On March 26th, I gave a presentation at Ratio Christi's annual apologetics conference on the campus of UNC-Wilmington to discuss my latest book, Capitalism Versus Socialism: What Does the Bible Have to Say? Please feel free to click on the red button below to download the PowerPoint slides from the event. Presentation Slides
The latest news on the inflation front has not gotten any better. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 7.9 percent over the twelve months ending in February, the blue line in the chart below, and, even after removing escalating food and energy prices, the CPI rose 6.4 percent, the red line. These measures are up … Continue reading What Will it Take to Subdue Inflation?
You have almost certainly discovered that prices at the pump have jumped over recent days. Unfortunately, pump prices are still headed higher. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the global oil market and pushed energy prices higher. This impact is coming at a time when inflation is running at the fastest pace in four … Continue reading How Does the Ukraine War Affect the Outlook?
The recent news on the economy has been disappointing. The CPI rose 7.5 percent over the twelve months ending in January, shown in the chart below. This increase is the briskest since March 1982. Moreover, outsized price increases have become more widespread across various categories of goods and services, an indication that inflation has become … Continue reading Confronting the Inflation Beast
At the late-January FOMC meeting, the Fed acknowledged that it had fallen behind the curve on inflation and would likely take more aggressive tightening actions than forecast in December to bring inflation back under control. In mid-December, the target for the federal funds rate was 0 to 25 basis points (also the current target), and … Continue reading ￼What Will it Take to Tame Inflation?
The Fed has a dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices. While the level of employment is three and a half million below the peak at the onset of COVID, chart below, other labor market indicators suggest that maximum employment has been achieved (see December 19, 2021 commentary, Get Ready for Fed Liftoff). The … Continue reading Tough Choices for the Fed
The time for Fed liftoff—the first step in raising the policy interest rate—has gotten a lot closer. In August 2020, the Fed specified that liftoff would begin once three conditions were met: inflation reached 2 percent; inflation was projected to be moderately above 2 percent for some time, and its maximum employment mandate had been … Continue reading Get Ready for Fed Liftoff
Source: “Transitory.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transitory. Concern about inflation has been mounting over recent months and was punctuated by the 0.9 percent increase in the CPI for October (11 percent at an annual rate). Public opinion polls are indicating that concern about the inflation outlook has been steadily rising. Meanwhile, Fed policymakers have been saying that … Continue reading Inflation: Is it Really Transitory?
It bears repeating that this business cycle has been like no other. The COVID shock produced the steepest contraction in output but the shortest recession on record. Spending on nearly everything except food purchased from grocery stores dropped precipitously. In the face of the lockdown, production of nearly everything also dropped off sharply. In a … Continue reading Placing the Expansion in Perspective
Restraints on the supply of goods and services continue to hold back economic expansion and boost inflation. Ongoing restraints on supply were confirmed by the employment report for September which showed overall job gains of only 194 thousand in contrast to expectations of 475 thousand. To be fair, private payroll increased 317 thousand in September … Continue reading Supply Restraints Continue to Bedevil the Economic Expansion