Inflation: Please Explain the Big Picture SIMPLY

Discussion in 'Economics' started by dhawkins, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. dhawkins


    I've done a lot of reading about inflation, but I find much of the info to be confusing and conflicting. I've read everything from the survivalist people's explanations to the mainstream stuff and it is still confusing to me.

    I think I am fairly convinced that the root cause of inflation is an increase in the money supply which can come from two things ...

    1) Government deficits which get monetized
    2) Expansion of credit

    But how do we properly analyze the present world situation? Is the world money supply increasing? Is it increasing too fast? Are we headed for a Weimar style inflation? How do we tell?

    Some claim that recent fed action massively increases the money supply and thus inflation, but I don't see how rate decreases in themselves can increase the money supply. It seems that banks must first take advantage of the new low rates (which they may or may not do) in order to expand the money supply. Then it seems that consumers and businesses must also take out new loans. If they do not, it seems there would be no increase in the money supply.

    Some claim that we are "exporting our inflation" overseas. Is this true? How do they know this?

    Can someone explain all this to me simply and give me guidance on how this relates to various investment vehicles?