Tags: Rosenberg | stagflation | Bernanke | inflation

Gluskin Sheff's Rosenberg: Next Major Theme Is Stagflation

By    |   Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 09:18 AM

The global economy is about to turn the chapter to one in which we will see inflation, says David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff chief economist and strategist.

Rosenberg has spent 20 years consistently outlining a chilling bearish case, Yahoo noted. He has now revised his forecast from deflationary conditions to imminent inflation.

"I think what's happening now is a complete mirror image of what happened 30 years ago. We've come full circle," he told Yahoo.

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"We started off the great secular bull market in bonds in 1981 with 15 percent inflation and 15 percent bond yields," Rosenberg explained in a Financial Post article. While many were calling for higher inflation and long-term yields, they underestimated the "Federal Reserve's resolve to slay the inflation dragon."

Rosenberg said former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker spent four years and two severe recessions killing inflation for good and in the mid-1980s bond yields fell out of double-digit terrain.

"Fast forward to today, and we don't have Paul Volcker, we have a Ben Bernanke-led Federal Reserve and we do not have the most anti-inflationary policy in modern history, we have the most pro-reflationary monetary policy that we've seen in at least seven decades," he explained.

"You cannot keep real short-term rates negative for this long in the face of even modestly positive real economic growth without generating financial excesses today and inflationary pressures in the future," Rosenberg insisted.

Bernanke has struggled to combat deflation fears and there are many who have become deeply engaged in the debate, but what they ignore is that the U.S. economy hasn't seen its core inflation drop below zero at any time in the past 60 years.

The U.S. economy is a service-sector economy for the most part and core services, now running close to a 2.5 percent annual rate, simply do not deflate, Rosenberg wrote.

Deflation fears exist not only in the United States, but they plague markets and central bankers around the globe.

However, it's safe to abandon these concerns because core inflation has bottomed, he argued.

"My sense is that once this consumer deleveraging cycle is over, and there are signs that it is coming to an end if it hasn't ended already, you're going to see the velocity of money start to rise, against the backdrop of double-digit growth of the monetary base, and that is going to lead to inflation down the road," Rosenberg told Yahoo.

It's not going to be the double-digit inflation seen in the 1970s and its not going to be confined to the United States because there's been a global shift in central bank initiatives. They used to seek disinflation and price stability, but today we have the exact opposite phenomenon, he stated.

"The next major theme — and the legacy of the Ben Bernanke regime — will be stagflation," Rosenberg declared.

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The global economy is about to turn the chapter to one in which we will see inflation, says David Rosenberg, Gluskin Sheff chief economist and strategist.
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2013-18-22
Thursday, 22 Aug 2013 09:18 AM
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