Interesting Inflation News Links (March 21, 2009)

* The genuine economic worry is stagflation (E. Thomas Mc Clanahan, Kansas City Star)

Former Sen. Phil Gramm raised a stink recently when he said we had become a “nation of whiners.”“You’ve heard of mental depression,” he said. “This is a mental recession.”Later, he said he wasn’t talking about Americans in general but about their leaders. Whatever, the damage was done. He resigned as an economic advi…

* Overview (Economist)

There was more gloomy news on industrial production : in the year to the fourth quarter it fell by 10.3% in Hong Kong; in the year to January it was down by 19.2% in Germany, 16.7% in Italy and 11.1% in Mexico; and in the year to February it dropped by 11.2% in America and 13.2% in Russia.

* Buttonwood: Swissie fit (Economist)

IT IS not easy being Swiss. Every other country complains about your bank-secrecy laws. If you live in Zurich, the nice houses by the lake are taken by rich foreigners and you have to put up with something more modest and farther out.

* Mileage tax gains some speed in Washington (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

WASHINGTON — Despite opposition from the White House, a proposal to tax motorists on the number of miles they drive each year is gathering speed on Capitol Hill.

* Police Log (Daily Independent)

Domestic Disturbance: At 12:01 a.m. police took a report regarding verbal altercations between a married couple. Incident location was North Wayne Street.

* Will the real Fed please stand up! (OC Metro)

The Fed is in a pickle. In its upcoming June 27-28 meeting it will have to decide which battle to fight first: the soaring inflation or the slump in economic activity. Unfortunately, the wiggle-room for maneuvering is particularly tight. Much like Eminems alter ego Slim Shady (earlier in the decade), high oil prices are back and this time, with a vengeance. The Fed cannot take on both vil…

* Out of ammo (OC Metro)

Despite the posturing, the hawkish tone, the never-ending warnings about inflationary pressures, much like we anticipated, the Fed did not raise interest rates in its June meeting. Being buffeted by a series of negative shocks, a continued house price decline, a rapidly slowing economy, and an excessively volatile financial sector, the Fed decided to maintain its accommodative bias. I, for one,…

* Quantitative easing: The possible scenarios (Guardian Unlimited)

In theory, the Bank of England ‘s radical intervention should stave off deflation and gradually restore stability to the economy. Quantitative easing starts by injecting the full �150bn of new money into the financial system – equivalent to more than 10% of national income. The money is spent on buying bonds, ie loans made to the government and companies

* In Defense of Caution (New Republic)

If history is any guide, the decisions that a President-Elect Obama makes over the next few months will shape his administration. By the end of February, he will have to define his top domestic priorities, submit a budget, and begin the difficult process of unwinding America’s combat presence in Iraq. The good news is that the terms of his victory likely will have left him some room to maneuver…

* Saudi Arabia rethinks expansion plans (Petroleum Economist)

Regional producers, most notably Saudi Arabia, may delay large oil and gas developments as commodity prices fall, reports James Gavin

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