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On a long enough timeline everything is transitory

Remember that one time, you know, when inflation was supposed to be transitory? We heard it over and over again. This too shall pass, we were reassured. It's temporary, they said.

But is it transitory?

Over a year in to this inflationary debacle, which is starting to lurch deeper in to what may become stagflation (or a slowing economy with persistently high inflation), there are no signs of inflation fading away. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Even before Russia's aggression against Ukraine there were a number of signs that producers and supply chains were experiencing longer lasting bottlenecks than many had expected, including our ever so venerable and often chattering Fed heads.

Much to their chagrin, and ours, inflation has failed to honor the promise of being transitory. At least if we're quantifying 'transitory' in 21st century ADHD-centric terms of actually being temporary on a rather short time horizon. After all, transitory just means "not permanent," and surely this inflation isn't permanent. It's just lasting longer than anyone who has to buy things would have wished.

This allows the Fed to technically be correct, whenever the velocity of inflation does abate, that it was in fact transitory. Even if it doesn't feel like it. Which it sure doesn't.

1 Comment

I like it. The 70s inflation only lasted ~12 years out of the 244 years the U.S. has been a nation. Clearly transitory.

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