Ask Prof Wolff: What the NYTimes Gets Wrong about Inflation

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Patron of Economic Update asks: "Christopher Leonard, author of "The Lords of Easy Money" has a piece in the 6/11/22 NYT (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/opinion/fed-federal-reserve-inflation-democrats.html) that addressed the issue of inflation's cause(s). He danced around your principal point, without actually saying it, namely that capitalism is in its death throes. I would be interested in your comments on his writing."

This is Professor Richard Wolff's video response.

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Showing 2 comments

  • Elaine Robinson
    commented 2022-07-07 05:21:33 -0400
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  • Edward Dodson
    commented 2022-07-06 20:57:34 -0400
    I believe it is far to place a good deal of blame on the central bank for the general price of prices we are experiencing. Why? Because in response to the 2008 financial crash the Fed decided it was essential to dramatically drop interest rates, which travelled into the residential mortgage loan market. This increased the ability of property buyers to qualify for higher loan amounts, and this was capitalized into higher and higher property prices. While economists essentially ignore the role of increasing property prices on the economy, generally, increasing property prices is by effect inflationary. Property prices have been increasing over time not directly because of the Fed but because property markets are credit-fueled and speculation driven. Doubt this? Look at the maximum loan amounts permitted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going back to the 1970s. These limits had to be increased periodically to accommodate the continued increases in property prices. Today, the median price for a residential property in most markets around the U.S. is higher than it was on the eve of the last property market crash. The bottom line, I argue, is that residential property markets are the leading indicator of the real rate of inflation.
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