Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Inflationary Boiling Frog

"The boiling frog story states that a frog can be boiled alive if the water is heated slowly enough — it is said that if a frog is placed in boiling water, it will jump out, but if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated, it will never jump out. The story is generally told in a figurative context, with the upshot being that people should make themselves aware of gradual change lest they suffer a catastrophic loss." Source: Wikipedia

Inflation can sometimes be analagous to the "boiling frog". It gradually creeps in and slowly climbs. The term inflation is often debated. I align with the Austrian economic definition that inflation is the "expansion of credit". Deflation, the opposite, would be the contraction of credit. Traditional economic theory would state that inflation is the rising of prices and deflation would be the opposite. Austrian inflation can definitely lead to the rise in prices.
Our credit expansion since 1982 resulted in a significant rising in prices....homes, cars, food, fuel, stocks.... The Federal Reserve continues to expand credit at record levels. Prices could be heading to a new level, hyperinflation. I just received my medical insurance renewal that included a 20% increase from last year...... Are we that boiling frog!

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