Steven van Metre and Michael Ashton: Everything You Wanted to Know About Inflation
Steven van Metre of Steven van Metre Financial interviews Michael Ashton, founder of Enduring Investments and a lifelong student of inflation—that famed economic phenomenon which pervades everyday life and yet is often difficult to truly understand. Ashton breaks down the Consumer Price Index, the most common measure of inflation, to its core, unscrambling its various inputs, evaluating its common criticisms (namely, that it fails to capture the magnitude of price increases in college tuition, healthcare, and housing), and comparing it to other alternative measures such as the Chapwood Index and ShadowStats.com. Van Metre, for his part, directs his gaze toward the macro issues such as the interplay between inflation and variables such as money supply growth, the velocity of money, and interest rates. Lastly, the pair look forward to see what inflationary (or, perhaps, deflationary) forces are on the horizon. Filmed on January 8, 2020. Key learnings: Ashton thinks that the Consumer Price Index is an imperfect metric but is nevertheless an optimal way to measure inflation. He argues that the extraordinary growth in money stock (induced by the Federal Reserve) will indeed augur inflation. Van Metre contends that various deflationary forces, namely the decrease in the velocity of money, will stop inflation in its tracks and could in fact bring deflation.