Tag Archives: deflation

Stealing Deflation

By Steve Saville

“…central bankers are thieves. They are stealing our deflation.”

If you listen to the top central bankers of the world talk for long enough you will come away with the impression that central banks are attempting to give us “price inflation”, as if rising prices were beneficial. However, nobody wants to pay more for stuff. In fact, rational people prefer to pay less, not more. Therefore, when central banks claim to be giving us “price inflation” what they are really doing is stealing the “price deflation” from which we would otherwise benefit.

We are told that a general expectation of rising prices is important, because if people start expecting prices to be lower in the future then they will curtail their spending in the present. This, apparently, will lead to an economically-disastrous downward spiral in which the general expectation of lower prices leads to reduced spending and reduced spending leads to even lower prices.

The economic ‘logic’ contained in the idea that expectations of higher prices are needed to promote present-day spending explains why companies like Apple can never sell anything. After all, who in their right mind would buy an Apple product today when they can be sure that a better product will be available at a lower price by this time next year?

And just imagine how bad it would be if prices trended lower throughout the entire economy the way they do in the computing and mobile communications industries. There would be almost no spending anywhere! That operation to save your life that you have scheduled for next week could be postponed until healthcare charges have declined to much lower levels. And all of the eating you were planning on doing over the next few months could be delayed indefinitely in anticipation of more attractive food prices. And there would never be a good reason to buy a house or a car because each year you did without these things, the more of a bargain they would become and the better off you would be for not having bought earlier.

Also, try to imagine how bad it must have been before there were central banks to guarantee a continuous rise in the general price level. If expectations of rising prices are needed to promote spending and growth, then in pre-central-bank days, when money often increased in purchasing-power from one year to the next, there must have been almost no spending anywhere in the economy. That is, there must have been relentless economic contraction. Thankfully, we now have people like Ben Bernanke, Janet Yellen, Mario Draghi and Haruhiko Kuroda to save us from such a predicament.

The point that hopefully hasn’t been totally obscured by my sarcasm is that central bankers are thieves. They are stealing our deflation. It isn’t fair to compare them with common burglars, though, because common burglars don’t claim to be doing you a favour while they make off with your valuables.

Silver vs. Gold; Still no Inflation Signal

By Biiwii

We harp on it all (and I do mean all) the time in NFTRH.  There is most likely no end to the commodity-adversarial deflationary phase until silver is bid higher than gold.  People intellectualize things that they see with their own eyes like rising costs in the economy, and think inflation is coming.  I think it is too, but market signals will tell when the market is ready.

As it stands, silver is getting bid down worse than gold and that has been a trend since the last inflation phase blew out in 2011.  There is no signal.

slv and gld, no inflation yet

You remember the end of the last cycle, I am sure.  It was called nearly to the week by Bill Gross’s short of the long bond (loudly broadcast across financial media) due to inflation expectations.  We had a different view; one that stated ‘maybe, but let’s tap the breaks for a moment and see if we can break the Continuum first…’ 

We didn’t.  We simply added the 2nd to last red arrow on said Continuum…

30 year yield monthly chart, an inflation barometer

Have a nice weekend folks.



By Michael Ashton

Below is a summary of my post-CPI tweets. You can (and should!) follow me @inflation_guy or sign up for email updates to my occasional articles here. Investors with interests in this area be sure to stop by Enduring Investments. Plus…sign up to receive notice when my book is published! The title of the book is What’s Wrong with Money?: The Biggest Bubble of All, and if you would like to be on the notification list to receive an email when the book is published, simply send an email to [email protected]. You can also pre-order online.

