Sunday, August 12, 2012

The inflation groundswell...  

Another noted economist who is normally counted among inflation hawks sees some value in moderately rising prices:
Second, many (if not necessarily all) central banks will eventually figure out how to generate higher inflation expectations. They will be driven to tolerate higher inflation as a means of forcing investors into real assets, to accelerate deleveraging, and as a mechanism for facilitating downward adjustment in real wages and home prices.
It is nonsense to argue that central banks are impotent and completely unable to raise inflation expectations, no matter how hard they try. In the extreme, governments can appoint central bank leaders who have a long-standing record of stating a tolerance for moderate inflation – an exact parallel to the idea of appointing “conservative” central bankers as a means of combating high inflation. [More]
But oddly enough, even as I look for more government action to raise inflation expectations, hard assets only increase in attractiveness for a place to store wealth. Farmland, for example could prove an investment for all [economic] seasons, as it is a legendary inflation hedge. While this was widely held during the bubble of the seventies, I think it would at a minimum be as good a choice to mitigate general inflation as any alternative, and undoubtedly better than cash, since inflation will precede interest rates.

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