Michael Ashton - Comments
Inflation Products and Markets Expert

Michael Ashton is Managing Principal at Enduring Investments LLC, a specialty consulting and investment management boutique that offers focused inflation-market expertise. He may be more

Latest Comments
The Neatest Idea Ever For Reducing The Fed’s Balance Sheet
1 year ago

No, banks must hold reserves against their activities such as lending. The way the Fed controls (or anyway, the way they did for almost most of a century before the financial crisis) the money supply is to make greater or lesser amounts of reserves available in the system. By restricting the amount of reserves, the Fed restricts the amount of lending (and incidentally, causes rates to rise since scarce reserves are bid up. But that's an effect, not a cause). Right now, the Fed can restrict reserves but it won't affect the banks' ability to lend as these are all "excess." Until the Fed sufficiently reduces the balance sheet they have almost no control over the money creation process. (They could also raise reserve requirements and make all excess reserves required, but that would forcibly de-lever banks permanently and there's really no chance of that happening).

Central banks tell us this doesn't really matter, that they can control the health of the patient by changing the markings on the thermometer rather than by regulating the patient's temperature...but to be kind that's "speculative" at best.

In this article: TIP
Inflation And Corporate Margins
2 years ago

Yes, I would expect so.

Trump And Tariffs – Not A New Risk
2 years ago

Maybe. So far, it's all Trump in the scoring column.

Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

That's how I feel. I am not a fan of thinking of gold as a currency, and currently think gold is a bit overpriced...but gold has it all over Bitcoin. IMO

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

Thanks! You should have read my private comments when I used to write for clients of a bank or dealer. I was definitely less reverent. Occasionally got me into trouble. Writing for a 'net audience has tamed my prose somewhat.

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

Ha! I remember when they started to phase out tokens, I refused to switch because you couldn't use a metrocard for anything else. Therefore, it was inferior to the token in my pocket. However, once they started discounting the metrocard, it overcame that option value pretty easily.

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

Incidentally, I'm not trying to sound argumentative...just to be provocative about what money is and whether bitcoin is there yet. Maybe it will be someday, but yesterday it went from 10000 to 11500 to 9000 to 10000. So it rallied 11.5%, fell 22%, and then rallied 11% to finish the day. That's not something I'm keeping in my wallet, although it may be fun to trade.

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

I'd rather have a knish over the currency of some of the more unstable regimes in the world! Bitcoin is certainly on the Zdollar-knish-USdollar continuum somewhere, but probably to the left of knish. At least I can eat a knish and know what it's worth.

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

Well, by that definition a subway token is money (or was, back when they had subway tokens!). You could buy a newspaper in a bodega with one, and of course a subway or bus ride, and people would definitely give you money for it. Its value in units of goods was also vastly more stable than bitcoin. I think you need a higher standard; for example, you can buy just about ANY item with it (you can't, with bitcoin, at least not yet) regardless of size, and the value is reasonably stable over time. Store of value, medium of exchange, unit of account, right?

In this article: SPX
Higher Wages: Good For You, Not Good For Stocks
2 years ago

I see it as a speculative trading vehicle. I don't see them ever really being currencies (the crypto folks would scream that they already are, but they're a long way from being actual money).

In this article: SPX
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