Cents and Sensibility: the Inflation Guy Podcast

Cents and Sensibility: the Inflation Guy Podcast

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


June 1, 2023 25 mins

The Fed, along with most global central banks, considers 2% (or in that neighborhood) to be the definition of "price stability" that it aims for. Except that in the Fed's case, that 2% is on PCE (not CPI), and they only aim to hit that as an average over some (unstated) period of time.

However, even that is proving to be...somewhat difficult, leading to "murmurs" in some quarters that the Fed should change its target to 3% rather t...

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This week, the Inflation Guy brings another special guest on the set.

Andy Fately is a veteran of more than 40 years in the foreign exchange markets, trading spot, forwards and options as well as running businesses for major US and international commercial and investment banks.  He is known as the FX Poet (https://fxpoetry.com/about-2/), but really focused on creating solutions for risk managers for problems as they arise.

Andy and...

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The Inflation Guy addresses this month's CPI report, which showed an above-expectations Core CPI number (by a little). However, the internals of the report were not too bad, and according to the Inflation Guy today's data turns out to be a really good one supporting the timing of the Federal Reserve Board's pivot from active-tightening to steady-policy. The months ahead, though, still are unlikely to deliver what the market is pric...

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The M2 measure of the money supply has declined 4% from its peak 8 months ago - the largest decline since M2 has been measured starting in 1959. On the other hand, the Velocity of M2 has risen 8%, tying the largest increase in history. Which of these two titanic monetary tides will prevail? Does the decline in money presage the beginning of a deflationary debacle (at least for the stock market)?

The Inflation Guy takes on this ques...

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April 26, 2023 20 mins

In this episode, the Inflation Guy again tilts at windmills by ranting about recent comments by Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill to the effect that the reason inflation is remaining high is because normal people are not accepting that they are worse off, and therefore insist on arguing for higher wages rather than "taking their share" of the pain. Wow, he gets animated in this one. It's only Episode 63. What is the Inflatio...

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It has become de rigeur in economics circles (word to the wise - always avoid such circles if you wish to retain your ability to think independently) to bemoan the death of the “Phillips Curve.” The Phillips Curve supposedly describes an inverse relationship between inflation and unemployment. "Supposedly”? In this succinct episode, the Inflation Guy explains why poor William Phillips' good name has been dragged through the mud unn...

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When is a perfect forecast not a perfect forecast? When you got the reasons wrong. This ain't hurling hand grenades, where only the result matters - if you made a bunch of positive mistakes and a bunch of negative mistakes and they happen to offset, you're not a genius; you just got lucky. So today, Wall Street economists forecast 0.39% on Core CPI. That was exactly what they got. But for all the wrong reasons, and the reasons are ...

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The Inflation Guy doesn't understand why some people love to be the smartest person in the room. That's not fun at all! The Inflation Guy wants to be no better than the second-smartest, so he can always be learning. This is the first episode where he achieves this goal in a podcast format, with a real live guest who is deeply experienced in how insurance companies evaluate and address inflation risks.

Bill Poutsiaka is a senior fin...

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March 29, 2023 20 mins

In this episode, the Inflation Guy presents an introductory-level discussion of the concept of "delta," applying it to securities and explaining how the concept is used (in fairly plain English), but also applying it to exposures outside of the finance world. If you are someone who agreed with the tenor of a recent news article referring to the "arcane area of trading known as delta-hedging," you might find the Inflation Guy's pers...

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In this episode, the Inflation Guy discusses how volatility is a feature, not a bug - and how the Silicon Valley Bank debacle is not likely to lead to lower inflation at all. He also tells an interesting story about how deposit interest rates used to be capped, and how uncapped deposits have often been associated with bad outcomes at poorly-managed banks (and lots of them).

Some sources for this podcast:

Rolnick, Arthur J., “The Be...

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On Friday, the Inflation Guy thought no one would care about this month's CPI given the bank failures starting with Silicon Valley Bank. But actually, this number turns out to be quite important - the Fed needed a soft report, so that there would be no conflict between the rate trajectory needed to calm markets and support banks (lower) and that needed to quell inflation and inflation fears (higher). Whoops. Median CPI is still ris...

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March 9, 2023 22 mins

It has been a long time coming, but in this episode of the Inflation Guy Podcast, the IG talks about a new way to trade inflation - and it's a way that's available to the individual, and not just the hedge funds and large institutions! Inflation futures, although not fully mature, are here!

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March 2, 2023 30 mins

Go ahead, click. You know you want to hear about "Models Gone Bad."

You might also hear about how some recent work the Inflation Guy has done is persuading him that he is also being too optimistic about the speed at which inflation will decelerate. And no one, at least recently, has accused the Inflation Guy of being optimistic about inflation.

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The question that Inflation Guy addresses is causal: does the productivity enhancement promised by AI mean that future inflation will be lower, or not?

But in order to boost productivity, we asked ChatGPT to write the synopsis. After trimming most of the 538-word answer, the only relevant bit was this:

"In this episode, we explore the potential role of artificial intelligence (AI), a rapidly advancing technology that enables machin...

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In this month's CPI Report from the Inflation Guy, he points out that a report that is broadly strong, with some negative outliers, does not have the same implications as one that is broadly weak, with some negative outliers. The market was expecting the latter, but got the former. That inflation target of 2% is not looking any closer today.

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February 9, 2023 5 mins

The Inflation Guy delivers the State of Inflation Address with accuracy, brevity, clarity, and euphony. Well, two out of four isn't bad. If you listen to only one State of the Union Address this year, listen to this one...also!

Be sure to tune in on Tuesday for the monthly CPI Report summary, which will be longer, and with less background music.

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In this episode, the Inflation Guy explains why the Bureau of Labor Statistics is re-weighting CPI beginning with the report on February 14th, and what it means for you. He also points out that the prior re-weighting really did dampen inflation measurements a little bit...is the government trying to hold down the inflation report??

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With today's report of Q4 GDP, money velocity jumped the most in a quarter since 1981 (with the exception of the bounce in late 2020), and the most in a year since 1982. Velocity, it seems, is not 'permanently impaired'! It acts more like a car trailer attached to the car by a spring, and it's starting to catch up. This has large implications for inflation going forward, and for investors.

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In his never-ending quest to shine a light in the benighted economic darkness, the Inflation Guy today discusses a key component of the Fed's inflation models: consumer inflation expectations. Let's be fair, I think he leaned too much on Jeremy Rudd's paper in this one, but at least he delivered it with his inimitable Inflation Guy style. Listen, like, and recommend!

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In this month's CPI summary, the Inflation Guy ruminates on an as-expected number and wonders whether 'returning to the mean' is as important as the question of whether the mean has shifted, and where it has shifted to!

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