INFLATION HURTS EVERYONE

While Canada has stopped bond refunding already everyone else is still more or less tapering to some extent. Inflation has increased considerably which disproportion ally hurts the lower classes.

Some places like the UK are raising taxes to handle budget requirements. £1,200, has been suggested due to soaring energy prices. The problem is that many cannot afford to spend what they do not have. Real wages have fallen due to inflation which makes it all the more difficult. LNG takers are moving to increase the supply of natural gas in the EU to help bring down prices. A fleet of 10-15 vessels are known to be enroute and possible more vessels will arrive over time. Russian exporter Gazprom PJSC has fewer requests from buyers, which is why it is currently not using the Yamal-Europe link for German supplies.

In Canada inflation is expected to cool as the economy continues to grow. Some concern with older people who have lines of credit on their homes and their ability to keep ahead of the debt. A home equity line of credit is a much less expensive option than a reverse mortgage but is still susceptible to rising interest rates. 

The US is expected to halt asset purchases and move to a rate hike perhaps in mid 2022. Some speculate the fed will raise rates more than a token amount. The reason is that low rates have outlived their purpose. The level of debt in America suggests higher rates may lead to some insolvencies. Many states are raising their minimum wage but many corporations are raising wages to attract workers and to retain existing ones. The $15 per hour campaign has been struggling for years to get results.

India has seen brutal inflation with food now double what it was a year ago. With the economy struggling many have lost their jobs and hardships are becoming troublesome. The rupee is now the worst performing currency in Asia. The currency declined 2.2% this quarter as global funds pulled $4 billion of capital out of the country’s stock market, the most among regional markets where data is available. India also has a brutal trade deficit.

China has been developing a digital version of the yuan. At present the economy in China is already using mobile payments for almost everything. Nobody uses cash unlike the US. The problem is that the government wants to diversify the payment processing. Bank cards and credit cards are still not widely seen in China as there are not many independent banks. Apple Pay is accepted by many vendors. The Ant Group AliPay has recently revamped their service so that it can be pay with a credit card which will benefit tourists as well as allow then to enter into new markets.

Reducing debt is the wisest course of action. The reason is that with less debt the rising rates have less impact. Last summer many Americans refinanced their mortgages at lower rates. Refinancing has slowed in recent months as rates have edged higher. The average American owes some $8000 in credit card debt which is much higher than it should be.