Stealth Inflation at the Grocery Store: Less Product for the Same Price

Era of “Supertall” Buildings . . . & Packaging People commonly think inflation means paying more for the same amount. But, paying the same price for a smaller amount also qualifies as inflation. In the last year, I’ve noticed everything from cereal to orange juice to Murphy’s Oil(!) being packaged in ever more svelte containers....
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A Tale of Two . . . Chairs

“Hedonics,” Defined After almost 13 years, I finally popped for a new (home) office chair yesterday. The chair I retired — actually, handed down to son #2 — was an ergonomically correct, (then) state-of-the-art job purchased from a Relax the Back store in Manhattan for almost $800 in early 1998. Truth be told, it was...
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Jeremy Grantham on "the ‘Flation Issue"

As Flummoxed as Everyone Else What we are seeing now is a tussle between the 50% sustained speculation branch and the branch where two or three things go wrong and crack confidence. This struggle is an unusual one, and has created market effects I have never seen before, and you have not either. –Jeremy Grantham,...
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"Bloodletting" Economists

Economic Theory, Then & Now The U.S. is now 234 years old, and yet over half the nation’s money supply was created since Helicopter Ben took over the flight controls four years ago. –David Rosenberg; Chief Economist, Gluskin Sheff It’s hardly a saving grace for today’s financial mess, but it HAS been gratifying to see...
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Balky Buyers, Borrowers

Combating a Deflationary Mindset One of the unintended consequences of falling prices — for new homes, existing homes, mortgage rates, etc. — is that would-be Buyers get out of the way, and wait for even bigger drops. There’s some anecdotal evidence that that’s the psychology behind many Buyers’ reluctance to buy or even refinance at...
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