Industrial Insight

Inflation is hard to stop… | March 20, 2011

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703899704576204594093772576.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop

Mega-Banks and the Next Financial Crisis

Hedge-fund manager Paul Singer recognized the risks of subprime mortgages and bet against them. Now he warns that monetary policy could cripple American banks again.

Fed officials, he adds, “really seem to think that inflation is something they can deal with very easily and very quickly. I don’t believe they’re right.” He notes that, in the late 1970s, inflation was only in the high single digits yet curing it required interest rates of 20% and a collapse of the bond market.

Mr. Singer further warns that investors shouldn’t misinterpret apparently bullish signals from a rising market. “Of course printing money is going to support asset prices,” but “it’s very dangerous” and is not a substitute for trade, tax and regulatory reforms that make America an attractive place for job creation.

“What would a loss of confidence in the dollar actually look like? Gold going absolutely nuts,” adds Mr. Singer, who is also a major donor to conservative intellectual causes and think tanks such as the Manhattan Institute. He observes that prices for many commodities are already near all-time highs, even with “kind of a soft recovery” in the U.S. and Europe, and robust growth in Asia. “Imagine if hoarding, speculation, investment positions in [hard assets] accumulate to cause commodities and gold to go rocketing up. Wages, prices will follow,” he says.

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I'm the executive vice president for a steel casting trade association, the Steel Founders' Society of America. I've got a crazy wife, five crazy children, three crazy people that married into the family, and two crazy fun little grandsons.

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