The Flinchum File

Thoughtful Economic Analysis and Existential Opinions
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Age Has Advantages . . . who knew ?

There are some people who believe that Fox News is actually “fair and balanced.”  I agree . . . during daylight hours anyway!

Unlike Fox, I don’t think it is fair to blame every single bad thing on the mass media.

Of course, mass media can indeed cause mass hysteria.  Case-in-point:  the current coverage of our inflationary spike is downright scary!

If you can remember inflation during the 1980’s, you are probably worried . . . but not terrified.  Age has its advantages.  (Sorry, millennials!)

One advantage is that we know the Fed can stop inflation quickly, like during the 1980’s.  The question is whether they can do so without causing a recession, which they caused during the 1980’s?

In my December column, I said the Fed is certain to raise interest rates by 25 bps at their March meeting (March 15th & 16th), but I would like to see a “shock & awe” increase of 50 bps.  Yesterday’s worrisome inflation report said that prices are up about 7.5% in the last twelve months.  Afterwards, a quick survey of economists showed there is a 62% probability of a 50bps increase.  Good!

I think the stock market will be pleased to see the Fed take decisive action, such as 50 bps next month and another 50 bps in June, along with significant “quantitative tightening” or reducing of their balance sheet.  With unemployment at a mere 4%, the economy is strong enough to easily handle a “flash-cession.”  Let’s get on with it!  Fox News can then accuse Democrats of intentionally starting a recession to hurt poor people.

This inflationary spike will pass . . . Fox News will be here forever!