Just What is Inflation?



(gloomily). It’s too much for one man. (Pause. Cheerfully.) On the other hand what’s the good of losing heart now, that’s what I say. We should have thought of it a million years ago, in the nineties.



                                        – Waiting for Godot (Samuel Beckett, 1949)

Vladimir is one of the protagonists in Beckett’s absurdist classic Waiting for Godot, the tale of two men who are simply waiting for the arrival of Godot.  We never see Godot, but we know that he’s expected and it’s precisely this play that reminds me of the ongoing debate of whether global monetary policies – the Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, the European Central Bank – will foster the inflationary environment that’s been predicted; an environment feared by some and hoped for by others.  But just as the audience wonders about Godot – who he is and what he looks like – so there are some who wonder likewise about inflation.  Just what is inflation and what is the cause?  Likewise, what is this deflation that’s so greatly feared by the central banks?





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