Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I'm curious:

But what he fails to say is that (i) low inflation was the overriding goal of policy (because inflation eats into financial returns) and (ii) inflation became increasingly defined as increasing labor wages, the idea that higher wages caused higher cosnumer prices having been "proven" in the 70s.

Is this a shift in your view here, on bias of monetary policy, inflation, wages and income distribution?

We've had a number of arguments on this subject, and it seems to me your disposition here is a bit of a shift.

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill

by r------ on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:08:46 PM EST
I don't think I've changed my position, in that I think that the fight against inflation is a good policy in general.

What I'm critiquing is the slow drift of the notion of inflation to focus almost exclusively on wage inflation, to the extent that all wage increases are bad (and not just, as theory would have it, increases that are higher than productivity increases and push the share of value going to labor higher), and the simultaneous abandonment of any worry about asset inflation. This has been less true of the ECB, which I expect will emerge out of this mess with its reputation enhanced, both for a pragmatic policy in the past few years, and for its no-nonsense response to the current crisis.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:36:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If costs remain the same, and a company finds it is able to increase prices because of increased demand, or decreased competition, then isn't that de facto "inflation"?

In other words isn't profit - virtually by definition -  the principal direct "cause" of inflation?

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 03:41:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Greenspan was a primary author of several redefinitions of the Consumer Price Index and other inflation-rate indices. Interestingly, his revisions to CPI reflect more of the inflation rate that is applicable to upper-income folks. And this is the rate that he claims to have controlled by his policies.

For inflation as it affects the vast majority of us, I return to John Williams' site, www.shadowgovernmentstatistics.com . The idea that the rate of inflation for most U.S. citizens is 2 to 3 times as high as the official CPI fits in with Jerome's theme, too, in that the super-rich have transferred more debits (increased prices) to the 'middle class', which in true accounting fashion reappear as credits on the corporations' profit lines.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Wed Dec 12th, 2007 at 12:42:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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