The crisis of bourgeois economics

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Re: The crisis of bourgeois economics

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 07, 2022 2:13 pm

Capitalism is killing us! (Photo: Charles Hutchins / Wikimedia Commons)

Yet another contradiction of capitalism
Posted Jan 06, 2022 by Prabhat Patnaik

Originally published: Peoples Democracy (January 2, 2022 ) |

In the United States there are still four million persons who remain unemployed compared to before the pandemic; and yet the Biden administration’s attempt to stimulate the economy has already run into a crisis with the re-emergence of inflation not just in that country but elsewhere in the capitalist world as well. The Federal Reserve Board (the equivalent of the U.S. central bank) is planning soon to raise interest rates (that are currently close to zero), and even the fiscal expansion will be difficult to sustain in the face of inflation. All this will truncate the recovery that has been taking place. In other words, the ability of the State even in the leading capitalist country of the world, whose currency is “as good as gold” and which should therefore have no fears of any debilitating capital flight, to stimulate activity within its own borders, has become seriously constrained.

This is a new basic contradiction that has emerged in world capitalism and deserves serious attention. The prognostication of John Maynard Keynes, the most important bourgeois economist of the twentieth century, that even though capitalism in its spontaneity was a flawed system that kept large masses of workers unemployed, State intervention could fix this flaw, had already been negated by the globalisation of finance. Facing a nation-State, globalised finance had enfeebled that State sufficiently to prevent its intervention for overcoming the deficiency of aggregate demand. But the one State that still appeared to have the capacity to intervene was the U.S. State because its currency was considered even by globalised finance to be “as good as gold” and hence intervention by it would not trigger any serious exodus of finance. But now, it seems, even that prospect has vanished. Let us see why.

The reason why governments of other countries could not stimulate their economies adequately was because their fiscal policies were constrained by the condition imposed upon them by finance to restrict the fiscal deficits relative to GDP to a certain stipulated figure; their monetary policies on the other hand had to be tied to the monetary policy of the U.S.. Their interest rates for instance had to be sufficiently higher than the U.S. interest rate, for otherwise there would be serious financial outflows. Their hands, therefore, were tied, and this held even for advanced capitalist countries. The U.S., however, had a certain autonomy. Even if it ran a fiscal deficit exceeding that of other countries and even if it had close to zero interest rates, this would not trigger any serious financial outflows. The Biden administration proceeded on this assumption. There was however another fly in the ointment which has surfaced now.

Textbook economics tells us that low-interest rates stimulate private investment because they lower the cost of borrowing. This is certainly the case, but an even stronger route through which low-interest rates have operated of late has been through stimulating asset price bubbles. When the “dot-com bubble” in the U.S. collapsed at the beginning of this century, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates, which stimulated a new bubble, the housing bubble, in that country. This, by artificially boosting the wealth of many individuals, gave a boost to consumption expenditure, and also to investment in housing and other projects which ushered in a new boom.

The Fed’s low-interest-rate policy, in short, operated not just through its direct effect in lowering the cost of borrowing but also, significantly, by stimulating a speculative asset-price bubble, where a price of an asset rises many times more than its “true value”, i.e., what its discounted earnings over its life-time would warrant. This happens because while everyone expects the asset price to collapse eventually, those who hold the asset believe that it would rise for some more time. They hope to sell it within that time and pocket the capital gains. And this speculation-fuelled demand for the asset is aided if the interest rates are kept low.

But low-interest rates can encourage speculation not only in asset markets but also in commodity markets. And this is precisely what has been happening in the U.S., because after the collapse of the housing bubble speculators have become particularly chary of asset-market speculation. Speculation can arise not just in those goods which for one reason or another may be temporarily in short supply or where there may be temporary bottlenecks and whose prices, therefore, are expected to rise immediately; they would also arise in commodities where demand is inelastic (i.e., does not fall too much when prices rise) so that even if there are no supply bottlenecks, artificial scarcities can be profitably created. And demand becomes particularly inelastic when credit is easily available (for then people borrow to maintain demand).

Once such price increases occur, then the demand for wage increases follows, to compensate the workers for their real income losses owing to the price rise. Thus, a whole price-wage spiral can be started even when there are no major supply bottlenecks of any kind that threaten the boom. And once such an inflationary spiral has started, then the stimulation of the economy has perforce got to be halted, as is happening in the U.S. now.

