Peter Schiff: Hyperinflation Is Now The Most Probable Scenario

zerohedge News peter schiff hyperinflation most probable scenario All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Peter Schiff: Hyperinflation Is Now The Most Probable Scenario

Via SchiffGold.com,

March 23 was Peter Schiff’s birthday. It was also the day the Federal Reserve announced QE Infinity. So, Peter spent over three hours hosting a live videocast talking about the latest Fed moves, the potential impact on the economy and answering questions from viewers.

Peter said he was hoping to combat the rampant economic ignorance that

Read More
is pretty much everywhere.

There’s probably one thing that is spreading right now throughout the country faster than the coronavirus and that is economic ignorance and misinformation. It’s all over the place. It’s gone completely viral … The best thing anybody can do to combat the virus of ignorance is to turn off their television sets or their computers and don’t listen to anything that is being said in conventional media, whether it’s a news-related channel or a financial channel, I can virtually assure you that every single thing that you’re hearing is wrong.”

Peter hammered on a number of central themes you won’t hear discussed in the mainstream. For one thing, the Federal Reserve and the US government are repeating the mistakes of 2008.

Peter reminds us that as the crisis unfolded in ’08, he warned that the policies of bailouts and monetary stimulus were a mistake and that they would lead to a bigger crisis in the future.

Well, welcome to the future.”

He also emphasized that this isn’t about the coronavirus. The virus pricked a bubble that was inflated long ago. The economic chaos we’re seeing today started long before the virus reared its ugly head.

Everybody wants us to go back to normal, the way things were before anybody heard the word coronavirus of COVID-19. But you know what? We weren’t normal back then. The economy was sick before the virus infected us. It was a bubble. There was nothing normal about that bubble. And the problem with bubbles is once they pop, they’re not going to reflate. You need a new bubble. You need a bigger bubble. That’s what the Fed did. They inflated the NASDAQ bubble. That popped. They inflated a bigger bubble in housing. That popped. And then they inflated a bubble in everything. Well, everything has already been in a bubble. There’s nothing left to bubble up. It’s over.”

Peter also warned about what’s coming down the pike with all of this money being injected into the economy.

They are going to unleash a tsunami of inflation.”

And people losing their money in this crisis is going to be the least of the problems.

What we’re going to suffer as an economy is far worse than losing your money. Because you know what’s worse than losing your money? Having your money but your money losing it’s purchasing power. That is the worst thing that can happen and that is what’s going to happen. Hyperinflation has gone from the worst-case scenario to the most probable scenario. And that means people have to act quickly to protect themselves.”

Peter spent a lot of time taking questions from viewers. This is a great opportunity to get some economic analysis you’re not going to see on CNBC or Fox Business.

Tyler Durden

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 19:50

Hyperinflation, Money Demand, & The Crack-Up Boom

zerohedge News hyperinflation money demand crack-up boom All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
Hyperinflation, Money Demand, & The Crack-Up Boom

Authored by Thorsten Polleit via The Mises Institute,

In the early 1920s, Ludwig von Mises became a witness to hyperinflation in Austria and Germany - monetary developments that caused irreparable and (in the German case) cataclysmic damage to civilization.

Mises's policy advice was instrumental in helping to stop hyperinflati

Read More
on in Austria in 1922. In his Memoirs, however, he expressed the view that his instruction — halting the printing press — was heeded too late:

Austria's currency did not collapse — as did Germany's in 1923. The crack up boom did not occur. Nevertheless, the country had to bear the destructive consequences of continuing inflation for many years. Its banking, credit, and insurance systems had suffered wounds that could no longer heal, and no halt could be put to the consumption of capital.

As Mises noted, hyperinflation in Germany was not stopped before the complete destruction of the reichsmark. To illustrate the monetary catastrophe, one may take a look at the exchange rate of the reichsmark against the US dollar.

Before the start of World War I in 1914, around 4.2 marks would buy 1 US dollar. As soon as war action began, the convertibility of the mark was suspended and paper marks (papiermark) were issued, largely for financing war-related outlays. In 1918, after the end of World War I, 8.4marks bought 1 US dollar. In December 1919, the mark had depreciated to 46.8 per US dollar, and in December 1920 to 73.4 per dollar.

In July 1922, the US dollar cost 670 marks.

When French and Belgian troops occupied the Rhineland at the beginning of 1923, however, the exchange rate of the mark plummeted to 49,000 marks per US dollar.

