Why Bernanke is Wrong on Inflation

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted March 3, 2011

I don’t care what Bernanke thinks…

The guy once told us subprime was “contained.”

Now he tells us inflation is contained.

But unless all Americans are stupid, we all know inflation is already here… in a big way.

Americans can see the difference in their food and gas bills… They see gold rallying to new all-time highs. They see cotton prices being reflected at clothing retailers.

The global cost of food is hitting new highs, as commodities surge on a weak dollar.

That didn’t stop Ben from telling a Senate Banking Committee he’s not concerned about inflation, though…

But before Ben gets ahead of himself again, telling us QE 3 is a possibility because inflation is low, he may want to look at some of this information from The Economic Collapse blog:

#1 The United Nations says that the global price of food hit another new all-time high during the month of January.

#2 The price of corn has doubled in the past six months.

#3 The price of wheat has roughly doubled since the middle of 2010.

#4 According to Forbes, the price of soybeans is up about 50% since last June.

#5 The United Nations is projecting that the global price of food will increase by another 30 percent by the end of 2011.

As we said in November 2010…

Consumer prices are going up… but there’s no inflation, says the Fed.

Not only do they want you to believe that, they want you to believe they’ll never monetize debt – another lie Wealth Daily has pointed out.

Today, even as consumer prices “rose moderately,” there was little sign of inflation because auto, clothing and hotel prices fell. Well woop-dee-friggin-doo… energy and food weren’t accounted for in the core number.

And, according to “experts,” “Fears about a potential outbreak of inflation from the Fed’s recent moves are massively overblown and are completely out of sync with the reality of extremely competitive markets for … products and services,” said Brian Bethune, an economist at IHS Global Insight.

Are they kidding? Or are they just this naïve?

Even a Wal-Mart survey says inflation is here.

As the Wall Street Journal points out, “Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months. And food makers and retailers including McDonald’s Corp., Kellogg Co. and Kroger Co. have begun to signal that they’ll try to make consumers shoulder more of the higher costs for ingredients.”

Food prices are actually rising faster than inflation numbers.

Let’s take a look back at what I said recently in Wealth Daily.

In the months since Bernanke told us QE1 would not jeopardize the stability of prices, the price of oats was up 40%. Orange juice was up 45%… rice was up 50%… coffee was up 60%… copper was up 70%… and silver was up 100%.

Passing the price to consumers

The prices are, and will continue to be, passed on to consumers.

Kraft just told investors about half of the company’s input costs have spiked 20% to 30% year over year, and the company had to raise prices on consumers.

Kraft Foods (KFT) posted a 26% rise in Q3 revenue; however, due to rising material costs, profits fell close to nine percent. Plus, Kraft is hiking prices some 40% shortly…

Kroger announced it would have to raise prices. McDonald’s, Safeway, and Domino’s are all doing the same.

General Mills is raising prices by “low digits” on 25% of its cereals on November 15. For crying out loud, bacon is up 16% in September 2010 from September 2009.

Even UPS just announced it was raising shipping rates an average of 4.9% in January.

Is it possible all these companies lost Ben’s memo that inflation was under control?

All Bernanke has managed to do is create an environment where companies are forced to raise prices…

And it’ll only get worse, as the dollar drifts lower.

Bill Gross, for example, thinks the dollar will fall another 20% if the Fed continues this monetary easing policy.  

Companies are paying more for the things that produce the things you buy. When the prices you pay go up, that’s inflation. That’s what’s happening right now, even as you read this.

Cat’s out of the bag

No one really believes inflation doesn’t exist right now — except Bernanke.

Likewise, nobody believes that dollar devaluation will lead to higher consumer spending, better employment, and a healthier economy. In fact it’ll only lead to more inflation, less economic growth, and higher unemployment.

Take your head out of your ass, Ben. There’s a lot of pain in store for consumers.

Of course, once Ben realizes just how bad inflation really is, he’ll defend recent actions. My colleague

Adam Sharp recent described it as “necessary to prevent yet another Great Depression; the Fed couldn’t have seen it coming (like the subprime mess) and things would have been much worse if the Fed just stood by.”

And no one can really depend on CPI figures…

Sure, CPI is the government’s way of measuring cost of living for consumers. But it’s not perfect… It excludes food and energy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Food and energy costs are volatile, which would potentially distort Core CPI readings therefore they’re omitted.”

That means core CPI is not an accurate read on inflation. I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know here; I’m pointing this out because Bernanke has no real grasp of inflation.

Plus, we have to deal with the stupidity of “product substitution.”   Say, for example, the cost of steak soars. The cost of steak will then be replaced with hamburger meat.

“In fairness, much of what has become distorted in the CPI series has resulted from pressures outside of the Bureau itself, ranging from the perceived political needs of overseeing administrations, to Congress and the Federal Reserve,” states John Williams, economist and publisher of ShadowStats.com.

Profit in spite of Ben’s stupidity

Buy shares of fertilizer companies and sellers of farm equipment. Sell food company stocks.

I’m buying the Market Vectors Agribusiness ETF (MOO) up to $52. It holds Monsanto (MON) and Potash (POT).

And I’m looking to buy puts (or short) food company stocks like Tyson (TSN), which could see a repeat of the 2008 plunge. We’ve already taken a 43% gain using MOO options in just 16 trading days in my Options Trading Pit service. And we’re holding for more gains.

Plus, as the price of oil spikes on a weaker dollar, we’re likely to see attention shifted to domestic oil companies looking to set up shop in what could be the only safe, stable place left to drill for oil.

But I also have to thank Ben…

If it weren’t for his tortured logic, commodities wouldn’t have spiked — and my readers wouldn’t be sitting on piles of loot. So thanks, Ben.

As for those that weren’t a part of our epic run, here’s what’s likely to happen over the next few months:

  • The economy will not improve. It will actually worsen, as unemployment grows worse and housing sinks. 

  • The U.S. dollar will fall further, sparking renewed currency wars.

  • China could abandon its peg to the dollar and revalue its currency.

  • Gold could rocket above $2,000… and oil could easily nail $125 next year.

  • Natural resource costs, like rare earth, will jump to record highs.

That’s a reality — so long as Ben’s in charge…

Invest in commodities. They’re going much higher.

Plus, as we’ve reported in Wealth Daily, there are easy ways to profit from Ben’s stupidity. Check them out here:

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