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Economics

Roots of Our Current Inflation: A Deeply Flawed Monetary System

A monetary system that allows the creation of money out of thin air is vulnerable to the fits of credit expansion and credit contraction. Periods of credit…

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A monetary system that allows the creation of money out of thin air is vulnerable to the fits of credit expansion and credit contraction. Periods of credit expansion typically occur over many years and even decades while the phases of credit contraction happen like sudden implosions. The monetary policy makers tend to promote the prolongation of credit expansion because they fear deflation.

By doing this, however, the central banks prevent monetary moderate deflation as it would happen as the natural consequence of rising productivity. This way, an antideflationary monetary policy lays the groundwork for an upsurge of price inflation along with augmenting the risk of an abrupt contraction of the financial markets.

Credit Cycles

Financial cycles can extend over long periods of time. In the past decades, there has been a massive global credit expansion, each of which has received new waves of boosts as it happened since the 1980s and as the result of such events like the 2008 financial crisis, the 2020 pandemic policy, and the current policy of sanctions in response to the war in Ukraine.

Figure 1: Global debt since 1970 as a percentage of World GDP

The chart (fig. 1) shows total global debt, public debt, household debt, and non-financial corporate debt as a percentage of the global gross domestic product. Calculated in absolute terms, total global debt is rapidly approaching $300 trillion.

With the end of the US dollar's link to gold in the 1970s, the international monetary system lost its anchor. Global debt in relation to the world’s gross domestic product has risen from one hundred percent to over two hundred and fifty percent. The attenuation of this credit cycle is long overdue. However, again and again, the major central banks have been fighting any sign of a credit contraction for several decades.

In Japan, the battle against credit consolidation began as early as the 1990s. In the United States, the fight against a perceived threat of deflation began around the turn of the millennium. Since the European debt crisis in 2010, the European Central Bank has also joined the monetary orgy. Obviously, the monetary policy makers ignore the risk that by not letting moderate deflationary contraction happen, they produce a monetary overhang. This in turn, poses the twin risk of higher price inflation along with an uncontrolled collapse of the credit markets.

Central banks are waging a relentless fight against deflation. Being traumatized by the Great Depression, the modern monetary policy makers suffer from the psycho-pathological condition of “apoplithorismosphobia”—the fear of deflation. The battle of the central banks against deflation has created so much liquidity that the earlier deflationary tendency begins now to manifest itself as an upsurge of price inflation that even the official statistics cannot hide anymore.

Having internalized the monetarist lesson about the origin of the Great Depression, central bankers have a deep-seated fear of price deflation, assuming that a fall in the general price level would provoke an economic contraction. However, had central banks left the system alone, deflation would have happened gradually without much turmoil. The economic actors would have had enough room and time to adapt. As such, deflation would not only be harmless but also beneficial. Trapped by their obsession with “stabilization,” central banks have not permitted the economy to move on its natural path. Instead of allowing the self-correcting economic fluctuations, monetary policy has fabricated one artificial expansion after the other.

The conventional monetary theory claims that a growing economy would need an expanding money supply. Even monetarist economists like Milton Friedman supported this idea. Yet Murray Rothbard has shown that there is no need of expanding the money supply to provide more liquidity even when the economy grows. If the money supply remains constant and productivity increases, prices would fall accordingly. This would be a beneficial deflation. Why complain when the goods are getting cheaper for consumers and the real wages rise? The crucial point is whether the price deflation happens due to productivity gains in the economy or abruptly as a sharp decline of the liquidity due to a financial market crisis.

When central banks intervene and expand the money supply, as it happened in the form of the "zero interest rate policy" (ZIRP) or in some cases of a "negative interest rate policy" (NIRP), tensions will arise between the natural tendency of the interest rate to rise and the monetary interest rate that is kept low through the interventions of the central bank. Because of this discrepancy, there will be an additional demand for money. Over time, this monetary overhang promotes financial fragility and lays the foundation for future price inflation.

The massive expansion of the Federal Reserve’s money supply in the form of its monetary base did not immediately lead to price inflation because the velocity of money experienced a sharp fall since 2008. The trend of a falling velocity began to stop in the third quarter of 2020—well before the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. Given that the monetary overhang had persisted, prices began to rise right away, and the official consumer price inflation has accelerated to its highest rate in the past four decades.

Changes in Relative Prices Do Not Cause Price Inflation

The increase in individual prices—for example, crude oil—manifests itself as the change in the relative price. One specific good becomes more expensive in relation to other products. Only if there is a monetary overhang as the result of a previous or ongoing credit expansion, such individual price increases would show up in the so-called price level as an increase of general price inflation.

