from 40% in 1996 to less than 10% pre-pandemic. That trend could now go into reverse.

Last year, China launched a regulatory crackdown on formerly high-flying sectors dominated by private companies that previously attracted ambitious young people. Internet companies were hit with fines for monopolistic behavior, real estate businesses were starved of financing and the private tutoring sector was almost entirely shuttered.

Regulatory filings show that China’s top five listed education companies reduced their staffing by 135,000 in the last year after the crackdown. The largest tech companies have kept their headcounts stable, and Zhilian says that there were more tech jobs advertised in the first half of this year than the same period in 2021. Even so, the sector’s allure has faded.

A graduate of the highly ranked Central University of Finance and Economics in Beijing, Hu was set for the tech sector—she interned at three internet companies including video-sharing giant Beijing Kuaishou Technology Co. But she has changed her mind. “People who are going to work for Internet companies are all worrying about themselves because they feel like they could be fired any time,” she said.

Instead, Hu landed a position at a research institute within state-owned China Telecom Corp. “The working hours of my future job will be 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the workload will be quite light. Internet companies are too consuming,” she said.

As well as the movement of talent towards state-owned companies, there’s another mechanism at work that can damage long-term growth. Studies by from the US, Europe and Japan have shown that the longer young people are unemployed at the start of their careers, the worse their long-term incomes, an effect known as “scarring.”

That’s the risk facing Beiya, who was laid off from an e-commerce company this year. The 26-year-old, who gave only one name because she feared that talking about losing her job could hit her employment prospects, missed out on a role with TikTok parent company Bytedance Inc. because of her limited experience.

“I’m a good candidate with potential but they want to see me in two years,” she said. “But how can I get the experience if no one gives me a job now?”

The state sector already employs around 80 million people and the figure could grow by as much as 2 million on a net basis this year, according to Lu Feng, a labor economist at Peking University. “But compared with total demand for jobs, it’s still relatively small,” he said. “We still need private firms to hire.”

That will only happen if the economy grows. To meet its employment goals, economists say China needs GDP to increase between 3% and 5% this year. Economists are predicting growth closer to 4%—with the outlook highly uncertain due to the prospect of more lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus. “Lack of clarity on an exit strategy from the Covid-Zero policy makes companies wary of hiring,” said Chang Shu, Bloomberg Economics’ chief Asia economist.

Beijing has launched a version of the job-support programs seen in Europe during the pandemic, offering tax rebates and direct subsidies to companies who promise to retain workers. But the amounts involved are small: The incentive for hiring a new worker is just 1,500 yuan. Provincial subsidies for graduates who start businesses are also small—just 10,000 yuan in the prosperous Guangdong region.

Even if China can return to strong growth in the second half of this year, the youth unemployment problem will persist—the rate has been rising since 2017, reaching 12% pre-pandemic. Economists attribute that to two factors: urbanization and a mismatch between the education system and employers’ needs.

The hundreds of millions of workers who moved from the countryside to cities used to return to their villages during labor market slumps, acting as an economic shock absorber. Now, younger migrants increasingly stay put when they lose their jobs, pushing up urban unemployment.

“A lot of them are not even raised in rural areas. So they regard themselves as urban people,” says Peking University’s Lu. “The constraints for the government have changed substantially, it’s tougher than in the past.”

Second, the annual number of graduates in China has increased tenfold over the last two decades—the fastest higher-education expansion anywhere in the world, at any time. The share of young Chinese people attending college is now almost 60%, similar to developed countries.

The number of vocational graduates lags far behind those receiving academic degrees. Such is the stigma around vocational education that students rioted last year when told their university was being rebranded as a vocational school. Highly educated young people are rejecting factory jobs. “That’s the basic matching problem. It is huge in this country,” said Lu.

That’s left manufacturers complaining about shortages of skilled technicians. “There are not a lot of people applying for those jobs, such as electrician or welder,” said Jiang Cheng, 28, an agent for electronics factories in central China.

Other sectors are oversubscribed. According to a 2021 study of 20,000 randomly selected jobseekers on Zhilian’s website, some 43% of the job applicants wanted to work in the IT industry, while the sector accounted for just 16% of recruitment posts.

Half of jobseekers had a bachelor degree, but only 20% of jobs required one. “There is now compelling evidence of over-education,” the study’s authors wrote, warning that the misalignment “could have profound influences on both individuals and the nation.”

In the longer term, it’s possible that government intervention may get the private sector hiring again, while education reforms and market forces can smooth the misalignment in the labor market.

China is easing its regulatory campaigns, and a vocational education law passed this year aims to improve standards. A study by Wang Zhe, an economist at Caixin Insight, found college majors that attracted a wage premium in 2020 became more popular in 2021. As applicants’ academic choices adapt to demand in the jobs market, mismatches stand to ease.

