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Research Finds Link Between Inflation and Laughter In Federal Reserve Meetings

samzenpus posted 1 year,28 days | from the wild-ride dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 144

schliz writes "A one percentage point increase in an inflation forecast brings about a 75% rise in laughter, according to an American University PhD student, who studied transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve. Laughter usually comes in response to witticisms during a meeting at the time of the inflation forecast, and has been shown to be a mechanism for coping with the stress of a perceived threat."

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So? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923439)

Those with their boots on the necks of general public usually think their power over the masses is funny.

They're not laughing with us, they're laughing at us. It helps cover the sounds of the rest of us gasping for air.

Re:So? (2)

x2A (858210) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923593)

The powerful don't want to see inflation, it makes their money worth less.,

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923645)

The powerful don't want to see inflation, it makes their money worth less.,

Inflation makes everybody's money worth less. I visited Brazil during hyperinflation. It wasn't just the "powerful" suffering.

BTW, "the powerful" did fine in the US during the 1970s .../p?

Re:So? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923813)

There is good inflation and bad inflation.
Good inflation is when the cost of goods and services rise, to match in increase of income of the consumers.
Bad inflation is when the cost of goods and services rise, at a faster rate then the increase of income of the customers.

We are having low inflation now... However income has dropped, so it is still bad, and it is worse then when we have high inflation and a strong growth of income.

Re:So? (4, Funny)

Mike (1172) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923945)

There is good inflation and bad inflation. ...
We are having low inflation now...

Spoken like a true Keynesian.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924215)

The world is round, not flat...

Spoken like a true Copernican.

You realize that's not a counter-argument, right?

Re:So? (2, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924515)

You realize it's a comment and not an argument at all, right?

Re:So? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924771)

Or any other type of economics that acknowledges the basic reality of the way economies and peoples' lives interact. Behavioralism makes no denial of this premise either. If your economic system requires you to specifically ignore one way things can turn out to be valid, that isn't a testament to its quality.

Re:So? (1)

njnnja (2833511) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924831)

Good inflation is when the cost of goods and services rise, to match in increase of income of the consumers. Bad inflation is when the cost of goods and services rise, at a faster rate then the increase of income of the customers.

In an economic sense, "inflation" is actually only the first, because inflation is where there is a general rise in the cost of all goods and services. But income to a consumer is a cost of good or service to an employer (labor cost). If more people realized that "inflation" doesn't mean that a gallon of milk costs more, it means that you will see a nominal rise in your paycheck, it wouldn't be such a boogeyman.

The source of the confusion was from the 1970's, when you had inflation combined with an oil supply shock, such that the costs of everything was going up, at the same time that the economy became less productive. People think the bad thing was the costs of things going up, when the real problem was that real incomes declined because of the oil shocks - nominal incomes were relatively flat.

Re:So? (2)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | 1 year,27 days | (#44925887)

If more people realized that "inflation" doesn't mean that a gallon of milk costs more, it means that you will see a nominal rise in your paycheck, it wouldn't be such a boogeyman.

It means both. However, whether you're talking about inflation or deflation, the change in your paycheck always trails the effect on the price of consumer goods, so a gallon of milk still costs more relative to your current paycheck. Under deflation it's just the opposite: sure, your paycheck is decreasing, but your expenses are decreasing even faster.

This is not to say that we'd be better off with forced deflation rather than inflation. As with any other commodity, the price of money is best left to the market rather than central planners. Natural deflation is a signal that there is a need for saving and investment, while inflation signals that it's time to spend. Forcing either results in a suboptimal allocation of resources.

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924883)

Good inflation is when you print money and spend it first. Bad inflation is when other people print money and devalue the dollars in your pocket.

Re:So? (2)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923877)

On balance, inflation helps borrows and penalizes lenders.

For the conspiracy minded the Fed is controlled by the banks. In theory they would love deflation – except for the economic recessions that tend to follow.

For historical context read about the Cross of Gold speech – or read the Wizard of OZ: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cross_of_Gold_speech [wikipedia.org]

Re:So? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924849)

It almost sounds like you had the same high school history teacher as I did, because that was definitely a lesson I had. And not to worry, populist low-information economics has somehow turned pro-gold standard in the past decade or so, because they imagine that somehow massive deflation would be a good thing in a society where the net debt burden has increased to unprecedented levels.