Oil is an obvious candidate for such an artificial price-rise, and it is not surprising that petrol prices in the U.S. for November 2021 were higher than those for November 2020 by as much as 58 per cent, which was the highest for any month since 1980. The increase in 1980 had come when the second oil shock had happened; the current rise in oil prices however has occurred without there being any price-hikes administered by the OPEC countries. In fact, the U.S. administration has been considering using its own oil stock-pile to keep down oil prices.

Commodity speculation has generally been ignored in economic policy-making in advanced capitalist countries. It is taken for granted that low-interest rates would stimulate aggregate demand through causing asset price bubbles and possibly through directly raising investment by lowering borrowing costs; the fact that low-interest rates could also encourage commodity speculation so that the ensuing price-rise could lead to a lowering of aggregate demand instead of raising it has scarcely been recognised. And yet this is now emerging as the consequence of a low-interest rate policy, which would make any state intervention for raising the level of aggregate demand that much more difficult.

International finance capital objects to fiscal intervention by any government for stimulating demand, though it is more tolerant of intervention through monetary policy, for that works through the decisions of the capitalists and hence does not have the effect of delegitimising the system by bypassing the capitalists. But if monetary policy too becomes infructuous, even in the U.S., since it gives rise to inflation long before the system has run into any major supply-side bottlenecks, then the system is left with no instruments for reviving activity and overcoming mass unemployment.

Till now monetary policy was considered at worst to be a blunt instrument. When even with a close-to-zero interest rate there was not much revival of investment, many had argued that the interest rate should be pushed into the negative region; this would have been difficult to sustain in any case, since any financial system that charged negative interest rates to would-be investors, cannot keep on paying positive interest rates to the depositors. The latter rates too would have to be negative, in which case however there is no reason why anyone should deposit any money with any financial institutions instead of just holding cash.

But it turns out that quite apart from the ineffectiveness even of a near-zero interest rate in stimulating investment, it also has the effect of giving rise to inflation via commodity speculation. That basically leaves the capitalist system under the hegemony of global finance without any instrument for stimulating aggregate demand, even in the leading capitalist country.

The persistence of unemployment keeps the profile of real wages in the world economy almost stagnant, even as the profile of labour productivities rises internationally, raising the share of economic surplus in world output and thereby pushing the world economy into an even deeper crisis of over-production. If at the same time no instruments are available for raising the level of aggregate demand, i.e., for countering the crisis, then world capitalism gets doomed to a state of perennial mass unemployment, which can only undermine its political stability. The implications of such a state of affairs for economies like India are immense and profound. ... apitalism/
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Re: The crisis of bourgeois economics

Post by blindpig » Fri Jan 14, 2022 4:49 pm

No letup in economic and social decline
Originally published: Dissident Voice by Shawgi Tell (January 11, 2022 ) | - Posted Jan 13, 2022

Economic and social conditions have been worsening for decades at home and abroad, especially in the context of the neoliberal antisocial offensive which was launched more than 40 years ago by the international financial oligarchy. But they have been getting even worse in recent years and over the past two years in particular.

Inequality, poverty, and debt, along with homelessness, unemployment, and under-employment are on the rise in an increasingly interconnected globe. It is no surprise that suicide, depression, illness, and anxiety persist at very high levels. There is an unbreakable connection between economic, social, and personal conditions. As economic and social conditions decline, so too do people’s mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Below is a current snapshot of deteriorating economic and social conditions in the U.S. and elsewhere. The U.S. population currently stands at 332,403,650. The world population is 7,868,872,451.

Conditions in the U.S.

American student loan debt increased at a rate of 20 percent in the last ten years, leaving college graduates with hefty payments. The student loan debt in the US is a growing crisis with college graduates owing a collective $1.75 trillion in student loans. In 2021, there are 44.7 million Americans who have student loan debt averaging about $30,000 at the time of receiving their undergraduate degree.

The number of Americans living without homes, in shelters, or on the streets continues to rise at an alarming rate.

The $5 trillion in wealth now held by 745 billionaires is two-thirds more than the $3 trillion in wealth held by the bottom 50 percent of U.S. households estimated by the Federal Reserve Board.

