John Williams – Think Piece

Featuring John Williams

In this week’s Think Piece, John Williams, private economic consultant and founder of ShadowStats, scrutinizes the elastic methodologies used to calculate benchmark data on the U.S.economy, and explains why reliance on these numbers can obscure major market discrepancies.

Published on
15 September, 2015
Global Outlook, Monetary policy, US Dollar
38 minutes
Asset class


  • MV

    Matt V.

    28 12 2015 23:58

    0       2

    John is a lot smarter than me, but as someone previously stated, he's been calling for Hyperinflation for the last 6 years or so. It would be nice to have someone call him on that.

  • AL

    Alex L.

    11 11 2015 21:36

    0       1

    This guy has been calling for hyperinflation since 2010. Every year, he makes the SAME PREDICTION: hyperinflation is on the verge of destroying the dollar. How did he get on here?

  • JF

    Jennifer F.

    28 9 2015 07:31

    0       0


  • JL

    James L.

    26 9 2015 21:37

    1       0

    It is all a game of psychology, and John's work helps separate illusion from fact. His views are not realized until public's blinders fall away.

  • DF

    David F.

    24 9 2015 05:01

    0       0

    Excellent . . .truly excellent.

  • AG

    Alexander G.

    23 9 2015 14:49

    0       0

    However, difficult to imagine CPI to be around 7%. In this millennium we only had 1 quarter with 7%+ nominal GDP growth, implying we'd been in a recession since Q3 1989

  • AG

    Alexander G.

    23 9 2015 14:47

    0       0

    He's absolutely correct on hedonic adjustment and OER. Look at the CPI report. Quality of electronics improved so much their index went from 100 to 8.

  • JM

    John M.

    21 9 2015 23:16

    0       0

    Interesting points but I would like to hear an opposing view.

  • PK

    Prem K.

    21 9 2015 14:17

    0       1

    You should also indicate the track records of such charlatans. He is imagining hyper-inflation when the world is staring at a deflation. good luck to the 90% who give him thumbs up.

  • BD

    Bruce D.

    19 9 2015 15:48

    1       0

    As these general comments prove, this is a rude awakening to most people. There is a general lack of knowledge on how the worlds monetary system works. Once you understand that, your mind will awaken

  • WM

    Will M.

    18 9 2015 18:46

    1       1

    Commenter says he can't see anything actionable? John is clearly demonstrating the stats are manipulated and at some point soon it will become visible to all. Then the s*** will his t he fan.

  • WM

    Will M.

    18 9 2015 18:43

    2       0

    Bit surprised at some of the mediocre reviews here. John is a very sharp guy who KNOWS his facts but the system has be gamed via electronic money and debt.

  • PM

    Pippa M.

    18 9 2015 10:46

    8       0

    This is pure genius stuff. Williams is right on every count. All govt stats are produced by people who have the interest of govt in mind and not the interests of the public or the markets.

  • CP

    CRAIG P.

    18 9 2015 04:59

    4       0

    Appreciate detailed explanation of statistics manipulation. I'm long the dollar and his message gives me pause. In a global economic meltdown, wouldn't the $ show strength, at least initially?

  • FS

    Fred S.

    17 9 2015 13:36

    3       0

    Timing is always the issue. Very smart traders tend to be early and so was John in 2011. Markets AND gov'ts can be irrational longer that you would expect.

  • KS

    Kashyap S.

    17 9 2015 10:16

    7       0

    He famously predicted that the US will enter hyperinflation in 2011. Ironically, that's the year the dollar started to strengthen and gold fell off a cliff. He couldn't have been more wrong!

  • LW

    Lawrence W.

    17 9 2015 04:47

    8       0

    John's Message has not changed in the last 8 years. It's like a doctor telling you. "you're going to die ultimately", He's technically correct but this fact is not very useful or tradeable.

  • MS

    Michiel S.

    16 9 2015 21:25

    2       0

    I expect most other currencies to go down first and against the USD before the USD do so against non-printable currencies. Gold/Silver are hammered and possibly cheap now but for sure very cheap soon!

  • BV

    Bryan V.

    16 9 2015 20:23

    5       0

    No doubt John will be proved right in the end, but I'm afraid his analysis doesn't include global factors that will push the dollar up before it comes crashing down. Basket cases abound.

  • CT

    Claudia T.

    16 9 2015 19:36

    7       0

    John's presentation confirms what I have learned in my statistics class years ago: "never trust any statistic that you haven't manipulated yourself." Thanks for this interview RealVision!

  • WM

    William M.

    16 9 2015 19:22

    0       0

    Would be interesting to see him debate a deflationist like Gary Shilling. It's probably impossible to determine a perfect measure of inflation...but there's plenty of everyday evidence that it's low.

  • TJ

    Terry J.

    16 9 2015 16:37

    2       0

    Hard hitting serious food for thought and yet another dollar bear. Excellent presentation from John.

  • GM

    Gerald M.

    16 9 2015 05:06

    16       4

    I've followed John starting in 2004 but not in recent years. Same message about the Fed, data manipulation, dollar collapse, hyperinflation, etc. I could never find anything really actionable.

  • MM

    Mark M.

    16 9 2015 01:51

    5       0

    This segment is one amongst many that are pushing me into the gold realm, but in the longer view it points to the question of how to "regulate" the government and institutionalize ethics.

  • JM

    Jon M.

    16 9 2015 00:40

    4       0

    Williams is a smart man with a moral compass. In the absence of global malfeasance in management of debts, social contracts and currencies, dollar is killed but I suspect all currencies must die

  • DP

    David P.

    15 9 2015 23:59

    8       0

    Have followed Mr. Williams' work since the crisis of 2008 and found that his common-sense and revisionist approach more credible than the official bureaucracy, media, and academic supporters. Bravo

  • RB

    Roy B.

    15 9 2015 23:54

    0       3

    Good thoughts but he wanders. Need a Pippin moderator to keep the conversation moving and on point.

  • db

    don b.

    15 9 2015 23:35

    6       0

    The truth hurts and what this shows is what a fraud the Fed's recovery has been. "They've backed themselves into a corner, they have lost control of the system." Amen

  • MD

    Mark D.

    15 9 2015 22:45

    5       0

    Have followed John for years. He is very diligent in his reassessments of economic data massaged by government. What the real numbers will lead to is anyone's guess but it won't be pretty.

  • CH

    Calvin H.

    15 9 2015 20:27

    5       0

    Pretty wonky but I've been following him on and off. His logic on how hyperinflation was somewhat loose and would like to have seen him guess the timing. But I agree having gold makes me sleep better