Stagflation Echo Chamber

Stagflation Echo Chamber

Sometimes I doubt it occurs to the media how instrumental they are when it comes to shaping public opinion and setting the tone for (un)civil discourse. That might come across as an odd assertion. After all, spinning narratives and influencing public opinion is quite literally the media's job. In many ways, they've taken over for advertisers in that regard. Often, if you watch the evening news, the commercials feel like a respite. Advertisements used to be the annoyance you were forced to endu
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3 thoughts on “Stagflation Echo Chamber

  1. Finally inequality is seen as a deflationary pressure. It must be one of society’s best kept open secrets. It’s curious how this wasn’t brought up when the central bank was fighting deflation by printing more money. It’s brought up when inflation has become a threat to stocks.

    The corollary to this article is: the economy needs central bank support, but we need to figure out how to reduce the amount of money that flows to the general population to keep inflation in check. Heads I win, tails you lose.

    1. Great point. The knee-jerk reaction to inflation is to call for higher interest rates. Rarely mentioned is just how that quells inflationary pressures. How do higher rates solve supply chain bottlenecks? How about rising rents? Or sky rocketing healthcare costs? (You get a lot of hemming and hawing when you ask inflation hawks those questions.)

      As you suggest, the mechanism works by stifling the economy so incomes fall and consumers have less to spend on goods and services. Interest rate changes are a very crude and untargeted tool. Sadly, that’s all that central banks have at their disposal.

  2. “Often, if you watch the evening news, the commercials feel like a respite.” I used to keep reminding my students that television is not a series of programs interrupted by ads but a series of ads interrupted by programs. Watch old episodes of Mad Men or Bewitched and you can easily see what TV has always been about, advertising. I remember when household products companies like P&G, Maytag, Clorox and others controlled daytime TV and beer and car companies ran sports. Now sports is moving to the province of sports books with cars sprinkled in. Beer seems like a distant third. Daytime TV is now in the hands of Pharma (great for my daughter who runs the in-house cloud and data warehouse for the third largest digital ad agency which happens to serve only pharma). I just hate those ads. Baseball has been completely destroyed by MLB’s efforts to speed up the game. I took out my stopwatch a couple years ago to discover that the total ad time in an average baseball game is over 45 minutes. No wonder the games are slower. Same with football. A one-hour network show used to run 52 minutes with the rest ads. Now the show is 42-45 minutes with the rest ads. If I fast forward through the ads I can watch four regular network shows in only three hours. My afternoon sports talk shows on ESPN are now running only 22 minutes per half hour.

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