I don't get it, but magical economic panaceas are always nice to promise.

Re:So? (5, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924953)

That is incorrect. Inflation is great for those who get to print it. The Fed and thus the banks are the ones that get first access to that money, and get to charge interest on it, interest that can mathematically be paid from no source except default. Default destroys resources. This monetary system thus forces destruction of resources through malinvestment.

Money is not wealth. Money is a CLAIM on wealth, which is composed of real things. Printing money does not create more wealth--it just dilutes it, and redistributes it to those who get first access to the printed money.

Re:So? (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924375)

You need to look at the difference between wage inflation and cost of living inflation. The 1970s external oil price shocks created a cost of living spike. But nowadays the conservatives controlling the economy are worried about wage inflation for some deeply mysterious reason, despite the fact that the wages for the majority of people have been in decline. (Cost of living hasn't increased as a direct effect of this, because people literally can't afford to pay more.)

Re:So? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924571)

Except that cost of living has continued to increase, though you wouldn't know that looking at the official numbers because the government rules out everything that gets more expensive as "too volatile" to include in the index, so the government's official cost of living numbers excludes everything that gets more expensive.

Re:So? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923715)

Suppose you are wealthy. Suppose you gained your wealth largely by counterfeiting.

Is it to your net advantage to QE... er, counterfeit, a billion dollars, given there will be a slight increase in inflation as you spend it?

I'll let you work out the math here, or alternately note that counterfeiting is profitable, illegal and suppressed by legal force in the general case, excluding the Federal Reserve.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923729)

Wrong! The powerful want inflation because it widens the disparity of wealth. The rich can weather the storm, the poor can't. So the purchasing power of the rich is even greater regardless of the monetary worth of the dollar.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

locofungus (179280) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923733)

The powerful are fine with inflation. They hold a wide range of assets, some of which will be inflation proof.

While their net wealth might go down in a time of high inflation, it will go down more slowly than the vast majority of people and the powerful's income is likely to be somewhat inflation proof allowing them to buy up yet more assets as people are forced to sell the few things they own that are inflation proof in order to raise funds for day to day living.

Re:So? (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924319)

This runs totally counter to reality.

The rich have a lot of monetary assets. For example, money in the bank, investment vehicles, etc etc. Their wealth goes down *faster* than the majority of people. Unless they leave the country, of course.

The poor have less monetary wealth - indeed, most of their monetary stuff are *debts*. For example, mortgages. Under inflation, the amount you owe under your mortgage stays fixed nominally, while the price of your house increases. Thus you are better off. Under inflation, your wages will also rise to compensate for the rise in the cost of living. Hence, if you aren't living off of interest, you are relatively unaffected by the pain.

Historically, the poor have always clamoured for inflationary policy, while the rich have always pushed for deflation, for this exact reason. See the debates over free silver, leaving the gold standard, etc. This is textbook stuff.

Re:So? (5, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924573)

Rofl. Yeah, money in the bank. Julius Baer, Switzerland, in several european currencies. Tokyo, Japan, in several asian currencies. OK how about financial instruments. Short term bonds in dollars (US, Canadian, Australian, NZ), euros, pounds, reals, yen, rubles... Stocks, in several stock exchanges around the world, in diversified sectors. Gold, silver, platinum, copper, diamonds (and I ain't talking jewelry or certificates here). Now let's talk real estate....

Seriously, you are full of shit. The rich don't give a damn about inflation in one country or the next. What they DO care about is how to profit from the situation. There's always profit, if you're big enough.

Re:So? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924889)

Let's not forget super-leveraged investments that are so disconnected from the value of the currency they're priced in, that for simplicity's sake, banks often barter the interest rates of one security to another.

Re:So? (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,27 days | (#44926429)

I don't know why people keep looking at it as rich people doing this. Inflation benefits borrowers by slowly (or rapidly) reduciing what they borrowed to chump change. If they can keep up the interest payments, as government does, then they never have to pay it back.

That they pay your money out like a fool paying a credit card, well, the government is getting close to having a balanced budget again...not counting the annual interest payment.

