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Rekenthaler Report

Fixed-Income Investing When Inflation Is Dormant

Insuring against the possibility of change.

Regime Change
In 1996, I took a "Money and Banking" seminar from a British professor who had previously worked at the Bank of England. He left me with two abiding lessons. One was that the leading central banks are powerful, but the marketplace, when unified, is stronger yet. (He had been on the receiving end in 1992, when the market's short sellers forced the British government to devalue the pound.) The other related moral was that hyperinflation is just around the corner.

The syllabus emphasized the ravages of inflation, caused by printing too much money to appease the masses, or by being held hostage to foreign currencies. The former condition self-evidently breeds inflation, while the latter creates a vicious cycle. Short sellers weaken the nation's currency, thereby increasing its debt burden, thereby tempting the country to print more money, thereby further weakening its currency. Down the rabbit hole the unfortunates descend.