But the share of graduates from China’s nine top-ranked universities joining the private sector has fallen since the pandemic, according to research from Hong Kong’s Lingnan University. That suggests ideological shifts, and not just market forces, are at play. Some graduates at top universities are adopting “ cadre style,” according to online forums where they seek tips on where to buy the black zippered windbreakers favored by Xi.

Even in the current environment, Kay Lou, 25, would be a leading candidate for any number of private-sector jobs. She has a masters in law from top-ranked Tsinghua University and has interned for a legal firm, an Internet giant, a securities brokerage and a court.

In the end, she won a government position in Zhejiang province—where some roles attract as many as 200 applicants.

“I felt my work wasn’t meaningful,” she said. “I became increasingly opposed to the capitalists’ pursuit of wealth after I read Marx, so in the end I chose to become a civil servant.”


Source : BNN Bloomberg

The Economy Needs a Volcker Moment

Connor Mortell wrote . . . . . . . . .

Readers of the Mises Wire are most likely familiar with the Volcker moment. This was when former Fed chair Paul Volcker, in the face of steep price inflation, skyrocketed rates to nearly 20 percent. While critics of the Volcker moment complain that such a move also skyrocketed unemployment to almost 11 percent, it cannot be ignored that the price inflation was finally reined in. Not only did we see the benefit in reduced inflation, but Austrians have an answer regarding the unemployment.

Austrian business cycle theory very simply explains this. While ceteris paribus, this unemployment number looks absolutely devastating, the reality is that it was inevitable. These jobs evaporate with inflation not because there is some mathematically divine connection between inflation and unemployment, but rather because the demand for these jobs was artificially created by the inflation misleading entrepreneurs to misread price signals.

While we should still mourn for those who lose their jobs—because it is undisputedly painful—we must also recognize that to see this as a widespread economic loss is to fall into the broken window fallacy, as French economist, Frédéric Bastiat has explained, when a window is broken:

The reader must take care to remember that there are not two persons only, but three…. It is this third person who is always kept in the shade, and who, personating that which is not seen, is a necessary element of the problem. It is he who shows us how absurd it is to think we see a profit in an act of destruction. It is he who will soon teach us that it is not less absurd to see a profit in a restriction, which is, after all, nothing else than a partial destruction. Therefore if you will only go to the root of all arguments which are adduced in its favor, all you will find will be the paraphrase of this vulgar saying—what would become of the glaziers, if nobody ever broke windows.

Bastiat explained that if nobody ever broke windows, then unemployment among glaziers would skyrocket. But this is no reason to keep breaking windows, because the people paying the glaziers would have been purchasing other more valued things—in Bastiat’s example, shoes—and now these other purchases never occur and become part of what Bastiat calls the unseen.

The same is true of employment from inflation. If we were to stop inflating, then the jobs created by inflation would disappear. But this is not reason to continue inflating. We are not profiting from inflation because these jobs exist. Rather these jobs are channeling resources from more valued means that we cannot possibly see in the face of this brutal inflation.

Seeing now that Volcker did control inflation by hiking rates and that the unemployment response does not carry the weight one may expect, we now can look at the 9.1 percent Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation and understand that this is a terrifying number and that even if June’s 75 basis point rate hike is the highest we’ve seen since 1994, it is not nearly enough: it is time for a Volcker moment. ZeroHedge has previously reported that to have a Volcker moment, we would need to raise rates above the CPI rate, as Volcker in fact did.

That would mean that we need much higher increase than a measly 0.75 percent, we’d need a rate over 9.00 percent! In fact, if we were to look at the CPI as it was calculated back in Volcker’s time, we’d need a rate over 20.00 percent. This year we have seen record-breaking rate hikes compared to recent history, but they are not nearly enough.

A genuine Volcker moment would bring about serious economic hardship, which makes it hard to advocate. However, before long, the absence of such a moment will cause even more serious and much more prolonged economic hardship. It is time.


Source : Mises Institute

The Fed vs. the Economy in the U.S.

James Rickards wrote . . . . . . . . .

Right now, it’s basically a case of the Fed versus the economy. You might say, “Wait a second. Isn’t the Fed supposed to help the economy?”

Well, not exactly. They may want to help the economy, but helping the economy actually isn’t job one. Job one is helping the banks. The Fed was essentially created to prop up the banking system and prevent bank runs.

Everything else it tries to accomplish, such as price stability and maximum employment, comes second.

So it’s not clear that the Fed’s always aligned with the best interests of the economy. People don’t realize that, but it’s important to keep in mind.

Everyone knows the Fed’s raising interest rates right now. But which rates? The rate that the Fed actually raises is called the fed funds target rate. And what is that?

That’s the rate at which banks lend to each other to meet their reserve requirements on an overnight basis. Fed funds are amounts that banks lend to each other to meet overnight reserve requirements.

It’s an extremely short-term rate. The Fed targets that rate as a way to control the money supply and perhaps tweak inflation or achieve other economic goals.

