Thursday, April 02, 2020

Major Inflation and Great Depression at the Same Time?

Re: Why the World Has a Dollar Shortage

Dear Bob,

I’ve  just read not only the article but also all the comments that followed it, and I thank you for calling it to my attention. I had not been aware of the extent of the dollar’s use in debt issuance abroad.

If possible, I’d like to get some more information. For example, the volume of dollar denominated debt issued outside the US relative to dollar denominated debt issued inside the US. The volume of externally issued dollar denominated debt relative to Euro, Yen, and Yuan denominated debt. The volume  of dollar denominated debt owed by foreign banks to US banks and of such debt in general owed by foreign firms and individuals to US banks and other US lenders, including corporations selling on short-term credit.

The world’s alleged dollar “shortage” is of the same character as a heroin addict’s heroin shortage. There’s an artificial need that’s created by consuming the supply, getting hooked on it, and then needing an ever growing supply. In this case, cutting back on the supply, not increasing it, would eliminate the “shortage.”

Interestingly, in the German hyperinflation of 1923, there were frequent complaints of currency shortages and the German central bank claimed that it was increasing the supply of marks in response to an increase in the demand for them. What was actually going on was that people were trying to buy goods as fast as possible, before their prices rose still further and needed more cash with which to do so.

The article is making me wonder if we could simultaneously have a world-wide depression as the result of dollars being insufficient to avoid large-scale bankruptcies abroad and their snow-balling effect, and, if not an immediate hyper-inflation, at least a very major surge in consumer prices in the US, because of the massive new and additional money creation now underway with the “bailout” programs.

I’m taking the liberty of publishing my reply to you on my blog and also adding it as a further comment on and Dis Cus.

Best regards,