Saturday, June 24, 2006

Inflation: your ignorance is showing

I have to give it to Peter Schiff of Euro Pacific Capital for going on CNBC recently and sticking his neck out by trying to explain what inflation really is to the Bubblehead community.

Last week on the Financial Sense Newshour (June 17th 3rd hour segment), Jim Puplava and John Loeffler played back an on air debate between Peter and Diane Swonk of Mesirow Financial that centered on the basic definition of inflation and how it comes about. Jim and John then paused the playback at points to discuss and respond to the counterarguments and sophistry put forth by "economist" Swonk.

To say that Peter's debate opponent lacked knowledge of the true nature of inflation would be putting it mildly. Video file of the June 13 CNBC Squawk Box debate. Squawk being the operative word here.

Swonk's willful ignorance and the arrogance that inevitably accompanies it are on full display here. Sadly, this type of attitude is prevalent throughout the 24-hour media spectrum, and this is what passes for news and "insightful commentary" these days.

There is no shame in not having an understanding of a certain issue or topic. None of us can ever know all there is to know in the world or even a small fraction of it. The proper thing is to get the best possible understanding of an area of interest before passing one's self off as an expert.

If anyone reading this entry would like a more classic understanding of inflation, please see Jim Puplava's excellent 2 part article series, "The Great Inflation". I highly recommend Jim's writing and commentary as an introduction to some of the more complex, and often misunderstood, economic and financial issues.