On November 15, 1923, when hyperinflation reached its peak, the currency reform effectively made 1 trillion (1,000,000,000,000) papiermarkequal to 1 rentenmark, and as 4.2 trillion papiermark exchanged for 1 US dollar at that time, 4.2 rentenmark would equal 1 US dollar.

Increases in the Money Supply

The 20th century saw many hyperinflations, including China in 1949–50, Brazil in 1989–90, Argentina in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Russia in 1992, Yugoslavia in 1994, and, most recently, Zimbabwe in 2006–09. All of these hyperinflations were the direct result of a system of unfettered fiat money under government control — a system that produces money in a non-market-conforming way: the money supply is increased out of thin air by banks simply extending loans (circulation credit) and/or monetizing assets.

Hyperinflation is perhaps the darkest side of a government fiat money regime. Among mainstream economists, hyperinflation typically denotes a period of exceptionally strong increases in overall prices of goods and services, thus denoting a period of exceptionally strong erosions in the exchange value of money. Some people consider a rise in overall prices of 10 percent per month (which implies an annual rate of price increases of around 214 percent) as hyperinflation; others indentify hyperinflation as a monthly price rise of at least 20 percent (which implies an annual increase in prices of nearly 792 percent).

However, any such numerical definition can be criticized, as it refers to the symptom rather than the root cause of the accelerating loss of the purchasing power of money. Economically speaking, hyperinflation is the inevitable consequence of an ever-greater rise in the amount of money. And this is exactly what the monetary theory of the Austrian School of economics teaches: In fact, Austrian theory shows that inflation is the logical consequence of a rise in the money supply, and that hyperinflation is the logical outcome of ever-higher growth rates in the money supply.

According to the Austrian school, money is, like any other good, subject to the irrefutably true law of diminishing marginal utility. It is this law, which is implied by the axiom of human action, which is at the heart of Mises's praxeology. As it relates to money, the law of diminishing marginal utility states that an increase in the quantity of money by an additional unit will inevitably be ranked lower (that is, valued less) than any same-sized unit of money already in an individual's possession. This is because the new money can only be employed as a means for removing a state of uneasiness that is deemed less urgent than the least-urgent uneasiness which one has up to now been removing with the money in one's possession.

Money Demand

People hold money because money has purchasing power (which people desire, given the fact of uncertainty as an undeniable category of human action), and the purchasing power of money is determined by the supply of and demand for money.

If a rise in the money supply is accompanied by an equal rise in money demand, overall prices and the purchasing power of money remain unchanged. Once people start to exchange their increased money holdings against other goods, however, prices will start to rise, and the purchasing power of money will fall. That said, it is rise of the money supply relative to the demand for money that brings to the fore the obvious effect of an increasing money supply: rising prices.

Mises saw that money demand plays a crucial role for the possibility of an unfolding hyperinflation. If the central bank is expected to increase the money supply in the future, people can be expected to rein in their money demand in the present — that is, increasingly surrendering money against vendible items. This would, other things being equal, drive up money prices. Mises noted that "this goes on until the point is reached beyond which no further changes in the purchasing power of money are expected."4 The process of rising prices would come to a halt once people have fully adjusted for the expected increase in the money supply.

What happens, however, if people expect that, in the future, the money-supply growth rate will increase to ever-higher rates? In this case, the demand for money would, sooner or later, collapse. Such an expectation would lead (relatively quickly) to a point at which no one would be willing to hold any money — as people would expect money to lose its purchasing power altogether. People would start fleeing out of money entirely. This is what Mises termed a crack-up boom:

If once public opinion is convinced that the increase in the quantity of money will continue and never come to an end, and that consequently the prices of all commodities and services will not cease to rise, everybody becomes eager to buy as much as possible and to restrict his cash holding to a minimum size. For under these circumstances the regular costs incurred by holding cash are increased by the losses caused by the progressive fall in purchasing power. The advantages of holding cash must be paid for by sacrifices which are deemed unreasonably burdensome. This phenomenon was, in the great European inflations of the 'twenties, called flight into real goods (Flucht in die Sachwerte) or crack-up boom (Katastrophenhausse).5

The Unrelenting Power to Inflate

If people expect a forthcoming, drastic increase the money supply — but if they at the same time expect that such an increase will be limited (i.e., a one-off increase) — the central bank can actually orchestrate a debasing of money without causing its complete destruction. As long as government and its central bank succeed in making people believe that any future rise in the money supply will remain within an acceptable limit, from the viewpoint of the money holder, monetary policy is an effective and most perfidious instrument for expropriation and non-market-conforming income redistribution.

