The U.S. isn’t the only place with inflation these days. Turkey is on track to have inflation somewhere between 20% and 40% this year. Other countries are interesting as well. The top 20 are:

Country  Last   Previous 
Venezuela     1,575.0     1,946.0
Sudan        366.0        388.0
Lebanon        174.0        144.0
Syria        139.0        134.0
Suriname          69.5          59.8
Zimbabwe          58.4          54.5
Argentina          52.1          52.5
Iran          35.7          39.2
Ethiopia          33.0          34.2
Angola          26.9          26.6
Turkey          21.3          19.9
Zambia          19.3          21.1
Nigeria          16.0          16.6
Guinea          12.7          13.1
Georgia          12.5          12.8
Kyrgyzstan          12.5          13.5
Sierra Leone          11.6          10.9
Pakistan          11.5             9.2
Ghana          11.0          10.6
Haiti          10.9          12.2

The US. is in 58th place with 6.2%. At least those are the “official” numbers. As the Reason article notes the official numbers and what is really happening don’t necessarily agree.

“Interesting” things happen with high inflation. There are numerous examples of hyper inflation (defined as greater than or equal to 50% per month) for individual countries. You might want to read up on them. But there will be new books required if it goes global.

The consequences of government responses to COVID, such as reduced production and “free money” make inflation worse. With yet another variant/excuse to adversely affect the economy we might get to read some of those new books on inflation in a year or two. Assuming, of course, we can afford the cost of the paper or electricity to charge your Kindle.


10 thoughts on “Inflation

  1. “i’d gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today.” whimpy, from “popeye.”

    it seems a common behavior. even among cartoon characters. like joe biden, for instance.

  2. If we measured Inflation the way it was measured in the late 70’s our current inflation rate is over 15%.

    • Messing with inflation statistics started in 1980 as a way to depress the COLA provisions in Social Security but really took off in 1990. Can you say Bush? And the changes have gotten bigger and less transparent over the years.

      The market basket approach had been more or less stable since the 1700s up until then. The content of the basket changed as new products/services were developed. Adding automobiles was an obvious example but the structure of the index was stable. Some of this occurred post 1980 as well especially with electronic gizmos.

      Big changes post-1980 that led to the situation Dan notes were substitution. Hamburger for steak is the commonly cited jiggering of the index but it happened across the board. Adjustments for quality changes were applied inconsistently as well with changes that would lead to decreased quality and higher inflation being ignored while adjustments for increased quality and lower inflation were incorporated. Shrinkflation is theoretically captured by the CPI but many sources indicated that the calculations have not kept up due to the lockdowns.

      The media is of course complicit in all of this by hewing to the party line. There are a lot of places on the web to get alternative statistics.

      • Yes, the fakeness of statistics became rather obvious when I studied in some detail the rules for TIPS — “Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities”. Those are bonds where the principal (but not the interest) are “adjusted for inflation”. More precisely, they are adjusted by a government-chosen statistic designed to understate the actual inflation. Not quite totally fake but certainly about 50% fake.

        • We’re living in the age of statistical abuse. The math is sound, but the applications are being misapplied cookie cutter style. And verification of ‘scientific’ results with millions of new papers per year – forget it! The global total in 2018 was 2.6 million papers growing at 4% per year (current 3.0+ million).

          Such volume means that an individual researcher has to spend more and more time just trying to keep up and even then many papers will go unread. Add carelessly applied statistics and methodology and it’s a world of GIGO. Diversity really does ‘help’.

  3. Those numbers are obviously garbage, but they are (maybe) apples-to-apples comparable garbage. Example: Last year when by brother was in Chile their peso was ~500 to $1USD, now it’s ~800 pesos. (842 at the moment). A devaluing dollar can buy 68% more pesos, but Chile doesn’t even make their list.

    Global debt and currency reset incoming! The only real questions are exactly when and how.

  4. We have limited historical examples to base a prediction upon since modern banking and currency valuation are relatively new to history, but based on every single example I can find going back to the western Roman Empire devaluing it’s currency, such widespread inflationary episodes all end up with one or more large, course of history changing wars. As Joe is fond of saying: “prepare accordingly”

    • Ya, their lining those up as we speak aren’t they. Going to draft girls this time around.

  5. As many have commented on here already. (All good I might add.) It’s all in the numbers. And when the numbers are generated by same outfit that is benefitting from inflation? The numbers will always be crap.
    The real question to me is how long can it hold? That is always determined by what one can buy with what you have, and the education level of the people involved.
    The US has gotten away with exporting our inflation by being the world’s reserve currency.
    When that changes, the full force of the largess that controls the world will be coming home to roost. Not that the rest of the world will escape. As we see the globalists withholding payments on goods shipped from China at the ports. (Not received, no pay for, right?) And when Evergrande crashes China. (And the world.) We can blame them just like they did the Wu-flu. That US money created and profited mightily from.
    Inflation is just another game for the super-rich. It’s how you rearrange the playing field, rewrite the rules, and start the game over again after it crashes.
    The problem will always lie at the feet of the super-rich, and their lackeys.
    (Notice them turning over their companies and selling out of the markets lately?) Soon folks.
    Denninger, over at the Market ticker blog has a good write up on it today also.

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