Friday, May 29, 2009

Who Wins With Inflation?

Debtors with real assets.

That class includes homeowners with fixed rate mortgages. Homeowners without mortgages will get a big payout if they sell, but in the mean time there will be mean times.

People who own other hard assets (such as gold) will also benefit, but few people hold gold as a large part of their financial portfolio. A lot of people are over-invested in their houses. Which is fine, because you can't live in gold.

With significant inflation, the denominated value of a real asset (like the sale price of a house) goes up. Wages go up, though usually not as fast as the cost of living. If the loan amount stays the same, it begins to shrink in comparison to the amount of money available to the debtor.

Another big winner is the Treasury, which is the biggest debtor of all.

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1 comment:

innominatus said...

Hey, a little Zimbabwe-style inflation might be fun! It'd be hilarious to FedEx a trillion dollar currency note to China with a note that reads "Thanks for buying all our bonds! Here's repayment! We're all even-steven now!"

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