I am getting back to my monetary economics roots with this post. Bloomberg has a really interesting piece (found here). One well known forecasting tool or leading indicator known to the public at-large is the inverted yield curve. After an inversion the economy goes into recession within a few quarters, or so the story goes.
In what may be the most telegraphed monetary policy move in history the Federal Reserve raised rates today by 0.25% (here is an article). The great wailing and gnashing of teeth predicted by all the Chicken Littles seems not to have come to pass though. I have been saying this on JT’s show for the better part of a year now: If the economy is so fragile that a 0.25% increase in rates is a threat to economic growth than we have bigger issues.
This is a little more macro/money than much of the stuff I post here but it seems to be something people miss sometimes. The Federal Reserve drastically lowered rates in response to the unfolding financial crisis in 2008 and later. Those rates remain low today, essentially set between 0.0 and 0.25%. Despite this range the rate is effectively staying at or below 0.1%, but that is not what I am addressing today.
Being a frequent contributor to the Jarrod Thomas Show (1310 KNOX AM, Grand Forks) over the last several years I received many questions about inflation. The massive monetary stimulus injected by the Fed in response to the Great Recession “must” be inflationary. Many callers believed there was no way to avoid a massive inflation as an outcome.
I was startled by some of the information in this article. The most startling thing I learned today might be that Japan is only 39 percent self-sufficient as far as calories. I knew Japan relied on significant imports of fuels given their natural resource limitations. But food? This is a developed country, one that was supposed to rival the economic might of the United States in the 1980s. Relying on imports for such a significant part of food consumption can be a serious issue. Combine this with economic stagnation and an aging population and it hardly seems like a recipe for an economic turnaround.