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His audiences know him as THE ”Inflation Guy.” In the inflation markets he is known as a pioneer. He is considered as the Expert to the experts in the world of inflation markets where true expertise is hard to find. In this podcast the Inflation Guy talks about the hidden tax, the insidious assault on your wealth, and how to defend your money. Have a question? Email InflationGuy@enduringinvestments.com
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The economists were mostly on-target with today's CPI report, at least with the headline and core figures. But that doesn't mean that there was nothing going on underneath the surface. Below the big headlines, some things are getting better and some things...aren't. What does it all mean, and does the Fed have some cover to cut rates? Listen to thi…
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"They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!" - General John Sedgewick, Union, US Civil War, moments before he was struck by a bullet in the eye. The tradition of 'famous last words' is alive and well, especially at the Federal Reserve and Treasury. From Bernanke saying the subprime crisis would be contained, to Yellen and Powell describing inf…
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There are several pernicious myths about the velocity of money that seem to never die. "Friedman said velocity is stable." "Velocity is just a plug number, so it is random." "Velocity is permanently impaired and only declines over time." These drive the Inflation Guy bananas, and from time to time he feels the need to talk about velocity. In this e…
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We don't know if the origin of the 'ten most dangerous words in the English language' was Ronald Reagan, or if the story predates him. But those words, "I'm from the government, and I'm here to help you," are the theme to today's podcast. The Inflation Guy interprets some recent news stories, but ties it all together with a crucial observation abou…
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On this month's CPI report, the Inflation Guy addresses yet another high-side surprise and discusses the details, along with how this fits into the continuing narrative. Curious about how this concerns ponies? You'll have to listen to the episode! NOTES Blog for this month’s CPI: Inflation Guy’s CPI Summary (March 2024) To Subscribe to Quarterly In…
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Okay, buckle up because the Inflation Guy here is going to cover some big-time concepts. Wayyyy back in 2003, some guys named Jarrow and Yildirim explained how inflation acts just like foreign exchange, except not foreign and not on an exchange. No, no, stay with me here. Turns out they were right, and a lot of what is happening today - and the mis…
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Every once in a while, it is a good rigor to take all of those sticky notes that festoon your desk and put them into one, organized, document. At least, that's what the Inflation Guy tells himself. On the other hand, they say 'a clean desk means someone else is in charge.' Still, it was getting to be a fire hazard. In this episode, the Inflation Gu…
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Another month, another above-consensus CPI print. The Inflation Guy tears into the data like a feral cat, ripping away the fatty bits to get at the meaty part. Okay, maybe that was too graphic. Anyway, this cat points to several signs in this month's inflation report that inflation is starting to get 'sticky' at a higher level than we'd like it to,…
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Both gold and crypto are occasionally put forth by promoters as having inflation-hedging qualities. Which of these has a better claim? Or are they both 'real assets' that can help you defend your money? Now that mutual funds and ETFs are launching seemingly weekly to hold BTC and other forms of crypto, 'democratizing access' to this 'asset class,' …
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This somewhat longer episode has a little bit of potpourri at the beginning, as the Inflation Guy covers the OER-Primary Rents divergence, the decline of Reverse RP balances, and the effect of AI on inflation...but the meat of the podcast is a discussion about a product (which a listener sent to the Inflation Guy) that resembles an inflation-linked…
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When your grandpa turns 100, you're going to hear stories. It just goes with the territory. When a podcast has its 100th episode, same deal. Grandpa Inflation Guy actually manages to keep the stories to a minimum, while reporting on a recent conversation he has had about a development in the health care inflation space and giving some optimistic re…
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Welllll...so much for the idea that, since the 3-month average of CPI was down at 1.90%, the Fed could ease in March! This month's inflation print was, to use a technical term, broadly icky. The Inflation Guy tells you why. NOTES Podcast callback: Ep. 98: Will You Be Able to Trade Medical Care Inflation Soon? Blog Post: Inflation Guy’s CPI Summary …
