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Tag Archives: 5.) Charles Hugh Smith

The Sources of Rip-Your-Face-Off Inflation Few Dare Discuss

We’re getting a real-world economics lesson in rip-your-face-off increases in prices, and the tuition is about to go up–way up. Inflation will be transitory, blah-blah-blah–I beg to differ, for these reasons. There are numerous structural sources of inflation, which I define as prices rise while the quality and quantity of goods and services remain the same or diminish. Since the word inflation is so loaded, let’s use the more neutral (and more accurate) term...

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Post-Pandemic Metamorphosis: Never Going Back

People caught on that the returns on the frenzied hamster wheel of “normal” have been diminishing for decades, but everyone was too busy to notice. The superficial “return to normal” narrative focuses solely on first order effects: now that people can dispense with masks and social distancing, they are resuming their pre-pandemic spending orgy with a vengeance, which augurs great profits for Corporate America and higher tax revenues. Yea for “return to normal. “This...

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(Not) Living Large on Social Security

For about 1 in 4, Social Security provides at least 90 percent of their income. How many retired workers are getting less than $1,000 per month in Social Security benefits? The question came up and I was curious enough to find the answer, and download the data into an Excel spreadsheet which I saved as a PDF that you can review here. Note that this data is for the 46.5 million retired workers only, and does not include benefits paid to survivors, spouses,...

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Increasingly Chaotic Volatility Ahead–The New Normal Few Think Possible

That the era of stability has ended and a new era of increasingly chaotic volatility has begun is not on anyone’s radar as a possibility. The standard debate about the future of the economy is: which will we get, high inflation or a deflationary collapse of defaults and asset bubbles popping? The debate goes round and round in widening circles of complexity as analysts delve into every nuance of the debate. A recent conversation with my friend A.T. raised a third...

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Systemic Risks Abound

If you wanted to design a system guaranteed to collapse in a putrid heap, you’d make moral hazard ubiquitous and you’d make the system 100% dependent on a hubris-soaked faux savior. For the past 22 years, every time the stock market whimpered, wheezed or whined, the Federal Reserve rushed to soothe the spoiled crybaby. There are two consequential results of the Fed as savior: 1. The Fed has perfected moral hazard: everyone from the money manager betting billions to...

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FOMO Is Loco

We can also posit a general rule that those who inherit wealth and succumb to FOMO are eventually less wealthy while those who are wealthy and take a pass on FOMO / hoarding at the top of the manic frenzy increase their wealth.Judging by the panic buying of everything from homes to yachts to lumber futures, it seems the world has run out of everything except newly issued central bank trillions, and so the logical response is FOMO (fear of missing out) and hoarding:...

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Fed to Treasury Dealers and Congress: We Can’t Count On You, We’re Taking Charge

The Fed sees itself as trapped by the incompetence and greed of the other players and by its own policy extremes that were little more than expedient “saves” of a system that is unraveling due to its fragility and brittleness. There are two standard-issue narratives about the Federal Reserve’s agenda: the Fed’s official narrative is that the Fed’s mandate is to keep inflation under control while promoting full employment. The unofficial mandate that’s obvious to...

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Sickcare is the Knife in the Heart of Employment–and the Economy

We need to change the incentives of the entire system, not just healthcare, but if we don’t start with healthcare, that financial cancer will drag us into national insolvency all by itself. American Healthcare is a growth industry in the same way cancer is a growth industry: both keep growing until they kill the host, which in the case of healthcare is the U.S. economy. While a great many individuals in the system care about improving the health of their patients,...

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Why Wage Inflation Will Accelerate

The Fed has created trillions out of thin air to boost the speculative wealth of Wall Street, but it can’t print experienced workers willing to work for low wages. The Federal Reserve is reassuring us daily that inflation is temporary, but allow me to assure you that wage inflation is just getting started and will accelerate rapidly. As I noted yesterday, the Fed can create currency out of thin and funnel it to financiers, but the Fed can’t create experienced,...

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The ‘Take This Job and Shove It’ Recession

So hey there Corporate America, the Fed and your neofeudal cronies: take this job and shove it. This time it really is different, but not in the way the Wall Street shucksters are claiming. Conventional economists, politicos and pundits are completely clueless about the unraveling that’s gathering momentum beneath the superficial surface of “reflation” because they don’t yet grasp we’re entering an unprecedented new type of recession: a ‘Take This Job and Shove...

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