Got your money's worth?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44925839)

If the rich wanted deflation, we would have it. Your textbooks are wrong.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923741)

They are laughing with glee at meeting or exceeding the Fed's explicit target for inflation. It drives down the value of the federal debt and allows corporations to raise prices while optionally choosing whether or not to provide raises for their employees. The elite are largely insulated from the effects of inflation through various investment strategies such as gold or just plain betting on higher inflation using derivatives. Meanwhile, mom and pop get socked with higher grocery bills while the talking heads debate how to slow the growth of 'entitlements' like social security.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924505)

Look I understand why people hate the current crop of rich in this country, but this kind of paranoia is pointless. The Fed can cause as much inflation as it wants. What they don't want is deflation or stagflation. Both of these are destructive to everyone.

Re:So? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44925361)

Like how destructive to everyone the "deflation" of the cost of technology over the last 30 years has been?

"Deflation" is a canard. It simply means that the actual value created by human innovation and efficiency increases, for a particular lucky domain, hasn't been siphoned off entirely by the financial system. The "goal" of 0% means nothing other than it's a number that the public has been hypnotized into thinking is optimal, for which the siphoners should be praised in acheiving. Quite the opposite. Human progress means the costs of goods and services -should- be going down, and the standard of living going up correspondingly. Those savings on particular goods in a massive scale translate into investment in more jobs and more prosperity, precisely as we have seen in the tech industry, despite having every imaginable impediment and rent-seeing drain placed on it.

Respect history and the economic realities directly before your eyes before blindly repeating the mantra of theft that keeps the majority of the country making no net economic progress, year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation.

It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (3, Informative)

MikeRT (947531) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923917)

The powerful can absorb the costs more. If you have $20m in cash and inflation reduces your currency's value by 50% that is a negligible loss for you in terms of being able to live comfortably. However, someone who had only $20k in cash savings has been effectively crippled because the loss to their savings has a much nearer term effect on their quality of life. That is to say, a millionaire can get by on inflated millions in savings and be fine until they die if they live a middle class life style, but a middle class person may have just much of their ability to survive unemployment wiped out or reduced from a year down to 3 or six months.

Re:It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924259)

However, someone who had only $20k in cash savings has been effectively crippled because the loss to their savings has a much nearer term effect on their quality of life.

Not necessarily. Using some examples with 2% inflation and real dollars:
- Your $20000 is now worth $19600, but your $90000 mortgage debt is now worth $88200, for a net gain of $1400. Especially if you have a fixed-rate mortgage, that means the bank assumed a certain level of inflation when determining your interest rate, and you are getting hurt if inflation is actually lower than that.

- Your $20000 is now worth $19600, but your boss gives you a corresponding raise from $25000 a year to $25500 a year, for a net gain of $100. Large employers in particular tend to factor this into annual reviews and the like.

- Your $20000 is now worth $19600, and you're an independent contractor, and your customer base was in either of the first two situations. So because they each have $750 more in disposable income, you can increase your prices from $100 to $105 an hour without risking losing customers, so you now go from making $25000 a year to $26250 a year, for a gain of $1250.

Re:It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (4, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924629)

Your tax bracket is suddenly 30% instead of 20%... oh wait, what? People always forget this amazing benefit (for the government) of inflation.

Re:It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (1, Flamebait)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924923)

"Waah, the last few dollars of my income are taxed at a slightly higher rate, and I'm deliberately ignoring, for the sake of making my argument not completely retarded, that the government does inflation adjust tax brackets quite frequently."

Re:It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44925469)

I realize everyone else reading /. is a successful professional, but after going 2 years without a raise (company freeze), when I finally got a COL raise the amount was less than the SNAP my family was receiving, but was enough to make us ineligible. The working poor are generally screwed by inflation.

Re:It hurts the powerful less than the weakest (1)

FhnuZoag (875558) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924511)

That only makes sense in terms of how literally everything affects the rich less. But inflation tends to be less regressive. For the rich, the $20m in cash is also what generates most of your cashflow, as capital gains. Whereas someone with $20K in savings will only be seeing negligible interest payments from that. Instead, his daily life would be determined by his income from his job, which would scale automatically with inflation.

Deducting the value of a household's home (which scales with inflation) from their net worth, the median US household's inflation-vulnerable wealth is actually $-12,000. In other words, for most people, inflation actually increases their net worth, in real terms.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924053)

To the contrary, inflation doesn't effect the wealthy as it does the rest of us. Inflation usually means that the income they derive from their investments rise with the inflation. What it actually means is that they don't have to compete as much for the things they purchase. If you are very wealthy, inflation is a good thing.