  • +0.2% on core CPI…as expected…waiting for breakdown
  • With Median CPI running 2.5% as of last month, we should be expecting 0.2% as the “normal” core going fwd.
  • 20% was core to 2 decimal places. 1.91% y/y. [ed note: mistweeted as 0.19% first]
  • Note that the next two months, we roll off +0.08% and +0.06% from last year. This means core will be about 2.2% by dec CPI.
  • (Though there’s some evidence of missed seasonality in core CPI these days, through airfares e.g.)
  • Primary Rents 3.74% vs 3.71%. OER unch at 3.09%. So Housing roughly unch at 2.12% y/y
  • Medicinal drugs 2.95%, up a bit, but Hospital Services 4.87% vs 3.28% and Health Insurance 2.99% vs 1.74%.
  • No big surprise that there’s a jump in medical care services if you’ve looked at your bills recently! Probably not temporary.
  • core services at +2.8% mainly due to medical; core goods -0.7%, weakest since Jan.
  • Apparel -1.91% vs -1.37%, a non-negligible part of core goods.
  • New vehicles also soft: +0.14% from +0.47%. Some will say this is a VW effect, but also a general dollar effect.
  • The dollar effect, overall, is very small but in a few categories like Apparel it is large and in cars it is measurable.
  • First cut at Median, looks to me like ~0.21%, unchanged at 2.5% y/y. That’s the number that matters but not due out for hours.
  • I think I mistweeted the core to 2 decimal places…was 0.20%, not 0.19%. still 1.91% y/y, I just typoed. Why? It’s a mistwee. [ed note: har har!]
  • Summary is there’s still no sign of deflation! The pop in medical services inflation joins housing as concerns to the upside.
  • The rise in Medical care will also tend to make PCE catch back up with core, since it has 3x the weight in PCE as in CPI.
  • I don’t care about PCE, but the Fed does.

Continue reading Post-CPI

Why Hasn’t the Fed’s QE Caused “Inflation”?

By Steve Saville

This post is a slightly-modified excerpt from a recent TSI commentary.

The Federal Reserve has monetised a few trillion dollars of bonds over the past seven years without creating much in the way of what most people call “inflation” (a rise in the general price level). How could this happen?

One popular explanation is that the Fed’s Quantitative Easing (QE) adds to bank reserves, but not the economy-wide money supply. According to this line of thinking, the ‘money’ created by the Fed to purchase bonds remains trapped in reserve accounts at the Fed. However, this explanation can be immediately eliminated, because as previously explained every dollar of QE adds one dollar to bank reserves at the Fed AND one dollar to demand deposits within the economy. The fact is that the economy-wide money supply is now a few trillion dollars larger thanks to the Fed’s QE.

Continue reading Why Hasn’t the Fed’s QE Caused “Inflation”?

Europe in Deflation…

By Elliott Wave International

Europe in Deflation: Got (cheap) Milk?

Why falling food prices are not a boon for Europe’s economy

In the early 1990s, two simple words from a genius ad campaign radically transformed the way the U.S. consumer saw it: “Got Milk?”

Suddenly, the narrative changed from an obligatory drink you had to finish as a kid, along with eating your vegetables — into a sexy, funny, and above all desirable treat for all ages.

Until now.

In Europe, in 2015, famous celebrities donning milk mustaches no longer light the public’s passion for lactose — as prices for milk have spoiled. Here, a September 8, 2015 CNN Money article captures the curdled state of affairs:

Continue reading Europe in Deflation…


By Michael Ashton

Below is a summary of my post-CPI tweets. You can (and should!) follow me @inflation_guy or sign up for email updates to my occasional articles here. Investors with interests in this area be sure to stop by Enduring Investments. Plus…sign up to receive notice when my book is published! The title of the book is What’s Wrong with Money?: The Biggest Bubble of All, and if you would like to be on the notification list to receive an email when the book is published, simply send an email to [email protected]. You can also pre-order online.

