The Coming Great Inflation

The Coming Great Inflation, by Steven Saville.

The events of the past 10 years have fostered the belief that central banks can create a virtually unlimited amount of money without significant adverse consequences for the purchasing power of money. Since the law of supply and demand applies to money similarly to how it applies to every other economic good, this belief is wrong. However, the ‘failure’ of QE programs to bring about high levels of what most people think of as inflation has generated a false sense of security.

The difference between money and every other economic good is that money is on one side of almost every economic transaction. Consequently, there is no single number that can accurately represent the price (purchasing power) of money, meaning that even the most honest and rigorous attempt to calculate the “general price level” will fail. …

US Federal Reserve, the planetary inflation HQ

High assets prices and increasing inequality, as the speculators grow rich on newly-created borrowed money:

The economic effects of a money-supply increase driven by commercial banks making loans to their customers will be very different from the economic effects of a money-supply increase driven by central banks monetising assets. In the former case the first receivers of the new money will be within the general public, for example, house buyers/sellers and the owners of businesses, whereas in the latter case the first receivers of the new money will be bond speculators (Primary Dealers in the US). Putting it another way, “Main Street” is the first receiver of the new money in the former case and “Wall Street” is the first receiver of the new money in the latter case. This alone goes a long way towards explaining why the QE programs of Q4-2008 onward had a much greater effect on financial asset prices than on the prices that get added together to form the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Clearly, the QE programs implemented over the past 11 years had huge inflationary effects, just not the effects that many people expected. …

Extreme craziness ahead:

A proper analysis of the effects of the QE programs has not been done by central bankers and the most influential economists. As a result, there is now the false sense of security mentioned above. It is now generally believed that substantially increasing the money supply does not lead to problematic “inflation”, which, in turn, lends credibility to monetary quackery such as MMT (Modern Monetary Theory). …

The links with gold started to be cut in the early 1900s. Without that constraint, inflations followed:

According to the book “Monetary Regimes and Inflation“, ALL of the great inflations of the 20th Century were preceded by central bank financing of large government deficits. Furthermore, in every case when the government deficit exceeded 40% of expenditure and the central bank was monetising the bulk of the deficit, a period of high inflation was the result. In some cases hyperinflation was the result.

Read it all, if you have an interest in where money comes from.