When the policy makers manipulate the interest rate, they create a discrepancy between human time preference and the monetary interest rate. Stimulus policies push down artificially the monetary rate below the natural interest rate, which would emerge in the unhampered market if there were no central bank intervention. Disproportions occur in the financial markets the same way as they do when the state intervenes in the market for goods. Relative prices then no longer reflect consumer preferences and the marginal cost of production. The consequences are economic disruptions in the supply and demand of these goods.

The monetary system possesses a natural degree of elasticity. Even if the money supply were tied to a fixed supply of central bank money or in a gold standard, there would be expansions and contractions in macroeconomic spending and the nominal national income. With an anchor of the money supply, these variations of economic activity would happen mainly as fluctuations and short-term swings and not as prolonged phases. The whole idea of stabilization stands in contrast to the need for a system in motion to fluctuate.

Money does have loose joints to do its job, yet it should have an anchor to prevent extreme cycles. Under a gold standard, for example, there is an elasticity of money, even if the gold stock is constant. In this respect, the current monetary system is dysfunctional.

The use of money will oscillate naturally also with a fixed quantitative amount of its base. It is wrong to claim that only the artificially created so-called fiat money would offer financial flexibility. Rather, the decisive point is that with an anchored monetary system, the degree of deviation is limited, while under the current fiat money regime, there is no restriction.

Conclusion

A state-sponsored fiat currency system with only a partial reserves coverage of the money in circulation allows the commercial banks to put more money into circulation than they hold in cash. By persistently pursuing an antideflationary policy, the central banks have fueled an ongoing credit expansion. They artificially prolonged the cycle of credit expansion. This means that a natural contraction has been prevented. Along with an upsurge of price inflation, this policy has also increased the risk of an uncontrolled implosion of the credit markets. The current outbreak of price inflation does not come by accident or because of external shocks. The foundation for rising prices was laid over a long period of time. As a consequence, another severe financial crisis looms now again on the horizon.

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Economics

Global IT Consulting Sourcing and Procurement Report with Pandemic Impact Analysis, Supplier Evaluation and Price Trends | SpendEdge

Global IT Consulting Sourcing and Procurement Report with Pandemic Impact Analysis, Supplier Evaluation and Price Trends | SpendEdge
PR Newswire
NEW YORK, July 3, 2022

Over 200 Forbes 2000 companies rely on our actionable insightsMore than 100 CPOs…

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Global IT Consulting Sourcing and Procurement Report with Pandemic Impact Analysis, Supplier Evaluation and Price Trends | SpendEdge

PR Newswire

  • Over 200 Forbes 2000 companies rely on our actionable insights
  • More than 100 CPOs and 500 category managers use our insights daily
  • SpendEdge has the fastest growth rate in number of reports and client base

NEW YORK, July 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The IT Consulting market size is expected to grow by USD 131.35 Billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.19% during the forecast period. To know more about this market.

Request For a Free Sample Report

IT Consulting Market Analysis

Analysis of the cost and volume drivers and supply market forecasts in various regions are offered in this IT Consulting research report. This market intelligence report also analyzes the top supply markets, market opportunities, challenges and the critical cost drivers that can aid buyers and suppliers devise a cost-effective category management strategy.

The report provides insights on the following information:

  • Regional spend dynamism and factors impacting costs
  • The total cost of ownership and cost-saving opportunities
  • Supply chain margins and pricing models
  • Competitiveness index for suppliers
  • Market favorability index for suppliers
  • Supplier and buyer KPIs

Get detailed insights on the COVID-19 pandemic crisis and recovery analysis of IT Consulting Market

www.spendedge.com/report/it-consulting-services-market-procurement-research-report

Related Reports on Professional Services Market:

Detect blind spots in your revenue decisions by analyzing interconnected unknowns around the "IT Consulting Market."

Report Metrics

Details

Base year considered

2021

Forecast period

2021 - 2025

Forecast units

USD Billion

Geographies covered

North America, South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, and APAC

Leading IT Consulting suppliers

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., PricewaterhouseCoopers International Ltd., and Ernst & Young Global Ltd.

Top Pricing Models

Flat-fee model, hourly rate model, and cost-plus model

This procurement report answers help buyers identify and shortlist the most suitable suppliers for their IT Consulting Market requirements following questions:

  • Am I engaging with the right suppliers?
  • Which KPIs should I use to evaluate my incumbent suppliers?
  • Which supplier selection criteria are relevant for?
  • What are the workplace computing devices category essentials in terms of SLAs and RFx?

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Market Insights
  • Category Pricing Insights
  • Cost-saving Opportunities
  • Best Practices
  • Category Ecosystem
  • Category Management Strategy
  • Category Management Enablers
  • Suppliers Selection
  • Suppliers under Coverage
  • US Market Insights
  • Category scope

Appendix

About SpendEdge:

SpendEdge shares your passion for driving sourcing and procurement excellence. We are the preferred procurement market intelligence partner for 120+ Fortune 500 firms and other leading companies across numerous industries. Our strength lies in delivering robust, real-time procurement market intelligence reports and solutions.