The official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4 percent, up 1.0 percentage point from 10.5 percent in 2019. This is the first increase in poverty after five consecutive annual declines. In 2020, there were 37.2 million people in poverty, approximately 3.3 million more than in 2019.

After the longest period in history without an increase, the federal minimum wage today is worth 21% less than 12 years ago—and 34% less than in 1968.

CEOs were paid 351 times as much as a typical worker in 2020.

[F]or seven months of 2021, workers have been quitting at near-record rates.
More than 4.5 million people voluntarily left their jobs in November [2021] the Labor Department said Tuesday. That was up from 4.2 million in October and was the most in the two decades that the government has been keeping track.

According to a report by UCLA’s Latino Policy & Politics Initiative, Latinas are leaving the workforce at higher rates than any other demographic. Between March 2020 and March 2021, the number of Latinas in the workforce dropped by 2.74%, meaning there are 336,000 fewer Latinas in the labor force

The adult women’s labor force participation rate remains blunted at 57.5%—well below pre-pandemic levels. In fact, it’s worse than pre-pandemic levels.

U.S. job openings jumped in October to the second-highest on record, underscoring the ongoing challenge for employers to find qualified workers for an unprecedented number of vacancies. The number of available positions rose to 11 million from an upwardly revised 10.6 million in September.

As of November [2021], 15.6 million workers in the US are still being affected by the pandemic’s economic downturn; 3.9 million US workers are out of the labor force due to COVID-19, 6.9 million workers are still unemployed, 2 million workers are still experiencing cuts to pay or work schedules due to COVID-19, and another 3 million workers are misclassified as employed or out of the labor force, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

About 2.2 million Americans remain long-term unemployed — about 1.1 million more than in February 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in November that more than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, May 2020 to April 2021, with about three-quarters of those deaths involving opioids — a national record.
U.S. death rate soared 17 percent in 2020, final CDC mortality report concludes.

Life Insurance CEO Says Deaths Up 40% Among Those Aged 18-64.

Suicide rates increased 33% between 1999 and 2019, with a small decline in 2019. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It was responsible for more than 47,500 deaths in 2019, which is about one death every 11 minutes. The number of people who think about or attempt suicide is even higher. In 2019, 12 million American adults seriously thought about suicide, 3.5 million planned a suicide attempt, and 1.4 million attempted suicide. Suicide affects all ages. It is the second leading cause of death for people ages 10-34, the fourth leading cause among people ages 35-44, and the fifth leading cause among people ages 45-54.

Alarming Anxiety & Depression Toll making All Time Record Highs Impacting 30% of all Americans.

[Depression] has been rising for well more than a decade in teens and hiked further during the pandemic. And after a pandemic-induced spike, depression symptoms now plague more than a quarter of U.S. adults. More than 13% of Americans were taking antidepressants before Covid hit and during the pandemic, prescriptions shot up 6%.
At least 12 major U.S. cities have broken annual homicide records in 2021.

Private health insurance coverage declined for working-age adults ages 19 to 64 from early 2019 to early 2021, when the nation experienced the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, 4.3 million children under the age of 19 — 5.6% of all children — were without health coverage for the entire calendar year.

International Conditions
Even as tens of millions of people were being pushed into destitution, the ultra-rich became wealthier. Last year, billionaires enjoyed the highest boost to their share of wealth on record, according to the World Inequality Lab.

Global wealth inequality is even more pronounced than income inequality. The poorest half of the world’s population only possess 2 percent of the total wealth. In contrast, the wealthiest 10 percent own 76 percent of all wealth, with $771,300 (€550,900) on average.

The pandemic has pushed approximately 100 million people into extreme poverty, boosting the global total to 711 million in 2021.

More than half a billion people pushed or pushed further into extreme poverty due to health care costs.

World leaders urged to halt escalating hunger crisis as 17% more people expected to need life-saving aid in 2022.

33% of Arab world doesn’t have enough food: UN report. The Arab world witnessed a 91.1 per cent increase in hunger since 2000, affecting 141 million people.

The 60% of low-income countries the IMF says are now near or in debt distress compares with less than 30% as recently as 2015.

According to a recent Gallup poll, 63 percent of Lebanese would like to permanently leave the country in the face of worsening living conditions.

25% of households in Israel live in poverty.

