”From anxiety about the future … Deliver me, Jesus.”— Catholic prayer
Add this to your pseudo-spiritual routine: the Federal Reserve litany of trust.
Some background, even though you’ve heard this story enough: The American consumer is depleting their savings and racking up credit at a pace not seen since the Great Depression.
We’re spending more dollars… because everything we buy costs more.
We have to convince ourselves that a return to the Fed’s elusive 2% inflation rate is on the way. The latest data we have on inflation, in contrast, still shows that each dollar buys 6% less than it did the prior year. We are told that the Fed’s interest rate policy is working and we’re experiencing an immaculate “dis-inflation”!
Yet prices are still at record highs.
So we wrap our fingers around the prayer beads of American consumerism (that we bought on Amazon) and mumble quietly to ourselves on our knees before bed.
“Deliver me, Saint Powell… Mother Yellen… from this awful bane Inflation.”
We say our graces before dinner too, forgoing $20 steak for twice as much chicken (freezing some for later to save another trip to the grocer).
Maybe, just maybe, we break out the credit card to pay for a high-falutin cruise.
All in all, we are led to believe the end of our economic oppression is nigh by repeating the litany of trust—“Deliver me, Powell”—often enough.
And, then, in reality, we just get used to paying higher prices.
Even the personal consumption expenditures price index (PCE)—which excludes food and energy costs—climbed 4.6% from a year ago, matching the prior month’s annual advance… Everything—literally everything—is more expensive.
And so… inflation “sticks” around.
For everyday Americans, there is little else to do than maintain one’s own checks and balances, “work harder than inflation” as some of my tennis buddies say, and continue good graces with the Federal Reserve.
We know the drill. Tom Dyson and the team at Bonner Private Research calls it “maximum security” mode. Cut stocks (and choose them wisely), buy gold, hold your cash.
“Credit cards are not ‘a piggy bank,’” a Yahoo! Finance articles chimes. Another reads across your screen: “Gen Z is using a budgeting method called ‘cash stuffing’—when one sets aside cash at the start of the month for different categories of expenses.” Even the young ones are feeling the pain!
So basic knowledge is being touted as new, novel info… The litany repeats and we wait for reprieve. Little goes unchanged on the Hill.
So it goes,
The Wiggin Sessions
P.S. You’ll forgive if we got a bit of the good ‘ol-timey religion on the brain today. Yesterday, we attended an Episicopalian memorial service in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The matriarch of one branch of the family tree passed away in late April. She was 98. Episcopalian services adhere to the good book and the hymnal. Which is actually good because there’s not a lot of sermonizing. The God they were singing about kind of seems like a nice, benevolent deity.
If you need your own good book while trying to understand the “new litany of trust”, may we shamelessly suggest your own copy of The Demise of The Dollar?
Addison Wiggin is an American writer, publisher, and filmmaker. He was the founder of Agora Financial and publisher for 18 years. An acclaimed New York Times best-selling author, his books include: Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt, The Demise of the Dollar, and The Little Book of the Shrinking Dollar. Addison is also the writer and executive producer of the documentary I.O.U.S.A., an exposé on the national debt, shortlisted for an Academy Award in 2008. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his family. Addison started his latest project, The Wiggin Sessions, powered by Consilience Financial, in March 2020. He films from a homegrown studio in his basement.