A broad index of commodities, as tracked by IndexMundi.com (great site), is up 252% in the last 10 years.
So when Christina Romer says, “the specter of inflation is quickly fading”, as she did on Bloomberg TV recently, it makes one wonder. What is the time period these people are looking at? A week? A month? Only ones when commodities are down?
Stop to consider the fact that these price increases have occurred despite stagnant wages (the Keynesian’s preferred deflation argument being that inflation cannot occur without matching wage hikes) and crawling money-velocity since the crunch. No matter what the Fed does, it is screwed going forward.
- Tighten? Raise rates. Crush increasingly credit-dependent zombie economy (and banks, for some reason the Fed seems to favor the institutions who own it).
- Expand lending? Massive inflation, continuation of zombie economy.
- Keep lending slow, monetize debt. Hyperstagflation, ugly.
If I had my pick, I would of course go #1. Every time. But that’s not likely to be the case (for a while yet).
And regarding investment choices today, they’re a bit like a school cafeteria; crappy choices, but clear winners. I am looking to buy more precious metals and foreign bonds (pizza & french fries).