Inflation/Deflation – watch the credit

Inflation/Deflation Definitions Once Again

  • Inflation is a net expansion of money and credit, with credit marked to market.
  • Deflation is a net contraction of money and credit, with credit marked to market.

Those are my definitions. I cannot force anyone to accept those definitions but they do explain what is happening quite nicely.

Those who think prices are what matters, even those who have no debt and no assets, are simply missing the boat about the importance of credit expansion and credit contraction in fiat credit-based financial system. As shown above, a credit contraction affects everyone, in many ways, and in far more important ways than simple price changes.

The stimulus and bailouts helped the financial economy (for a while), but not the real economy. Because credit dwarfs money supply, trillions of dollars of so-called stimulus vanished into thin air, with no lasting impact on the jobs market.

The inflationists and hperinflationists who ignored credit and focused on money supply alone (or consumer prices) never saw the plunge in interest rates coming or the massive pounding in global equity markets.

Those who knew a credit implosion was coming, got treasury yields correct, the equity crash correct, the rise in the dollar correct, and the strength in gold correct.

Gold does well in times of economic stress, especially in the senior currency – in this case the US dollar. It is the only commodity whose long term trendline is intact from 2000. Gold is money and as money it should do well in deflation in the country of the senior currency. It did.

In credit-based system, especially where credit dwarf money supply, credit itself (and the value of credit marked-to-market on the balance sheets of banks) is of paramount importance.

Those who insist inflation is about prices, as well as those who view inflation as an increase in money supply alone (ignoring credit), are going to continue to get the economic picture wrong.

If you are focused on prices or money supply alone, you are focused on the wrong thing.

In a fiat credit-based economy, where credit dwarfs money supply, changes in credit is what’s important, not changes in money supply, not nominal changes in prices.

via Mish’s Global Economic Trend Analysis: Myths About “What’s Economically Important”.

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