Turkey’s annual inflation rate is expected to have hit 30.6% in December, according to a Reuters poll, breaching the 30% level for the first time since 2003 as prices rose due to record lira volatility.

Kazakhstan government resigns amid protests over rising fuel prices.

Pakistanis squeezed by inflation face more pain from tax hikes.

November saw inflation rise by 14.23 percent, building on a pattern of double-digit increases that have hit India for several months now. Fuel and energy prices rose nearly 40 percent last month. Urban unemployment–most of the better-paying jobs are in cities–has been moving up since September and is now above 9 percent.

Sri Lanka is facing a deepening financial and humanitarian crisis with fears it could go bankrupt in 2022 as inflation rises to record levels, food prices rocket and its coffers run dry.

Index shows South Africa’s economy is shrinking.

COVID-19 spike worsens Africa’s severe poverty, hunger woes.

Latin America’s biggest economy [Brazil] is seen remaining stuck in recession as it confronts double-digit price increases.

Japan admits overstating economic data for nearly a decade.

New Zealanders are feeling pessimistic about the economy, worried about rising interest rates and the prospect of new COVID-19 variants, Westpac’s latest consumer confidence data shows.

Canadians’ optimism towards their financial health and the economy at large reached its lowest point in more than a year during the final work week of 2021, according to Bloomberg and Nanos Research.

Polish Inflation to Rise Sharply in 2022, Central Bank Boss Says.

Inflation is at its highest level in the UK since 2011.

The Resolution Foundation predicts higher energy bills, stagnant wages and tax rises could leave [U.K.] households with a £1,200 a year hit to their incomes.

Air travel in and out of UK slumps by 71% in 2021 amid pandemic. Report from aviation analytics firm Cirium shows domestic flights were down by almost 60%.

Annual inflation in Spain rises 6.7% in December, the highest level in nearly three decades.

Germany’s Bundesbank lowers 2022 economic growth forecast.

OECD predicts Latvia to have the slowest economic growth among Baltic States.

| Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card | MR Online
Shawgi Tell is author of the book Charter School Report Card.

While deteriorating economic, social, and personal conditions define many other countries and regions, the main question is why do such horrible problems persist in the 21st century? The scientific and technical revolution of the last 250 years has objectively enabled and empowered humankind to solve major problems and to meet the basic needs of all humans while improving the natural environment. There are a million creative ways to affirm the rights of all safely, sustainably, quickly, and on a constantly-improving basis. There is no reason for persistent and widespread instability, chaos, and insecurity. Living and working standards should be steadily rising everywhere in the 21st century, not continually declining for millions. Objectively, there is no shortage or scarcity of socially-produced wealth to meet the needs of all.

Under existing political-economic arrangements, however, systemic instabilities and crises will persist for the foreseeable future, ensuring continued anxiety and hardship for millions. The rich and their political representatives have repeatedly demonstrated that they are unable and unwilling to solve serious problems. They are out of touch and self-serving. As a result, the world is full of more chaos, anarchy, insecurity, and violence of all forms. The rich are concerned only with their narrow private interests no matter how damaging this is to the natural and social environment. They do not recognize the need for a self-reliant, diverse, and balanced economy controlled and directed by working people. They reject the human factor and social consciousness in all affairs.

It is not possible to overcome unresolved economic and social problems so long as the economy remains dominated by a handful of billionaires. It is impossible to invest socially-produced wealth in social programs and services so long as the workers who produce that wealth have no control over it. Every year, more and more of the wealth produced by workers fills the pockets of fewer and fewer billionaires, thereby exacerbating many problems. Wealth concentration has reached extremely absurd levels.

It is extremely difficult to bring about change that favors the people so long as the cartel political parties of the rich dominate politics and keep people out of power. Constantly begging and “pressuring” politicians to fulfill people’s most basic rights is humiliating, exhausting, and ineffective. It does not work. No major problems have been solved in years. More problems keep appearing no matter which party of the rich is in power. The obsolete two-party system stands more discredited with each passing year. Getting excited every 2-4 years about which candidate of the rich will win an election has not brought about deep and lasting changes that favor the people. It is no surprise that President Joe Biden’s approval rating keeps hitting new lows every few weeks. People want change that favors them, not more schemes to pay the rich in the name of “getting things done” or “serving the public.” “Building Back Better” should not mean tons more money for the rich and a few crumbs for the rest of us.

