Monday, April 13, 2009

Bathing in Inflation?

Taking a warm bath in all the new money floating around may feel good now, what with the frozen credit markets, but as the economy stops cooling and begins to warm up (even ever so slightly), will the rising temperatures also cause inflation to heat up. (I think this metaphor really got away from me.)

To me, this is a key point:

Meltzer says political pressure will prevent Bernanke, 55, and fellow policy makers from withdrawing liquidity quickly enough as the economy recovers. That’s similar to the pattern that occurred back in the 1970s, he says. Then-Chairman Arthur Burns allowed excessive money-supply growth because he was unable or unwilling to resist pressure from President Richard Nixon’s White House to hold down unemployment, leading to the “great inflation” of that era, he says.

A lot of floating money may make sense now, but soon the time may be upon us when we need to start drying out this extra liquidity (run-away metaphor again...really, I shouldn't quit my day job...) Hopefully a sense of pragmatism has taken over the financial ruling class and they'll be willing to take the tough decisions to cool down inflation at the first sighting.

Bernanke Bet on Keynes Has Meltzer Seeing 1970s-Style Inflation -

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