This may explain why Murray N. Rothbard, in his famous essay The Case for a 100 Percent Gold Dollar, wrote the following:

I am not saying that fiat money, once established on the ruins of gold, cannot then continue indefinitely on its own. Unfortunately … if fiat money could not continue indefinitely, I would not have to come here to plead for its abolition.6

Rothbard saw the danger that the government-controlled fiat money could be held up and running indefinitely, that it would not necessarily drive itself into a fatal and final collapse. As long as people do not expect that a money supply increase will spin out of control, the central bank is in a position to debase the currency without completely destroying it.

In other words: hyperinflation would be possible without destroying the money completely. The crack-up boom, as Mises pointed out, would unfold only when people come to the conclusion that the central bank will expand the money supply at ever-greater rates:

But then finally the masses wake up. They become suddenly aware of the fact that inflation is a deliberate policy and will go on endlessly. A breakdown occurs. The crack-up boom appears. Everybody is anxious to swap his money against "real" goods, no matter whether he needs them or not, no matter how much money he has to pay for them. Within a very short time, within a few weeks or even days, the things which were used as money are no longer used as media of exchange. They become scrap paper. Nobody wants to give away anything against them.7

Debt Levels

Today's fiat-money regimes are characterized by ever-greater amounts of debt relative to real income — caused by policies that try to solve the economic problems caused by credit and money creation out of thin air by using even greater amounts of credit and money created out of thin air. And it is fair to say that the higher an economy's overall debt level is, the more likely hyperinflation becomes.

To show this, let us assume that after a long period of money creation through bank circulation credit expansion a credit crisis emerges: Creditors are no longer willing to roll over maturing debt at prevailing interest rates. Borrowers cannot repay their obligations when payment is due, and neither can they afford paying higher borrowing costs. Investors start fleeing out of bonds, making interest rates increase sharply and thereby covering up unprofitable investment. More borrowers, including banks, fail to meet their obligations, and bankruptcies spread. Ensuing recession and rising unemployment aggravate the collapse of the credit structure.

Should investors in such a situation expect that the government and its central bank would opt for bailouts financed through additional money creation, the demand for money and fixed claims would most likely dry up. This would make it necessary for the central bank to extend ever-greater amounts of money to struggling borrowers in order to prevent the spread of bankruptcies. The larger the amount of outstanding debt is, the larger will be the potential increase in the money supply. The more the money supply grows, the more likely it is that there will be hyperinflation and a potential breakdown of money demand: the unfolding of a crack-up boom.

Tyler Durden

Sun, 12/15/2019 - 19:45


Business Finance


The Return Of Hyperinflation In Zimbabwe

zerohedge News return hyperinflation zimbabwe All https://www.zerohedge.com   Discuss    Share
The Return Of Hyperinflation In Zimbabwe

Authored by Pavel Mordasov via The Mises Institute,

It has been over a decade since Zimbabwe was ravished by one of history's worst experiences in hyperinflation, reaching 79,600,000,000 percent as prices doubled approximately every 24.7 hours in November of 2008. Today under new leadership, it seems as though the government of Zimbabwe has failed to learn from its previous mista

Read More
kes in what policy to ascribe to as it enters into another period of tumultuous times and economic hardship for its citizens as hyperinflation has entered the picture again.

Zimbabwe's horrendous experience with hyperinflation came from monetizing its expenses as a result of several years of failed political reforms such as confiscation of agricultural properties and price controls. This resulted in GDP declining -17 percent  in 2008 (see Figure 1). With Zimbabwe's practice of printing money, the government decided in 2009 to abandon their local currency and replaced it with foreign currency such as the US dollar and African Rand, which helped provide more stabilization.

Figure 1: Source: World Bank (Zimbabwe GDP 2008–2018)

However, after its rapid expansion from 2009 to 2012, Zimbabwe's economy began to slow down significantly in 2013 as they were met in the beginning of the year with the government having a minuscule balance of $217 in its public account. The same year Robert Mugabe, representing the ZANU-PF party, was reelected in the general election with the promise of continuing indigenization policies. The indigenization policies would attempt to create greater equality and economic growth by violating property rights and requiring foreign or white-owned companies to give a majority portion of their ownership to indigenous blacks. In doing so, Mugabe’s policy sent uncertainty within the market as it discouraged future foreign investment with the threat of asset confiscation, creating a lack of capital to expand production.

In addition, thanks to continued regime uncertainty, and with no monetary policy of its own, by 2014 Zimbabwe began to experience a shortage of physical cash which had reportedly led some people to use candied sweets and condoms in replace of change. Combined with this challenge, Zimbabwe had a poor harvest as it faced a drought in 2016 affecting five million people causing it to run a USD 1.4 billion deficit that made up 10 percent of national output causing an even further shortage of cash.