A fresh new alternative is needed that actually empowers the people themselves to direct all the affairs of society. New arrangements that unleash the human factor and enable people to practically implement pro-social changes are needed urgently. All the old institutions of liberal democracy and the so-called “social contract” disappeared long ago and cannot provide a way forward. They are part of an old obsolete world that continually blocks the affirmation of human rights. This law or that law from this mainstream party or that mainstream party is not going to save the day. The cartel parties of the rich became irrelevant long ago.

We are in an even more violent and chaotic environment today that is yearning for a new and modern alternative that affirms the rights of all and prevents any individuals, governments, or corporations from depriving people of their rights. People themselves must be the decision-makers so that the wealth of society is put in the service of society. Constantly paying the rich more while gutting social programs and enterprises is a recipe for greater tragedies. ... l-decline/

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Re: The crisis of bourgeois economics

Post by blindpig » Thu Jan 20, 2022 3:05 pm


Once again austerity proponents tell it like it isn’t
Posted Jan 19, 2022 by Martin Hart-Landsberg

Originally published: Reports from the Economic Front (January 17, 2022 )

There appears to be growing consensus among economists and policy makers that inflation is now the main threat to the U.S. economy and the Federal Reserve Board needs to start ratcheting up interest rates to slow down economic activity. While these so-called inflation-hawks are quick to highlight the cost of higher prices, they rarely, if ever, mention the costs associated with the higher interest rate policy they recommend, costs that include higher unemployment and lower wages for working people.

The call for tightening monetary policy is often buttressed by claims that labor markets have now tightened to such an extent that continued expansion could set off a wage-price spiral. However, the rapid decline in the unemployment rate to historically low levels, a development often cited in support of this call for austerity, is far from the best indicator of labor market conditions. In fact, even leaving aside issues of job quality, the U.S. employment situation, as we see below, remains problematic. In short: the U.S. economy continues to operate in ways that fall far short of what workers need.

A turn to austerity to fight inflation is not what we need. Neither is a continuation of policies that simply continue the growth of our currently structured economy. Instead, we need new policies that can transform our economy with the aim of employing more people, working significantly shorter workweeks under conditions that are humane and fulfilling, for a living wage, producing and distributing the goods and services required to meet majority needs in socially and environmentally sustainable ways.

Weak job creation

It is important to recognize how limited the economic recovery has been in terms of job creation. As Elise Gould notes,

Most of the vital fiscal stimulus provided in 2021 has now faded while the labor market is still nearly 3.6 million jobs below pre-pandemic levels and is facing a shortfall in the range of 5 to 8 million jobs when taking into account population growth and/or pre-pandemic trends.

And while the unemployment rate has fallen to an impressively low 3.9 percent in December 2021, the labor force participation rate (which shows the percentage of the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years and older that is working or actively looking for work) tells a very different story. As we can see below, as of December 2021 the labor force participation stood at 61.9 percent, far below its early 2000’s peak of 67.3 percent.


In other words, one reason that the unemployment rate has fallen so low, is that millions of workers have dropped out of the labor force and, as a result, no longer considered in the calculation of the unemployment rate. In fact, our labor force would have to be some 13 million larger to match that earlier peak.

There are those that say that the current labor force participation rate paints a misleadingly negative picture of the tightness of the labor market. Many point to the fact of record high quit rates, which they say shows that many workers are “voluntarily” choosing to leave the labor market. Leaving aside the fact that many of those who quit did so because of health concerns or a lack of childcare options, the focus on quit rates alone produces a one-side picture of current labor market dynamics.


The media has focused on the high quits rate, but what’s often missing from that coverage is that workers who are quitting their jobs aren’t dropping out of the labor force, they are quitting to take other jobs. . . . Much attention throughout the recovery has been on accommodation and food services, which suffered the greatest losses in employment when the pandemic hit and is now experiencing record-high levels of quits. In November 2021, accommodation and food services recorded nearly a million quits (920,000). But—and here’s the part many commentators seem to be missing—hiring in accommodation and food services exceeded quits in November, coming in at over 1 million (1,079,000).

As the following figure shows, hires are now greater than quits in all sectors of the economy. What we appear to have is a high degree of labor market mobility, with workers leaving one job for another (hopefully better) one.

