Inflation or Deflation? - SmartMoney Weighs In

This SmartMoney article throws out the pros & cons that I've been wrestling with on the deflationary indicators. I still lean (as does this article) towards inflation. I have the following comments on the counter-arguments:

  • Interest rate cuts signal the Fed no longer fears inflation: I feel the cuts are simply a 'Do Something!" reaction and the Fed is saying "To hell with inflation - we'll deal with THAT crisis later."
  • Commodity prices have cratered: This, I think, is more demand (or lack thereof) driven. Commodities are priced at the margin -- going from a slight excess of demand over supply to a slight excess of supply over demand produces wild price swings.
  • TIPs rates show deflation: I think the record TIPs yields are a result of selling pressure. As portfolios are unwinding their leverage, often a forced sale, they are selling what they can and quality issues are being driven down, thus pumping up the yields.