  • core CPI +0.21%, higher than expected. y/y core to 1.89%.
  • core services up to 2.7%; core goods remains at -0.5%
  • The rise in core CPI #inflation is no surprise to anyone watching Median. But a surprise to many apparently.
  • Owners’ Equiv (3.09% from 3.02%), Primary Rent (3.71% v 3.62%), Lodging Away from Home (1.94% v 1.69%).
  • Overall housing 2.12% vs 2.02% last month. All in keeping with established trends and unsurprising; this has further to go.
  • Medical Care approx unch (2.45% y/y); Recreation unch (0.64%); Apparel down slightly.
  • within Medical, medical drugs decelerated to 2.9% from 3.5%, but professional services and health insurance counteracted that.
  • Core #inflation ex-housing up to 1% vs 0.9%. That’s low but highest it has been since last July.
  • Worth pointing out: derivatives markets are pricing core CPI to be below 1.5%, compounded, for 8yrs. It’s above that now.
  • …and implied core for the next year is below zero (even after today’s rally so far). Core deflation is not happening.
  • US (headline) #Inflation mkt pricing: 2015 0.5%;2016 1.3%;then 1.6%, 1.7%, 1.7%, 1.8%, 2.0%, 2.1%, 2.2%, 2.3%, & 2025:2.3%.
  • So Fed, what do you believe? the market or your own lying eyes? They’re focused on headline now so their deflation worries persist.
  • This is a fun chart. Note that about half of the weight of CPI is inflating >3%. But 12% is deflating.

Continue reading Post-CPI

NFTRH 363 Out Now

By Biiwii

We have been successfully managing an ‘in motion’ market since the August festivities kicked off.  It is October and Money Managers (NAAIM), Newsletter Writers (Investors Intelligence) are thoroughly spooked and Small Speculators are thoroughly short the market.  It’s a perfect contrarian setup.

Meanwhile, over in Goldbugsville there is a lot going on as well.  NFTRH 363 is 30 pages of commentary and in depth analysis on all of this and also gets its geek on (with the aid of FloatingPath.com‘s awesome graphical breakdowns) and gets inside the September Payrolls report in order to flesh out the dynamics in a flagging economy.

NFTRH 363, a very helpful market management report if I do say so myself… out now.

nftrh 363

Deflation: It’s Been a Stealth Move

By Elliott Wave International

Elliott Wave International’s European Financial Forecast Editor discusses deflation

In this new interview, Elliott Wave International’s Brian Whitmer explains the indirect connection between Europe’s volatility and deflation. Find out how Brian’s advising his subscribers prepare for deflation.

Not familiar with deflation? Learn more about how you can survive and prosper during deflation from the world’s leading deflationists — FREE.

Learn about the Unexpected But Imminent and Grave Risk to Your Portfolio PLUS 29 Specific Forecasts for Stocks, Real Estate, Gold, New Cultural Trends — and More (excerpted from Prechter’s New York Times bestseller Conquer the Crash — You Can Survive and Prosper in a Deflationary Depression)

Complete your free Club EWI profile to get instant access to this new eBook.

This article was syndicated by Elliott Wave International and was originally published under the headline (Interview) Deflation: It’s Been a Stealth Move. EWI is the world’s largest market forecasting firm. Its staff of full-time analysts led by Chartered Market Technician Robert Prechter provides 24-hour-a-day market analysis to institutional and private investors around the world.

Deflation is Here!!!!

By Biiwii

In case you were not suitably moved by the post’s title…


I just wanted you to be sure to know that deflation is here.  Just like you used to know that…


You see, many of the same people who used to scare the crap out of us to prepare for the coming blow off in inflation (as in El Hyper) are now promoting deflation, just to make sure we are well up to speed with the current thinking.

Got to hand it to Prechter; he of the infinite patience promoted deflation through thick and thin.  But it is a sure sign that something is readying for change when those who made their bones schooling us on one thing, go whole hog to its opposite after never seriously entertaining its viability until well after it became obvious fact.

Deflation Warning: The Next Wave

It is just one tool, but I think a lot of answers reside in the Gold-Silver ratio, which continues in its uptrend during this deflationary phase.  But remember our big picture chart has its limits.  Registering the low-mid 80’s to 90 (which could still be many months out) will likely coincide with the next inflationary episode.  Meanwhile, Prechter is getting a lot of weight on his side of the boat.

gold-silver ratio, inflation and deflation