Guest Co-host: Chris Alaimo
Fed Watch is a macro podcast with a clear contrarian thesis of a deflationary breakdown of the financial system leading to bitcoin adoption. We question narratives and schools of thought, and try to form new understanding. Each episode we use current events to question mainstream and bitcoin narratives across the globe, with an emphasis on central banks and currencies.
In this episode, CK was running a little late, so Chris Alaimo jumped in to fill in co-hosting duties. A few minutes CK jumps in and we have a good three-host episode.
Our topics for today were Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) numbers out of the US. CPI was released on Wednesday this week, and PPI on Thursday. There was a lot to be learned by taking a look at the data in a certain way. Make sure to check out all the chart on the bitcoinandmarkets.com link above.
March CPI came in under the 0.2% month-over-month (m/m) forecast, at 0.1%. Down from 0.4% last month. If you go back to the February data, the main story-line back then was reacceleration of inflation. I thought that was unlikely, and March saw a dramatic decline.
If you scrap the nearly worthless year-over-year (y/y) headline number, which is only a cumulative m/m, and instead focus on CPI since July 2022, the annualized rate for those 9 months is 3.4%, not the 5.0% of the headline y/y number.
I forecasted CPI to be in the 2% y/y headline range by July this year. To confirm that theory, we rolled into the PPI, or upstream prices that producers are paying. The PPI tends to lead the CPI by 3 months. March PPI came in at -0.5%. Yep, negative.
Lastly, we reexamine the small business funding in the US and banks’ lending standards. The numbers are pretty startling. Lending standards are tightening rapidly and small business sentiment is the lowest EVER. Even lower than the Great Financial Crisis or Dotcom crash.
All these things together tell us that a slowdown is coming. The question now is does that tip over into a hard landing, deep recession? I still don’t think so. Of course, the economic fallout will be geographically distributed. Some national economies will be hit much worse than others.
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