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The Inflation Guy for a long time has had a "bee in his bonnet" (seriously, who uses this phrase? Or owns a bonnet?) about the need for more tools to trade inflation and, especially, subcomponents of inflation like medical care. In this episode, after giving a quick preview of next week's CPI report he turns to a discussion of IMX, a new futures ex…
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The Inflation Guy sometimes gets distracted by shiny things. Today, he was distracted by an article sent from a listener, detailing comments from the CFO of Travelers Insurance about the increased reinsurance the company is employing as a hedge against inflation risks to its property and casualty (P&C) businesses. This is an illuminating comment, s…
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"Money Illusion" sounds like the sort of thing your economics teacher droned on and on about, causing you to yearn for a nice nap during class. But is it a real thing? And if it is...why does it matter? In this episode, the Inflation Guy explains money illusion, presenting some of the evidence that it is (at least some of the time) a real phenomeno…
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In this (longer than normal) episode, the Inflation Guy talks about the outlook for inflation - which, admittedly, he did last week with the CPI Summary episode but in this case he delves into more of the drivers of his 2024 and 2025 expectations - and for several asset markets. He frames the question as a balance of the risks and makes concrete su…
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It's 2024, a fresh start to what is surely going to prove to be a golden year and the end to history! The SEC has approved bitcoin ETFs, the Fed is dovish and achieved a perfect landing, rates have come down a ton, and everything is beautiful. At least, as long as inflation really does collapse immediately to 2%, as the consensus seems to suggest. …
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It's the monthly CPI report! In this podcast, the Inflation Guy discusses today's economic data and highlights why the market's expectations for substantial easing in 2024 sets up a difficult path forward. He discusses several ways that inflation could get back to target, and then what needs to happen with policy to make that happen. Hint: it isn't…
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The notion of a 'safe withdrawal rate,' being a real amount that can be taken out of savings in retirement each year without a significant risk of running out of money in some window of time, goes back to a 1994 paper by Bengen which enshrined the "4-percent rule." In this podcast, the Inflation Guy discusses improvements to that rule - including s…
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In this episode, the Inflation Guy considers the question of why college tuition inflation has consistently run drastically faster than headline inflation. Is it a productivity question, or a quality question? And what does 'quality' mean in the context of college education? There are a lot of complex issues to be considered here, which ordinarily …
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This month's CPI report was softer than expected, which is welcome. And there were some quantitative effects in the data which (while expected in the big picture sense) are encouraging. However, a lot of the improvement this month were from fairly obvious one-off categories that moved in the opposite direction from what third-party surveys (for exa…
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The Inflation Guy has a little thing about risk. Not merely avoiding it, and certainly not seeking it - but counting it. By carefully decomposing risks into component parts, a portfolio manager can be better prepared for the sorts of risks that can befall a portfolio and also find cheaper ways to express the sorts of risk that he or she wants to ha…
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This morning's Payrolls Report was weaker-than-expected; among other things it included an increase in the Unemployment Rate to 3.9% - fully 1/2% higher than April's low for that number. Does this mean that we are going to have slower wage growth, and slower inflation? Or possibly one of those and not the other? And what does it mean for growth? Th…
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In this too-late-in-the-week episode of Cents and Sensibility, the Inflation Guy takes on supply and demand curves, market clearing prices and quantities, and says you're doing it all wrong. It's more nuanced than that, but they charge us by the word for these summaries. NOTES Blog Callback: “Shortages are Unmeasured Inflation” https://inflationguy…
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Sometimes, the episodes write themselves. In Episode 84, the Inflation Guy pointed out that with real yields now comfortably above 2%, TIPS are at least fair and possibly just downright attractive from a long-term perspective. "Is it Time to Buy TIPS?" he asked. But back in Episode 31, the Inflation Guy discussed "Why Gold is Like TIPS (or Vice-Ver…
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