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Jewish World Review
Bookmark These: Web sites to explain the mysteries of inflation
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT)
Inflation is a worry for economists and policymakers, not to mention average Janes trying to meet the household bills. These sites explain the phenomenon, and even tell how it shapes the universe.
Inflation, deflation. The chart on this page at InflationData.com gives an easy look at how inflation has been running, month-by-month, for recent years. The economy actually experienced deflation in nine months of 2009. Where it goes this year is anyone's guess.
Inflation hedging. This U.S. News & World Report article, posted at Yahoo Finance, describes three investments often regarded as hedges against inflation: real estate, gold and Treasury inflation-protected securities, or TIPS. Each has its problems and there aren't guarantees. TIPS, for example, are bonds tied to the Consumer Price Index as a measure of inflation. But, the article notes, under certain conditions changes in the CPI won't cover sinking bond values.
The next CPI report, with inflation numbers for February, is due March 18. Get it first here at the site of the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Inflation targeting. Is a bit of inflation a good thing for the economy? Could be. Some economists, including Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, think it's a healthy idea for central banks to announce a preferred inflation rate and then tinker with interest rates and other monetary policies to hit the "target" rate. So far, the United States hasn't indulged in inflation targeting. Here's an article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis that frames the debate on inflation targeting.
Inflation theory. Inflation isn't just for money. At NASA, this page explains an inflation theory that cosmologists use to explain puzzles in the Big Bang theory. Essentially, inflation theory says the universe expanded at a huge rate in its first moments of existence. But, this is not what is meant by getting a big bang for your buck.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
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