In various forms and fashions, accounting greatly matters in cultural domains. Economic realms employ professional accountants and other measurers and judges of accuracy (and compliance, responsibility, and virtue), but money meadows are not the only field involving accountability. In financial playgrounds- as in politics, war, romance, and elsewhere- it’s important to carefully evaluate the truth, quality, and implications of accounts and other storytelling.
Despite the ongoing excitement of the European sovereign debt crisis, European banks are not the only ones facing significant challenges. Thus some gloomy bystanders perhaps want to avoid renewed scans of America’s banks in the context of real estate and derivatives.
Sometimes the titanic numbers of billions and trillions mask the crucial importance of what’s going on in the provinces of smaller quantities. US real median household income in 2010 was about $49,400, a 2.3pc slide from 2009. Since 2007, real income has tumbled 6.4pc. It is 7.1pc under the median household income peak in 1999, back to the 1996 level of $49.1m.
According to the US Treasury’s recent TIC statistics (9/16/11), major foreign holders (official and others) of Treasury securities (these include bills, notes, and bonds) held about $4.48 trillion of them in July 2011. This is down slightly from June 2011’s $4.50tr and May’s $4.51tr. They held $4.45tr in January 2011. In sum, they’ve essentially not been net buyers for several months. Even relative to July 2010, they’ve been mediocre net buyers. Foreigners held $4.13tr in July 2010; July 2011 thus represents a meager add-on of only about $353 billion to the year-ago month.
Though money supply data are only one variable relevant to inflation, they have started to hint that the future inflationary picture will be less pretty than ardent Fed professors proclaim. Even in a sluggish or recessionary economy, and even if some deflationary forces at home or overseas are strong, that does not prove that inflation will not increase. And inflation perhaps will float considerably higher than many predict.
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