Another reason offered for why the low labor force participation should not be given too much weight in policy considerations is that it is said to be heavily influenced by Baby Boomer retirements. It is certainly true that the Baby Boomer generation has a lower labor force participation rate than that of younger cohorts. But, strikingly, and in contrast to that of younger cohorts, the labor force participation rate of those over 55 has actually grown since 2000, and quite rapidly for those over 65, as we can see in the figure below. In other words, Baby Boomers and even older workers have been moving back into, not out of, the labor force.


The labor market experience of prime age workers

Perhaps the best way to appreciate the economy’s employment generating inadequacies is to look at the labor market experience of prime age workers, those between 25 and 54 years. As Jill Mislinski explains,

This cohort leaves out the employment volatility of the high-school and college years, the lower employment of the retirement years and also the age 55-64 decade when many in the workforce begin transitioning to retirement … for example, two-income households that downsize into one-income households.

The figure below shows the labor force participation rate for those 25-54 years. As noted in the inset box, some 3.3 million additional workers ages 25-54 would have to be employed to regain the labor force participation rate achieved around the turn of the century.


The employment-to-population rate for this cohort is probably even more telling. While the labor force participation rate includes both employed and unemployed workers in its calculation, this rate includes only those employed. As the inset box notes, the current age 25-54 cohort would require an increase of 5 million employed workers to match its earlier peak rate.


It is worth emphasizing that we are looking at prime age workers. It is hard to see how one could consider the U.S. labor market tight, meaning the economy is close to full employment, when millions of prime aged workers remain outside it. And it would take a very active imagination to believe that these workers have decided not to work because of their access to a generous government financed system of social support. The fact is that the low labor force participation rate and employment-to-population rate of this prime age cohort are indicators of just how poorly the U.S. economy is at generating acceptable employment opportunities. Policies designed to slow economic growth and, by extension increase unemployment, are clearly unwarranted.

Inflation dangers overstated

Many of the same people that point to the tightness of the labor market as a justification for their call to tighten monetary policy also overstate the dangers of inflation. The rate of inflation has indeed spiked. The year-over-year inflation rate from December 2020 to December 2021 hit 7.0 percent, the highest rate since June 1982. However, the monthly rate of inflation has begun to significantly slow—from 0.9 percent in October, to 0.8 percent in November, to only 0.5 percent in December.

Pandemic disruptions to the supply chain are the main cause of this recent spike in prices, something that is not unique to the United States. As Dean Baker describes,

We continue to see the supply chain crisis, aggravated by the shortage of semi-conductors, which has impeded car production. New car prices rose 1.0 percent in December and are up 11.8 percent over the last year. Used car prices rose 3.5 percent and have risen an incredible 37.3 percent over the last year. Together, these components accounted for almost 1.5 percentage points of the inflation we have seen over the last year.

The major auto manufacturers are getting around the chip shortage and ramping up production. Since the cost of producing cars has not hugely risen, we can expect most of the rise in new and used car prices to be reversed in the not distant future.

There is a similar story in the other components where supply chain issues have pushed up prices. Apparel prices, which have been trending downward for decades, rose 5.8 percent over the last year. The index for household supplies and furnishings, which includes everything from linen to major appliances, rose 7.4 percent over the last year.

There are reasons to believe that the rate of inflation has peaked and is now heading down as supply chain disruptions are (at least temporarily) overcome, and demand itself slows. In fact, the Federal Reserve forecasts that its personal consumption expenditure inflation index will rise by only 2.6 percent in 2022, sharply down from an expected 4.4 percent in 2021.

Moreover, as Baker also points out, financial investors seem to agree with the Federal Reserve’s forecast of slowing prices:

The interest rate on 10-year Treasury bonds is just over 1.7 percent. This is not consistent with an expectation that inflation will remain near 7.0 percent. The breakeven inflation rate between normal Treasury bonds and inflation-indexed bonds is less than 2.5 percent. Financial markets can be wrong (see stock and housing bubbles), but at the moment they don’t seem concerned about runaway inflation.

In sum, we need to continue pushing back against calls for monetary tightening, and redouble our efforts not just to maintain current fiscal and monetary policies, with their modest expansionary impact, but to demand a more aggressive set of changes in how and in whose interest our economy operates. ... e-it-isnt/
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