Re:So? (1)

lxs (131946) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924091)

You don't think that the powerful sit on a pile of cash do you?
We make our money work for us by investing it in commodities and businesses and reap that sweet sweet profit.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924203)

The powerful hold lots of cash?

Cash is only potential power; real power is equity. And when you have equity, inflation is desirable and makes your stuff worth more compared to the stuff that the Little People use.

That's why they're laughing at you. Inflation is a way to transfer wealth away from people who use money, toward people who own expensive things (companies, multiple houses, etc).

Re:So? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924665)

income, not equity. I don't care how many billions you have, if you have no income you will eat your way through them. If your income is larger than your expenses, you can fuck up as many times as you want, risk as much as you want, and you will always have more today than you had yesterday.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924501)

It's a big difference when your income is from inflation, and insider information, which can always grow!

Captcha: disjoint

Re:So? (2)

tmosley (996283) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924863)

Wrong. The powerful get to use the printed money first, stealing purchasing power from everyone else. This is one of the most fundamental arguments against fiat currency.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924955)

The powerful don't want to see inflation, it makes their money worth less.,

The REALLY powerful love inflation. Who cares about the debt ceiling when they'll just inflate it away? Since they can't pass new taxes and hope to stay in power, borrow borrow borrow, inflate it all away, and the money comes out of our savings and retirement and people don't even see it happening.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44925031)

Since when did the powerful store their wealth in currency? All the rich people I know keep a minimal amount of dollars, and put the rest into investments - which grow with inflation. Inflation hits people living paycheck-to-paycheck the hardest because they're the ones actually holding the hot potato.

Re:So? (1)

disposable60 (735022) | 1 year,28 days | (#44925193)

But interest rates on deposits and bonds go UP; and this is where most of these nabobs make most of their coin. The late 70s and early 80s saw Tbills paying upwards of 16%, but that meant mortgage rates were 18+. Bad for the people who work for a living, but no problem for the folks who can pay cash for the new villa.

Re:So? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | 1 year,27 days | (#44926047)

"The powerful don't want to see inflation, it makes their money worth less."

Not true. At least, partially not true.

Inflation makes OUR money worth less. Not theirs. Why? The time delay factor.

See, when the government and the banks inflate the money supply, where does that new money go first? Answer: the banks, the government, and Wall Street.

But it takes time for an inflated money supply to significantly affect prices. During that time, the banks, government, & Wall Street have already used that money... at full value. It isn't until later, by the time it gets into your hands and mine, that we see the bad effects of inflation.

Alternate Title (4, Insightful)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923441)

I propose an alternate title to this story:

"An open invitation for cranky Slashdotters to complain about waste of taxpayer money -- despite it being non-governmental funded -- to study a topic I find ridiculous."

Needs a soundtrack (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923477)

How about "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent?

Re:Needs a soundtrack (1)

JustOK (667959) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923579)

Isn't he dead or in prison now?

Re:Needs a soundtrack (1)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923725)

Poetical justice for a poet :) His grand posturing was worth nil, he wasn't interesting enough to have anything done about him.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923495)

"An open invitation for cranky Slashdotters to complain."

FTFY

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923535)

Wake up call: Inflation is a hidden tax -- one that is designed to work under your radar. Judging by your attitude, it's working exactly as planned.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923617)

Tell us more about how currency should be a "store of value", and how stashing dollars under your mattress should produce a positive real rate of return.

I'm seeing the link between inflation and laughter already! It involves listening to the resulting comments from economic illiterates.

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924025)

Wow you jump to conclusions fast. You assume he wants to make a profit from stashing money under his mattress. I am pretty sure he'd just like it if he stashed $1 under his mattress and 100 years from now was still able to buy 1 chocolate bar with it. That's how other stores of value tend to work over the long term (gold, for example).

And then you jump to insults. Coward indeed. Although I guess you can say pot calling kettle black.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924167)

If you buy a chocolate bar with that dollar today and stash it under your mattress for a century, it will be inedible at best. Why should it retain value in paper form but not in chocolate form?

