Posts by Olav Dirkmaat

Inflation or Deflation: Which Is More Likely?

Last year, I wrote that the current inflation has a fiscal rather than a monetary origin. In other words, we would not have the same inflation in the absence of fiscal stimulus, while we would have the same inflation in the absence of monetary stimulus. For the same reason, I have affirmed and continue to affirm that I view it as unlikely for current inflation rates to begin to consistently exceed two digits, as was the case in the 1970s. This same pandemic fiscal stimulus has caused serious problems in a variety of markets: sea, land and air freight, electronic products and their components, automobiles, and others, which have added fuel to the inflationary fire. This is the origin of the current inflation we are experiencing, and I will try to make my case with data. The Current Inflation In recent months, the rise in the general price level has…

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Trump’s Tax Reform Dissected

Two weeks ago, the Trump administration presented a detailed version of one of Trump’s most important election promises: a tax reform. What are the consequences of Trump’s recent tax proposal for the US budget deficit and public debt?

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How OPEC Became Irrelevant: Traditional Oil Producing Countries Still Fail to Face the New Reality

The large traditional oil-producing countries — both OPEC and non-OPEC — are still catching up with the new reality. After deciding to extend the production cuts — agreed upon half a year ago — for another nine months, oil prices plunged below $50/barrel. Not quite the effect these oil giants were hoping for, but nothing out of the ordinary. After all, the fact is that supply and demand dynamics in the oil market have changed for good.

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