2013-10-29nytimes.com

With a blatant "tout" piece like this coming from the NYTimes, it seems obvious to us that the groundwork is being laid for an acceleration of inflationary policy (QE) at the Fed. Note particularly how later on in the article, the case is made that inflation is actually a positive for social welfare, because it "raises profit margins" and allows for increases in hiring (by "silently" depressing wages). You can't make this stuff up.

The Fed has worked for decades to suppress inflation, but economists, including Janet Yellen, President Obama's nominee to lead the Fed starting next year, have long argued that a little inflation is particularly valuable when the economy is weak. Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.

...

Critics, including Professor Rogoff, say the Fed is being much too meek. He says that inflation should be pushed as high as 6 percent a year for a few years, a rate not seen since the early 1980s. And he compared the Fed's caution to not swinging hard enough at a golf ball in a sand trap. "You need to hit it more firmly to get it up onto the grass," he said. "As long as you're in the sand trap, tapping it around is not enough."

All this talk has prompted dismay among economists who see little benefit in inflation, and who warn that the Fed could lose control of prices as the economy recovers. As inflation accelerates, economists agree that any benefits can be quickly outstripped by the disruptive consequences of people rushing to spend money as soon as possible. Rising inflation also punishes people living on fixed incomes, and it discourages lending and long-term investments, imposing an enduring restraint on economic growth even if the inflation subsides.


Lijit Search

Comments: Be the first to add a comment

add a comment | go to forum thread