Or, more seriously, a negative inflation rate incentivizes mattressing your money rather than doing something useful with it, which is catastrophic on a large scale. Maintaining a precisely zero inflation rate is very difficult for obvious reasons, so every developed economy in the world attempts to maintain a slightly positive rate instead.

Currency is supposed to be a medium of exchange. It's not supposed to be a store of value over the long term, that's just not its job. You might as well be complaining that your hat doesn't unclog toilets particularly well, and a plunger works better for that purpose. Well, no shit! That's not a problem with your hat, is it?

We need some kind of remedial economics class for (nominal) adults.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924321)

It's not supposed to be a store of value over the long term, that's just not its job.

You seem to be neglecting that, until Nixon, that's precisely what it was, and what the United States Government told us it was and should be.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Dunbal (464142) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924709)

If you buy a chocolate bar with that dollar today and stash it under your mattress for a century, it will be inedible at best. Why should it retain value in paper form but not in chocolate form?

Gold, on the other hand...

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44925941)

"Maintaining a precisely zero inflation rate is very difficult for obvious reasons, so every developed economy in the world attempts to maintain a slightly positive rate instead."

Tell me about it! Working for a living is difficult, so I just rob people instead.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,28 days | (#44925093)

That's how other stores of value tend to work over the long term (gold, for example).

If one wants a "store of value" such as precious metal, then wouldn't purchasing a dollar's worth of gold be a better approach than complaining that the dollar itself wasn't up to the job?

If that's what one wants, shouldn't one do that? Then when society collapses or whatever he figures will happen to the rest of us over that 100 years, he can laugh at us. From the grave, at least -- since I doubt any particular financial philosophy is an elixir of life . . . but who knows? I don't personally think it's a good plan, but if someone else believes in it, they're free to do it.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | 1 year,27 days | (#44925751)

If one wants a "store of value" such as precious metal, then wouldn't purchasing a dollar's worth of gold be a better approach than complaining that the dollar itself wasn't up to the job?

Sure, except for a couple of minor issue. First, you're going to be taxed on the change in the nominal dollar price of the gold, even though the change is due to the dollar losing value, not the gold gaining value—never mind the extra paperwork involved. Second, all your internal accounting and external contracts are probably still denominated in dollars, which complicates any attempt at rational economic calculation. You can try to compensate, but calculating the right index is far from easy. (It's not just the change in prices.) Finally, even if you were to personally avoid the dollar entirely, that won't fix the effect of supply-side manipulation on the rest of the economy. Inflation and deflation are price signals relating to the balance between saving and consumption; messing with those signals has much the same effect as price controls, except that when it's the price of the currency which is being controlled, the effects are felt everywhere, not just in a narrow range of commodities.

Re: Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923629)

Much lower than any other tax. And we can just index everything, seamlessly now with technology.

Re: Alternate Title (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923999)

You cannot nor should you try.

To pick a nit - To measure inflation you need to measures the value assigned by a person – which is ordinal not cardinal. i.e. it can be ranked but not measured. CPI estimates that value but there are known flaws – it is a approximation. And this is an imporant nit.

More importantly one should not even try. See the 1970s oil crisis. If oil quadruples in price overnight that increase will show up in inflation. The jump in inflation is telling you something – that you should reallocate your scarce resources – unless everybody has a COLA built into their wages – so money floods into the system which spurs more inflation which triggers more COLA increases, etc. Soon you have a permanent high level of inflation which is not pleasant – see Brazilian currency history.

Things fall apart when everybody indexes. Kind of like the Red Queen's Race.

Re: Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924157)

Things fall apart when everybody indexes. Kind of like the Red Queen's Race.

Which is why social security should be indexed to wages and not inflation.

Re: Alternate Title (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924345)

Social Security is already indexed to the Average Wage Index.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Security_(United_States)#Primary_Insurance_Amount [wikipedia.org]

Now this has worked well since historically 1. AWI has increased faster than inflation and 2. AWI has risen faster than the ratio between retired folks and working folds has risen. This may not be true in the future.

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Mitchell314 (1576581) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923639)

Go take an actual class in economics.

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44926161)

That's part of the problem. Everything they're teaching is wrong.

