In Episode 221 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Jim Grant, the founder of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer: a legend in the business of investor education and financial media. What separates Jim from millions of his fellow financial journalists, commentators, and authors is the historical perspective that he brings, informed not just by the immense volume of books and periodicals that he’s consumed over the course of his lifetime, but primarily by the wisdom of his own lived experiences and lessons learned from the experiences of others that he’s had the privilege to know and interview over the course his life.
Given the ongoing controversy around inflation—its causes and consequences—we couldn’t think of anyone better to talk to than Jim Grant. Jim has been warning his readers about the unintended consequences of overly-accommodative Fed policy and dollar debasement for as long as we have known him and he is uniquely positioned to provide us with the historical context to understand where we find ourselves in the present cycle. What we came to this conversation wanting to know from Jim, as someone who has lived through at least 3 major credit cycles, is if in fact he feels that this inflation is not transitory. If in fact, he thinks that we are in the process of up-anchoring inflation expectations and what this means for the Fed’s policy options, with important implications for assets like stocks, bonds, cryptocurrency, etc., whose prices have depended on the free-flow of credit that becomes less readily available in an environment of rising consumer and producer prices.
This is a phenomenal conversation that will help you integrate the history of inflation and what we know about its causes into the unique circumstances of our modern political-economy, which is characterized by historically high debt levels, aging demographics, and technology-driven deflation, in a way that can make you a better, more thoughtful investor.