Alternative Visions – The Anatomy of Inflation

Dr. Rasmus dissects the various causes of inflation in the US over the past year, explaining it is mostly Supply side driven and not consumer Demand. Following last spring 2021 reopening of the US economy, some price increases followed due to more wage in come as workers went back to work. That was a moderately rise, however. The big escalation of inflation began last September due to global and US domestic Supply chain problems which was followed by price gouging by monopolistic US corporations many of which had no supply issues (ex: bakery-cereal and meat packing companies, oil companies, etc.). In 2021 Supply was responsible for at least 3/4s of the inflation. Overlaid on these forces in 2022 were three additional causes: first, commodity inflation due to Ukraine war and Biden sanctions depressing supply of oil, gas, industrial metals, certain agricultural goods; second, rising unit labor costs by US businesses due mostly to collapsing US productivity (worst since 1947) passed through to prices; third, emerging inflationary expectations (the latter a Demand factor). To address this anatomy of inflation, the Fed is raising interest rates at a record pace, addressing Demand but unable to address Supply causes. Recession will follow (as in 19981-82). Rasmus further explains how the US exports both its inflation and recession to emerging market economies via a currency crisis now underway. The show ends with a brief warning of potential financial asset price deflation emerging, with cryptocurrencies’ collapsing and raising potential for contagion across other asset classes.