This time is different?

12 Aug

Professor Ken Rogoff, famed co-author of the Excellent 2009 Book” This time is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly”, has recently come out with a call for Central Banks to aggressively abandon current inflation targets. His rationale is that low rates of inflation are becoming ingrained and that higher rates of inflation will lead to lower real rates and lower debt burdens on those very serial debt hogs he targets in his book. However, as a student of history, Professor Rogoff should also be aware of the fact that once Central Banks proceed down that path it is very hard to regain that inflation fighting credibility.  Clearly someone as astute as Professor Rogoff understands that when it comes to inflation the next cycle will not be much different than those experienced in past pricing cycles. The problem is that, much like QE,  if a little inflation does the trick, why not try a little more. If you need any more evidence of this look at President Obama’s recent comment on Fed policy in which he proclaimed ” If you look at the biggest challenges we have, the challenge is not inflation”.  When something becomes a talking point for politicians, it is generally a good idea to look at the inverse. Sell Paper Buy Stuff.

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