The Fed Is Targeting a Rate That No Longer Exists

I don’t want to get into the mechanics of the banking system, but here’s the essential point I want to make:

There hasn’t been a real fed funds market for about 12 or 13 years, ever since the Fed began flooding the system with money during the Great Financial Crisis. Today, reserves are close to an all-time high.

In other words, the banks have excess reserves. Their actual reserves are multiple trillions of dollars in excess of the requirement. So there is no shortage of reserves.

There’s no overnight lending for reserve requirements, because all the banks have excess reserves.

So the Fed is targeting a rate that doesn’t exist anymore. Why are they doing it?

Banks aren’t lending to each other, but they are lending to the Fed in the form of excess reserves. Those are deposits at the Fed, which the Fed pays interest on. So in a sense, the interest on excess reserves is a modern substitute for the old fed funds rate.

But this money is basically sterilized. It stays within the banking system without making its way into the real economy. That’s why all the QE the Fed engaged in after 2008 never led to consumer price inflation.

The inflation we’re seeing today has nothing to do with QE (more on that in a minute). Now people say the Fed’s raising interest rates. But it’s not that simple.

The Fed Has Limited Influence Over Long-Term Rates

The Fed really only controls that overnight rate. It doesn’t have that type of control over longer-term interest rates like those on the 10-year Treasury note, for example.

The Fed can target 10-year note rates to some extent with quantitative easing or quantitative tightening, through buying and selling them in the market. They can move the rate around a little bit, but that influence is limited.

The market for 10-year Treasuries is much, much larger than the Fed. It’s the deepest and most liquid market in the world.

So the Fed’s really targeting one minor rate, the overnight rate. It’s a really narrow target.

They don’t control long-term interest rates directly, nor do they have the capacity to do so.

So how does raising the fed funds rate reduce inflation?

The Supply Side

There are two major sources of inflation. There’s the supply side and there’s the demand side. Either one of them can drive inflation, but they’re very, very different in terms of how they work.

The supply side, as the name implies, comes from input. The supply just isn’t there. Farm prices are going up because fertilizer prices are going up, partly because of the war in Ukraine. Oil prices are going up because there’s a global shortage, and there’s disruption in supply chains.

Actually, I need to refine my comments about oil shortages. Rising gasoline prices don’t have all that much to do with the oil supply. There’s not a shortage of oil, but in the United States, there’s a shortage of refining capacity.

You don’t put crude oil in your gas tank, you put gasoline in your gas tank, or diesel, or jet fuel, which is basically kerosene. All of it has to be refined, and that’s where the bottleneck is.

Raising Rates Won’t Plant Crops or Increase Oil Production

So there are increasing shortages in some of the refined products, and that also accounts for today’s extremely high prices. And transportation costs go into the prices of everything.

So what can the Fed do about that? Nothing. Does the Fed drill for oil? Does the Fed run a farm? Does the Fed drive a truck? Does the Fed pilot a cargo vessel across the Pacific or load freight at the Port of Los Angeles?

No, they don’t do any of those things, and so they can’t fix that part of the problem. Raising interest rates has no impact on the supply side shortages we’re seeing. And that’s where the inflation’s coming from.

Since the Fed has misdiagnosed the disease, they are applying the wrong medicine. Tight money won’t solve a supply shock. Until the supply shortages are fixed, higher prices will continue. But tight money will hurt consumers, increase the savings rate and raise mortgage interest rates, which hurts housing.

The Demand Side

Then there’s demand-side inflation, called demand-pull inflation. That’s when people build inflation into their day-to-day behavior, when they think inflation’s here to stay.

They say, “Well, I was thinking of buying a new refrigerator. Better go get it today because the price is going up.”

The same logic applies to buying a new car, a new house, etc. The motivation to buy now accelerates demand because consumers think the price will only go up. These expectations can take on a life of their own and feed on themselves as people rush to the stores.

Supply can’t keep up, which is a recipe for higher prices. We’re not there yet. We’re not at the demand-pull side, but we’re dangerously close.

Are you running right out today to go buy a new refrigerator because you fear the price is going up? Probably not. You’re certainly aware of price increases; you see them at the pump and at the grocery store. But at least so far, that part of the behavior has not changed very much.

The Cure May Be Worse Than the Disease

Here’s the point: The Fed can’t create supply but it can destroy demand. If they raise interest rates enough, mortgage rates will rise and monthly payments with them. People will stop buying houses and credit card balances will rise because they’re paying higher interest. Financing starts to dry up, which spreads throughout the economy.

So the Fed can destroy demand, but only at the cost of the economy. It’s one thing if the inflation is coming from the demand side, but it’s not. It’s coming from the supply side, and the Fed can’t do anything about that.

They can destroy enough demand to maybe bring inflation down, but only by destroying the economy. And that’s the point. The idea that the Fed can squash inflation without squashing the economy is false.

I’m afraid we’re going to find that out the hard way.


Source : Daily Reckoning