TGIF 2 Minutes will be taking a small break over the next five or so weeks. While looking back on several topics from the past 5 to 7 years – consider these editions a sort of ICYMI (“In Case You Missed It”). In times such as the current market weakness, it helps to understand that each economic cycle has its unique qualities, and there are certain factors that repeat themselves. There are also super-smart and talented people – see the upcoming edition about Richard Thaler – who educate and remind us about human nature and the factors within and not within our control.
Enjoy these upcoming “Best of TGIF“ editions starting next week for Memorial Day.
“What are I Bonds?” Thank you to a growing number of curious and smart clients, friends and colleagues for hammering this question enough over the past several months to warrant a TGIF 2 Minutes dedicated to I-Bonds. The “I” in I Bonds stands for inflation, which is why these bonds are so HOT at the moment. (Note: inflation overall is clearly not a good thing; I Bond interest rates may be one of the only things that benefit from skyrocketing inflation.)
Inflation is higher in 2022 than it has been in over 40 years – longer than lots of TGIF 2 Minutes readers may have been alive, and certainly longer than lots of readers have been working for, earning, and spending “real money”.
Stagflation. An economic condition not experienced since the 1970’s – which was also the last time that inflation was as high as it is today.
Stagflation is an understandable word: stagnated growth coupled with persistent, high inflation. Often high unemployment is also part of the picture but presently is not the case. The reason stagflation is currently in the conversation is that in addition to current high levels of inflation, there are potential factors that could weigh even further on the US economy: tax increases and greater government spending. Stagflation could result – or could be inevitable no matter what.