Contact
SpendEdge
Anirban Choudhury
Marketing Manager
Ph No: +1 (872) 206-9340 
https://www.spendedge.com/contact-us

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SOURCE SpendEdge

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Spread & Containment

Visualizing A Decade Of Population Growth And Decline In US Counties

Visualizing A Decade Of Population Growth And Decline In US Counties

There are a number of factors that determine how much a region’s population…

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Visualizing A Decade Of Population Growth And Decline In US Counties

There are a number of factors that determine how much a region’s population changes.

If an area sees a high number of migrants, along with a strong birth rate and low death rate, then its population is bound to increase over time. On the flip side, as Visual Capitalists Nick Routley details below, if more people are leaving the area than coming in, and the region’s birth rate is low, then its population will likely decline.

Which areas in the United States are seeing the most growth, and which places are seeing their populations dwindle?

This map, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, shows a decade of population movement across U.S. counties, painting a detailed picture of U.S. population growth between 2010 and 2020.

Counties With The Biggest Population Growth from 2010-2020

To calculate population estimates for each county, the U.S. Census Bureau does the following calculations:

      A county’s base population → plus births → minus deaths → plus migration = new population estimate

From 2010 to 2020, Maricopa County in Arizona saw the highest increase in its population estimate. Over a decade, the county gained 753,898 residents. Below are the counties that saw the biggest increases in population:

Phoenix and surrounding areas grew faster than any other major city in the country. The region’s sunny climate and amenities are popular with retirees, but another draw is housing affordability. Families from more expensive markets—California in particular—are moving to the city in droves. This is a trend that spilled over into the pandemic era as more people moved into remote and hybrid work situations.

Texas counties saw a lot of growth as well, with five of the top 10 gainers located in the state of Texas. A big draw for Texas is its relatively affordable housing market. In 2021, average home prices in the state stood at $172,500$53,310 below the national average.

Counties With The Biggest Population Drops from 2010-2020

On the opposite end of the spectrum, here’s a look at the top 10 counties that saw the biggest declines in their populations over the decade:

The largest drops happened in counties along the Great Lakes, including Cook County (which includes the city of Chicago) and Wayne County (which includes the city of Detroit).

For many of these counties, particularly those in America’s “Rust Belt”, population drops over this period were a continuation of decades-long trends. Wayne County is an extreme example of this trend. From 1970 to 2020, the area lost one-third of its population.

U.S. Population Growth in Percentage Terms (2010-2020)

While the map above is great at showing where the greatest number of Americans migrated, it downplays big changes in counties with smaller populations.

For example, McKenzie County in North Dakota, with a 2020 population of just 15,242, was the fastest-growing U.S. county over the past decade. The county’s 138% increase was driven primarily by the Bakken oil boom in the area. High-growth counties in Texas also grew as new sources of energy were extracted in rural areas.

The nation’s counties are evenly divided between population increase and decline, and clear patterns emerge.

Pandemic Population Changes

More recent population changes reflect longer-term trends. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the counties that saw the strongest population increases were located in high-growth states like Florida and Texas.

Below are the 20 counties that grew the most from 2020 to 2021.

Many of these counties are located next to large cities, reflecting a shift to the suburbs and larger living spaces. However, as COVID-19 restrictions ease, and the pandemic housing boom tapers off due to rising interest rates, it remains to be seen whether the suburban shift will continue, or if people begin to migrate back to city centers.

Tyler Durden Sat, 07/02/2022 - 21:00

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Economics

The Best Cities to Buy a Starter Home

Competition for starter homes is intense. What’s a buyer to do? Look to these cities to break into the real estate market.

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Competition for starter homes is intense. What's a buyer to do? Look to these cities to break into the real estate market.

Who wants to buy a home? A lot more people than there are homes to buy, and the outlook for first-time buyers is particularly grim.

About 26 million Americans plan to buy a home in the next 12 months, but just 5-6 million homes were sold in each of the past five years, according to a NerdWallet survey conducted in December 2021.

Millennials, aged about 26-41 years, are the largest group trying to buy homes, about 37%, according to the National Association of Realtors, and first-time buyers made up 31% of all home buyers. The supply of starter homes decreased by more than half from 2017-2021, according to an analysis by Realtor.com, which defined starters as single-family homes, condos, and townhomes under 1,850 square feet.

While median monthly asking rent in the U.S. surpassed $2,000 in May, the national median sale price topped $431,000, according to Redfin data.

And it’s not just low inventory and high prices, the competition is fierce for first-time homebuyers. Urban renters headed for the suburbs during the pandemic to compete for those entry-level homes, baby boomers looking to downsize also go after smaller properties, and to make matters worse, first-time home buyers must compete with investors who pay cash to fix and flip homes. These cash-rich flippers now make up about 10% of homebuyers

Lastly, builders have largely been unable to offset the decline in starter homes.

