Monday, February 27, 2012
A good friend of mine, who has family living abroad, called me this weekend. One of the first things out of his mouth was about his sister in London and how she was dealing with “terrible inflation.” No doubt he was talking about the spike in gasoline prices that have risen to more than $8 a gallon. (The official inflation rate in the UK is around 3.6%, but I’m sure the numbers over there are as reliable as the inflation numbers in the U.S. where fuel and food are not counted in the so-called “core” inflation.)
Part of this price spike is due to Iran cutting off crude oil shipments to the EU recently, but part of it is the fact the UK has been engaging in quantitative easing (QE), or money printing, to help its ailing economy and insolvent banks. Just in the last few weeks, it announced another $50 billion in QE. The UK is not alone as most Western countries are engaging in QE to prop up an insolvent system bloated on bad debt.
“Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.” This famous quote from Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman really says it all about what is happening to fuel prices and inflation. The Federal Reserve is creating trillions of dollars in new currency to paper over the meltdown of 2008 and stave off a sovereign debt crisis in Europe. Oil is priced in dollars; so, of course, fuel prices are rising around the globe. An article on Zerohedge.com, last Friday, predicts oil hitting $200 a barrel in the next 5 years, but I think we will hit that mark much sooner. The post unabashedly said, “The sole reason why crude prices are surging . . . is because global liquidity has risen by $2 trillion in a few short months, on the most epic shadow liquidity tsunami launched in history in lieu of QE.” (Click here for the complete Zerohedge.com story.)
According to millionaire investor Jim Rogers, the Fed has already started its third round of QE. In an interview on Reuters, last week, Rogers said, “We already have QE3 … Get out the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet. You’ll see that they’ve been pumping up – you can see unadjusted M2 is going through the roof.”