Re:Alternate Title (2)

x2A (858210) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923659)

When inflation is above interest, or you store money in a way which doesn't get interest, then yes, it does act as a stimulus by allowing spending of money that is otherwise not being spent. Unfortunately, the main spending of the US federal government is on its war machine... so the problem is what is done with the debt+inflation tax, not the fact that it exists.

You do also need income to at least rise at the rate of the inflation, and then it only hits money not being spent, but neoliberal policies are making that happen less and less, with the worst off seeing a decrease in real wages, a refusal to increase minimum wage being heavily responsible there.

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923567)

Hey, now. We're also going to get the crowd of "people who slept through Undergraduate Macroeconomics 101 ranting about 'fiat currency'".

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924003)

Hey, now. We're also going to get the crowd of "people who slept through Undergraduate Macroeconomics 101 ranting about 'fiat currency'".

Wow. You're not wrong [slashdot.org] . I did not expect that one. Guess I should have.

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924237)

I just wish that this education would extend more universally throughout our society.

If nothing else it would make the next time I am held up at gunpoint, and thoughtfully provided by the thief with a postgraduate thesis on how this robbery is actually to my benefit (it is, after all, increasing the "velocity of money", for one), much more thought-provoking.

Re:Alternate Title (3, Interesting)

tinkerton (199273) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924023)

An open invitation to see causal relationships actually. This is /..
"Laughter at Federal Reserve Meetings May Cause Inflation".

Re:Alternate Title (1)

Ravaldy (2621787) | 1 year,28 days | (#44925147)

We have to find something for human workers to do since they're jobs are being replaced by the chinese, automation or advanced robotix.

Re:Alternate Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44925213)

We have to find something for human workers to do since they're jobs are being replaced by the chinese, automation or advanced robotix.

Hey! It's racism with a healthy mix of misspelled and misused words. Of course, I'm the real racist(TM) for pointing out that implying the Chinese aren't "humans" is racist. Shame on me.

Banks rushing... (4, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923449)

Banks are now rushing to plant stand-up comics on the reserve board so they can game on metric they haven't been able to before.

In other news, concept of "causation" completely lost on those making the most important decisions affecting the world economy.

Fed laughter correlated to the housing bubble (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923467)

From 2012: http://multiplier-effect.org/?p=3362

Wish I could laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923473)

I'd laugh but I'm too busy crying. What we need to do is get these folks back to living inside of the circle of consequece instead of outside of it. Nobody else gets to vote themselves a raise, create their own health plan, retirement, etc. These guys should have to sleep in the same bed they've made for the rest of us.

Re:Wish I could laugh (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923527)

Nobody else gets to vote themselves a raise, create their own health plan, retirement, etc.

Um, that's pretty much how C-level executives work at large companies. They are nominally under the control of the board, who is nominally the elected representatives of the shareholders, but like with our elected political representatives, in practice they have quite a bit of unrestrained control over things like voting each other raises and approving golden-parachute contracts (formally on behalf of the shareholders who voted the board in, of course).

Re: Wish I could laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923649)

What if we all can sleep in beds like theirs, because we abandon scarcity thinking?

AGW FRAUD (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923509)

Hey morons why aren't you talking about the GW fraud?

http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-climate-change-uncertainty-20130923,0,791164.story

"Since just before the start of the 21st century, the Earth's average global surface temperature has failed to rise despite soaring levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases and years of dire warnings from environmental advocates. Now, as scientists with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gather in Sweden this week to approve portions of the IPCC's fifth assessment report, they are finding themselves pressured to explain this glaring discrepancy. "

Imagine that. Scientists being asked to explain why their science doesn't seem to be working out. The nerve.

"Though scientists don't have any firm answers, they do have multiple theories."

Uh huh. They don't have theories, they have wild speculation. Morons.

Re:AGW FRAUD (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923613)

But, but, but, but how could somebody who hosted a children's show twenty years ago be wrong?

Re:AGW FRAUD (1)

Sique (173459) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923995)

Surface atmospheric temperatures are only one aspect of global warming. Other indices have increased: glaciers are still melting, sealevels rise, insurance payments for weather induced catastrophes (an indicator for the number of exceptional weather events) are on the rise.

There is no fraud. There is just puzzlement why one indicator didn't rise in the last 15 years.

Peope calling this fraud are fraudsters (or their fanboys).

