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Old 02-20-2008, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,736 posts, read 5,551,478 times
Reputation: 4097

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Annualized CPI Topline 4.3 less Food and Energy 2.5. Is this a fair way to report inflation? Does the average Joe/Joann have the option of paying their bills less Food and Energy?

The debate is whether the inflation should contain volatile commodity-based components like food and energy or should it only reflect price inflation based on wage increases?

Personally, I feel it's been a long time since the food and energy component hasn't impacted my wallet. My wage increases, personal savings accounts, bonds, and CDs have not kept pace with what I need to buy on a monthly basis. If not for stocks and real estate investments it would not be possible to keep pace. However, a large number of Americans, especially retired Americans, do not have this option.

How will those near retirement and already retired handle the market level of inflation?
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Old 02-20-2008, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
897 posts, read 2,314,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lincolnian View Post
Annualized CPI Topline 4.3 less Food and Energy 2.5. Is this a fair way to report inflation? Does the average Joe/Joann have the option of paying their bills less Food and Energy?

The debate is whether the inflation should contain volatile commodity-based components like food and energy or should it only reflect price inflation based on wage increases?

Personally, I feel it's been a long time since the food and energy component hasn't impacted my wallet. My wage increases, personal savings accounts, bonds, and CDs have not kept pace with what I need to buy on a monthly basis. If not for stocks and real estate investments it would not be possible to keep pace. However, a large number of Americans, especially retired Americans, do not have this option.

How will those near retirement and already retired handle the market level of inflation?
The government Data does not do a good job in reporting inflation. True inflation last year was about 12%
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Old 02-20-2008, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,068 posts, read 76,631,796 times
Reputation: 27642
But the numbers look so much better when they drop food and energy.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
9,324 posts, read 24,693,430 times
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It makes you wonder what they actually include in the inflation rate! They want it as low as possible to make it look like the economy is "growing". Also with inflation understated the FED can just keep creating money out of nothing. What was the excuse for no more M3 reports? If I had my way, inflation would include food, energy, and housing expenses.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,736 posts, read 5,551,478 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
It makes you wonder what they actually include in the inflation rate! They want it as low as possible to make it look like the economy is "growing". Also with inflation understated the FED can just keep creating money out of nothing. What was the excuse for no more M3 reports? If I had my way, inflation would include food, energy, and housing expenses.
The reduction of the Fed Funds rate may reduce loan costs but for the strapped consumer they are already maxed out.

The low interest rates on savings, cds, bonds and other depository instruments are paying less than the real inflation rate. Combine that with all the fees that banks have transferred to consumers to "house" their money and there is a reduction in buying power.

The stock market is being ripsawed by "exotics" designed by hedge fund managers, commodity traders, and other risk arbitrators who manipulate market movements.

When Boone Pickens (sp?) announces yesterday that he is shorting oil expecting it to drop to $85 a barrel that is after he and others had bid it up with heavy future interest in higher-priced calls which they bought for pennies before the big move up when everyone else piled in.

The sad part is that people's 401k and 403b are tied into the movements of these exotics supressing returns. Add complicated government regulation which restricts movement of funds and the average joe can't move his/her money fast enough.

I tried to rollover my 403b from one provider to a self-directed Vanguard account and was informed by my employer that all municipal 403b are not able to be rolled over until they receive clarification on federal tax changes which won't be available until Jan 2009.

I have been trying to move this money since Sept 07.

With the way the market is behaving I won't have much left to move. Yet my 403b is supposed to be my new pension alternative?
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
9,043 posts, read 12,011,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
It makes you wonder what they actually include in the inflation rate! They want it as low as possible to make it look like the economy is "growing". Also with inflation understated the FED can just keep creating money out of nothing. What was the excuse for no more M3 reports? If I had my way, inflation would include food, energy, and housing expenses.
Two things to factor:

hedonic adjustments (steak cost rise too much? Just substitute hamburger meat!)
geometric weighting (0% increase and 10% increase average to...3.16%)

The lack of M3 was to ... you guessed it ... save money on producing that data for the public.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:09 PM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,283,307 times
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Of course food and energy should be included, that's where the bulk of my income is spent!
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Central CT, sometimes NH.
3,736 posts, read 5,551,478 times
Reputation: 4097
Does the ability to make money in the market place trump all other considerations?

I heard a discussion about being able to issue options on someone's life even if you don't have a connection to that person.

I don't even want to think about the implications of that from a moral standpoint. I just think it is wrong. The fact that there will be people hoping that someone might die early or hang on a little longer so that they get rich makes me sick.

Will this type of "investment" be what people's pensions are based on in the future?
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:07 PM
 
955 posts, read 2,014,536 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shibainu View Post
The government Data does not do a good job in reporting inflation. True inflation last year was about 12%
Thanks, I'd like to investigate. Where does the 12% come from?
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