On November 21, 2017, after 37 years of ruling Zimbabwe with an iron fist, Mugabe resigned amidst political pressure of impeachment through a military coup. By the end of that week on the 24th, Emmerson Mnangagwa had become the new president of Zimbabwe. Immediately following Mnangagwa’s ascension to power, the president assured the population of drastic policy changes to help stabilize and boost economic growth.

Shortages and Price Controls

In the start of 2019, Zimbabwe's highly-regulated economy began to experience a shortage of fuel. To curb the demand, and as an attempt to keep fuel supplies within the country, Mnangagwa decided to use the state-managed energy sector to raise diesel by 125 percent and petrol by 131 percent overnight. Such a drastic increase immediately led to a three-day protest leaving 12 people dead and 78 treated for gunshot wounds as a result.

In Zimbabwe, the increase in the price of fuel has caused transportation costs to soar, which resulted in detrimental effects for businesses as their costs rose. In order to compensate for the increased cost in fuel, entrepreneurs must offset that by either lowering profit margins or raising prices. In an interconnected economy where entrepreneurs rely on each other to supply goods and services to each other and utilize those goods and services for future production when one entrepreneur increases their prices, this begins to cause other entrepreneurs to raise their prices in order to maintain profitability.

Returning to Local Currency

By June of this year, worsened by a variety of factors from fuel prices to declining domestic output, ZIMSTATS (Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency) reported that inflation in Zimbabwe had reached 175.66 percent%. In an effort to to combat this hyperinflation, Zimbabwe’s finance minister Mthuli Ncube then declared that the use of foreign currency will be forbidden in domestic transactions and that its civilians can only use electronic Real Time Gross Settlement Dollars (RTGS) to combat the shortage of US dollars. If a citizen decides to withdrawal the RTGS from their local bank, then they will receive paper bond notes in the denominations of $2, $5, $10, and $20.

Source: Bloomberg

Adopting the RTGS as a single unit of exchange is a rapid change from the not too long ago hyperinflation blunder. After 2009, the Zimbabwean state had stabilized its monetary affairs by using nine different currencies as legal tender. Now, the act of abolishing the use of foreign currency will only invoke the practice of off-the-grid transactions through the black market if businesses lose confidence in the RTGS. Confidence in the RTGS has already taken a hit as the black market ratio for RTGS to USD has reached 11 to 1 compared to the governments set ratio at 6.2 to 1. The difference in exchange ratios has shown that Zimbabwe cannot be trusted by issuing its currency as people have yet to build that confidence since it’s debacle in 2008.

Furthermore, Zimbabwe has suffered a drought this year and is estimated to have its corn crop drop by 54 percent, which would result in the necessity to import corn to make up for the shortage. However, importing goods is challenging, considering the country has been short of US dollars for the past few years. In the same period, Zimbabwe has also undergone continuous power outages due to the drought, lasting up to 18 hours per day and costing manufacturers over $200 million in lost production. To make matters worse President Mnangagwa in August raised fuel for the seventh time up over 500 percent.

Since the inflation report, Zimbabwe’s finance minister Mthuli Ncube said that inflation figures would be postponed until February 2020. The reason for the delay is so that government officials will have more time and information to accurately determine what the inflation rate is as the present prices are not measured in US dollars. However, many citizens have objected to this postponement with the belief that the government is attempting to hide the real inflation rate while the black market inflation rate in Zimbabwe is estimated to be at 558 percent.

When government intervenes within the market by setting the price of a commodity outside of the natural market forces of supply and demand while enforcing legal-tender laws to require its citizens to make transactions in a currency they do not trust, such actions will inevitably lead to hyperinflation such as the situation in Zimbabwe. As we reflect upon the present crisis and monitor the situation until the next inflation statistics come out in 2020, the conditions look gloomy going forward unless Zimbabwe changes its direction toward more free-market-oriented policies and avoids continued government intervention that impoverishes the standard of living of its people.

Tyler Durden

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 02:00


Business Finance

Sign up for our newsletter

Unsubscribe at Anytime | Privacy Policy
Welcome, DisDroidians

Send a donation to get your link on the front page - send 0.5mBTC - Or your RSS feed - send 4mBTC.

Please Donate
Send a donation to get your link on the front page - send 0.2mBTC - Or your RSS feed - send 2mBTC here:



Most Viewed Stories
Latest Comments
Disdroid.co.uk - ranking and value