Re:AGW FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924045)

Here is an example that will help people relate to why part of the earth are cooler, even though the earth is heating up. Imagine you come home on a cool day and your furnace is off. You turn it on but the registers are closed in the bedrooms. The hot air then all enters only the living,/dinning room/ kitchen areas. This pushes all the cold to the bedrooms so he temperature there actually drops. In fact, while it was cool there before, icicles actually may start forming. The more you turn up the heat, the more the cold is forced into the bedrooms and the icicles keep growing. I'm sure many of you here have seen this effect in your own houses. We have models that demonstrate this too!

You stupid bunch of fuckwads.

Re:AGW FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924229)

http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators#globalTemp

You are one dumb fuck retaerd.

Re:AGW FRAUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924379)

Except of course it's fucking colder.

Go wax your weenie.

So I guess meetings now are real knee-slappers. (2)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923511)

Especially when discussing inflation 5 years out.

That laughing you hear... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923525)

The laughing you hear isn't because they're nervous about inflation. They're nervous that someday you might just figure out the scam. The scam that inflation is just a hidden government tax that they don't even have finite control over.

silkroad forums quick link (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923533)

Re:silkroad forums quick link (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44924281)

If you are going to use a short URL, use something that actually works. BBCode is probably the best way here.

They should hire more women (0)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923553)

As far as unfortunate consequences are concerned, more women in Federal Reserve meetings would at least curb the man's laughter rate in those meetings.

Haha hahaha ha... (3, Insightful)

MrKaos (858439) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923581)

hahahah ahaha haha hahahahaha hahahah ahahaha...

Re:Haha hahaha ha... (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923767)

Muahahahah Muaahaha Muahaha Muahahahahaha Muahahahah Muaahahaha...

FTFY

Muahahaha! (1)

Squeebee (719115) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923655)

What is this kind of laugh? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfUM5xHUY4M [youtube.com]

Re:Muahahaha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,27 days | (#44926291)

I prefer the Sideshow Bob evil laugh. [youtube.com]

Coping mechanism or evil cackle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923707)

Or perhaps one disguised as the other???

other correlations which may not be causation (1)

nimbius (983462) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923727)

1. uncontrollable sobbing in the mens room may be attributable to the creation of a monster that no longer seems to respond to any economic theory past or present.
2. exhausted yawns and dosing are considered a sign that regulation is being proposed.
3. flatulence indicates carmimes deli has started using that half-mayo half-mustard topping on its deli subs again...

It saves time (3, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923805)

It's pretty easy to laugh all the way to the bank when you're already there.

Let's rise the inflation by 20% (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44923843)

...and make the assholes suffocate.

This isn't a story from The Onion? (1)

fsagx (1936954) | 1 year,28 days | (#44923979)

I had to click through both links just to be sure.

Sure, laugh while you can monkey boy (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | 1 year,28 days | (#44924043)

As you quantitatively ease yourselves into our bungholes to the tune of 85 billion a month...

Just like Enron (1)

moxley (895517) | 1 year,28 days | (#44925015)

Or could it be that they're just assholes who have a better understanding of what a house of mirrored cards our debt based financial system is than most of the public, and (like those douches at Enron who laughed about old lady's power being shut off due to such high bills thanks to their profiteering/racketeering) think it's pretty damn funny that they kite a whole system the way a criminal kites a check.

Keynesian Cognitive Dissonance (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | 1 year,28 days | (#44925107)

The Keynesian School (along with some Monetarists), which controls The Fed, claims to not believe that printing money ("quantitative easing") can in, in fact, create price inflation (they contend it should get the economy roaring and the opposite should happen). Now Keynes himself didn't believe this, but his disciples think he was mistaken on that particular count.

Meanwhile, the Austrian School economists contend that the money creation is itself the monetary inflation (by definition...) and that price inflation is just an inevitable consequence of monetary inflation (more dollars in the pool means each dollar has less value).

The trouble is, the Austrians take that consequence to say that it means that ultimately the central banks are harmful to the economy, since they're constantly interfering in the transfer of information across the economy by interfering with pricing and interest signals. If you're a central banker, the idea that central bankers are harmful can't be true, so if anything happens that indicates the the Austrians might be right after all, it's going to be a a bit unsettling.

mod d0wN (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,28 days | (#44925401)

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