For the house hunter who still has the moxie to try, turn to this list of cheapest cities to buy a home. To find the cheapest places for homebuyers and the best places for starter homes, StorageCafe, an online platform that provides storage unit listings across the nation, looked at data from 108 U.S. cities with populations ranging from 90,000 to 8 million. The metrics include property values, number of sales between 2015 and 2021, housing affordability, cost of living, unemployment rate, homebuyers’ ages, the ratio of renters to owners, income levels, FHA lending limits and average mortgage rates. They scored each city on these metrics then ranked them based on their potential with regard to starter homes.

Here are the best cities for first-time homebuyers:

1. Fort Wayne, Ind.

  • Median property value: $113,144
  • Cost of living index: 87
  • Homebuyers' age: 35
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.14%

The analysis used average mortgage rates from 2021, and rates have since gone up, hovering near 6% in June, but last year's rates might still give you a sense of where rates tend to be lower.

2. Columbia Md.

  • Median property value: $264,055
  • Cost of living index:106
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

3. Pittsburgh

  • Median property value: $170,042
  • Cost of living index:104
  • Homebuyers' age: 38
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.03%

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4. Fishers, Ind.

  • Median property value: $258,679
  • Cost of living index: 92
  • Homebuyers' age: 38
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.14%

5. Columbus, Ohio

  • Median property value: $164,229
  • Cost of living index: 92
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.16%

aceshot1 / Shutterstock

6. Carmel, Ind.

  • Median property value: $244,670
  • Cost of living index: 104
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.01%

7. St. Paul, Minn.

  • Median property value: $286,151
  • Cost of living index: 92
  • Homebuyers' age: 38
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.14%

8. Cary, N.C.

  • Median property value: $308,611
  • Cost of living index: 94
  • Homebuyers' age: 43
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.02%

9. Manchester, N.H.

  • Median property value: $276,257
  • Cost of living index: 111
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.03%

10. Minneapolis

  • Median property value: $288,926
  • Cost of living index: 105
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.01%

11. Nashville, Tenn.

  • Median property value: $318,046
  • Cost of living index: 93
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.02%

f11photo / Shutterstock

12. Bakersfield, Calif.

  • Median property value: $216,063
  • Cost of living index: 102
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.04%

13. Arvada, Colo.

  • Median property value: $476,672
  • Cost of living index: 114
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

14. Alexandria, Va.

  • Median property value: $432,703
  • Cost of living index: 137
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 2.99%

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15. Centennial, Colo.

  • Median property value: $444,747
  • Cost of living index: 114
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

16. Denver

  • Median property value: $505,777
  • Cost of living index: 113
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

17. Raleigh, N.C.

  • Median property value: $279,304
  • Cost of living index: 94
  • Homebuyers' age: 43
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.02%

18. Germantown, Md.

  • Median property value: $261,511
  • Cost of living index: 157
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

19. St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • Median property value: $283,684
  • Cost of living index: 96
  • Homebuyers' age: 53
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.11%

20. Lakewood, Colo.

  • Median property value: $380,165
  • Cost of living index: 114
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

21. Aurora, Colo.

  • Median property value: $360,542
  • Cost of living index: 114
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.00%

22. Boca Raton, Fla.

  • Median property value: $280,104
  • Cost of living index: 116
  • Homebuyers' age: 51
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.11%

23. Modesto, Calif.

  • Median property value: $319,328
  • Cost of living index: 119
  • Homebuyers' age: 39
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.04%

Shutterstock

24. Chandler, Ariz.

  • Median property value: $388,450
  • Cost of living index: 103
  • Homebuyers' age: 51
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.12%

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25. Las Vegas

  • Median property value: $265,170
  • Cost of living index: 107
  • Homebuyers' age: 50
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.11%

26. Washington, D.C.

  • Median property value: $623,135
  • Cost of living index: 157
  • Homebuyers' age: 40
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 4.90%

27. Scottsdale, Ariz.

  • Median property value: $478,609
  • Cost of living index: 103
  • Homebuyers' age: 51
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.12%

28. Spokane, Wash.

  • Median property value: $300,881
  • Cost of living index: 107
  • Homebuyers' age: 44
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.06%

29. Peoria, Ariz.

  • Median property value: $373,588
  • Cost of living index: 103
  • Homebuyers' age: 51
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.12%

30. Gilbert, Ariz.

  • Median property value: $409,324
  • Cost of living index: 103
  • Homebuyers' age: 51
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.12%

31. Portland, Ore.

  • Median property value: $484,475
  • Cost of living index: 132
  • Homebuyers' age: 44
  • 2021 average mortgage rate: 3.08%

Check out how all 108 cities ranked and see the methodology for this study at StorageCafe.com

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