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Opinions and views from expert CFOZone members.

Tag >> inflation
May 13
2011

Why inflation fears are inflated

Posted by Stephen Taub in inflationConsumer Price IndexCashCareers/Management

Stephen Taub

Inflation? What inflation?

Pundits are fretting that prices are poised to surge out of control. They are partly pointing to Friday's report that The Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent in April, pushing up the 12-month rate to a whopping 3.2 percent.

May 12
2011

The economy's new norm

Posted by Stephen Taub in recessioninflationeconomyeconomic growthCash

Stephen Taub

Is the economy steadily improving or is it at risk to slip back into a recession? Is inflation about to take off or are its fears unfounded?

The answer to these questions is debated daily, depending upon the published stat du jour.

Aug 13
2010

CPAs much more pessimistic about economy

Posted by Stephen Taub in RiskinflationeconomydeflationCPAsCashCareers/Management

Stephen Taub

Senior level CPAs have turned much more pessimistic about the economy. And somewhat surprisingly, they are partly concerned about deflation.

Just 21 percent of CPAs serving as C-suite executives said they are optimistic about the US economy, way down from 40 percent who were optimistic in May and the lowest level since April 2009, according to the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School's latest Quarterly Economic Outlook Survey. What's more, pessimists outnumbered optimists by a two-to-one margin.

Jun 16
2010

Fears about central banks' "independence" overblown

Posted by Ron F in RiskRegulationrecoveryrecessionPaul Volckerinflationfinancial reformFederal ReservecomplianceBanksBanking

Ron F

This Bloomberg story echoes a common complaint about efforts to increase the public accountability of the Federal Reserve, which is that they will weaken its independence.

I've ranted before about the Fed's "independence" being in the eye of the beholder. (A central bank beholden to private banks is hardly independent.) But proponents have one valid concern: Subjecting the Fed to the will of the mob could be inflationary (though why inflation is a bad thing when demand is depressed is beyond me).

May 07
2010

What's the problem with the ECB?

Posted by Ron F in inflationFederal ReserveEuropean UnioneuropeEuro areaeconomydemanddefaultdebtBanking

Ron F

I really don't understand what the Times means when it says the European Central Bank lacks certain powers that the Federal Reserve has.

Yes, the ECB lacks the Fed's dual mandate: The ECB's mission is price stability alone, not that plus full employment. Nor does it have access to a government treasury. But what practical effect does any of this have? None that I can see.

Apr 22
2010

Food inflation? Not in my cart

Posted by Stephen Taub in Riskinflation

Stephen Taub

Are we starting to reprise the good ol' 1970s when inflation surged by double-digits?

Some people are starting to think so after the Labor Department reported on Thursday that wholesale food prices surged by the fastest rate in 26 years-since 1984.

Mar 31
2010

The case for a bigger jobs bill

Posted by Ron F in unemploymentTaxrecoveryrecessioninflationheatlh careemploymenteconomycomplianceCareers/Managementbudget

Ron F

At the risk of seeming terribly politically incorrect, I highly recommend taking a look at this paper published today by the Economic Policy Institute, which argues that further government stimulus is necessary for the economy to recover.

Essentially, authors Josh Bivens and Heidi Shierholz argue that prospects for new hiring are so dismal because of productivity gains in recent years that it will take much higher GDP growth than anyone reasonably expects to bring unemployment down significantly anytime soon.

Feb 19
2010

The real purpose of the Fed rate hike

Posted by Ron F in inflationfinancial crisisFederal ReserveeconomyCashBanksBankingbank failures

Ron F

What to make of the Fed's "surprise" 25-basis point hike in the discount rate from o.50 percent to o.75 percent?

It could mean any of several things, though the most important is likely to have a lot less to do with sending a "message" to the stock market than Erin Burnett and the rest of the CNBC crew would have everyone believe.

Feb 11
2010

Why the federal deficit is indeed sustainable

Posted by Ron F in RiskrecoveryrecessionObama AdministrationObamainflationeconomydollardebtcareer/management

Ron F

At long last, an economist takes head-on the anti-Keynesian nonsense we've been hearing from both the right and center (or at least from President Obama himself in his State of the Union address) that says the government should treat its budget the same way families do, by tightening its belt during hard times.

Randall Wray of the University of Missouri spells things out pretty clearly here, but let me hit the high points for you.

Dec 22
2009

High inflation is not just around the corner

Posted by annearf in monetary policyinflationFederal Reserve

annearf

There's a lot of debate about whether inflation will raise its destabilizing head soon. The latest noteworthy statement on the subject comes from Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Federal Reserve. In effect, on a recent CNBC interview , he said: "Cool it."

That is,  inflation won't be even a twinkle in anyone's eye for at least two years, thanks to slow economic activity. The core inflation rate, about 1.4 percent, should stay at that level for at least "a couple of years", even though the economy should grow at a rate of 3 to 3.5 percent over the next 18 months.  (The jobless rate will continue going up "a few tenths" next year. The peak should be in the second to third quarter). 

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