America’s inflation just hit 8.5% — the highest it’s risen since 1981. At least…that’s what the media, the Biden administration, and the Federal Reserve SAYS. But if you calculate inflation the same way economists and politicians did in the 1980s (which the website ShadowStats has already done), our rate today is closer to 17.15 PERCENT! Carol Roth, financial expert and author of ‘The War On Small Business’ joins Glenn to explain the TRUE state of our current economy…
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Carol Roth, the author of the war on small business. She calls herself a recovering investment banker. She is somebody who is trying to look out for the little guy and can explain what's happening to the little guy in normal terms, which is my biggest frustration, when you watch anything that knows anything about the economy. Carol, welcome.
CAROL: Thanks, Glenn. I have some bad news. I'm sort of processing it right now. But I don't think we're going to save the 16 cents on our Fourth of July barbecue this year. It's sort of becoming very clear to me. And I'm just trying to process it all.
GLENN: Wow. Wow. Believe me, I think that's going to be trending on Twitter, on July 4th, on how much everyone is spending. Let me start here. 8.5 percent.
GLENN: In 1980, the highest -- the highest inflation rate was 14.6. And we had 20 percent mortgage rates. 2022, according to Shadow Stats, which is calculating the way we calculated inflation in 1980, our inflation rate is 17.1 percent. And our -- our mortgage -- I mean, our lending rates are now .5 percent to the banks. That seems a little crazy.
CAROL: Yeah. It seems like a little bit of a mismatch of policy. Obviously, a lot to unpack here. But this is why people are so angry with the Federal Reserve. They have been on the forefront of causing this issue. By artificially suppressing interest rates. And printing trillions of dollars that has in part caused this inflation. And then, you know, they were buying securities putting them on their balance sheet, part of what suppresses interest rates, up until last month. Then all of a sudden, they got the wake-up call. Going, oh, boy. Inflation is pretty high. Even though it's been trending at incredible levels for well over a year. And, you know, now all of a sudden, we have to do something. And they're still not doing it fast enough. But the rub on all of us. It's very hard for them to do anything, without putting us into a recession. So they're caught between a rock and a hard place.
GLENN: Yeah. I remember saying this, kind of at a place where there are no good options, and they're out of bullets.
GLENN: All right. Let's go back to the stats of 8.5 percent. This is so misleading, because they'll say it's the highest in 40 years. Meaning, it was worse under Jimmy Carter. But I contend, it's not worse in the 1970s and '80s. It's worse now by far. Because we're at the beginning of this.
Can you explain shadow stats, and what you understand? Is this incredible, for you to say, let me look, and calculate it the way you used to?
CAROL: Sure. So to be fair, I've looked at shadow status. I have not gone through. It would take lots of modeling power. To go back and replicate it. But basically what they've done, they've said, there have been a lot of shifts here, both in the '80s and '90s, in terms of the way government calculates inflation, and this should be of no surprise to anyone. They want to keep the headline inflation number down. Because it means --
GLENN: Also. Also, though -- also, though -- isn't Social Security increases based on CPI?
CAROL: You just read my mind. This is exactly where I was going with this. No. This is good. We're always simpatico on these things, Glenn. So the reason why they want to keep the headline number down is because it allows them to print more money, it keeps you from panicking. But like you said, there are a lot of things. The numbers of inflation, feed into, like you said, Social Security and other programs that have cost of living adjustments. So this is another way for the government to continue to cheat. So what Shadow Stats has done is they said, well, let's go back to the best approximation we can make of what happened before the '90s boundaries. Before the '80s changes and let's calculate it. And if they look at the rate, it's about double of what is being reported. And you can just look at some of the key categories. Things like rent and hotels and what not. On what they are reporting. And go, yeah. That makes sense you and I can go to the grocery store. We can try to shelter and feed our families. And try to get gas. You understand that it's not just 8.5 percent inflation. So this is trying to give you the apples to apples comparison. And by my estimation, it seems it's in the ballpark.
GLENN: Yeah. Which is 17.1 inflation rate this month. In 1980, it was 14.6. That was the top of it. Are we top of this?
CAROL: Well, that's a great question. Today, we got a number. There are different measures of inflation. The CPI is sort of a consumer survey, one that's used. Today we got something called the producer pricing index. A member of wholesale inflation.
GLENN: So this shows us what may be come our way. Because these are the raw materials it takes to make things that we eventually buy?
CAROL: Yes. This is the inflation and the inputs to the goods and services. And it is a lagging indicator. Because you obviously have to have that inflation number. Know what that is. But they haven't gone into that finished price, that has gone to the consumer. What the consumer is paying as. So this ends up meaning, what we're seeing today, is going to impact, what we're going to see going forward. Obviously, the gas prices are moving around. So it's going to be a different headline versus looking at core inflation, which strips out food and energy prices. But given the fact that at the producer level, today we got a number that is the highest level on record, Glenn. The highest level. 11.2 percent, at the wholesale level. That's 11.2 percent increase, which, again, is probably understated, that is going to flow through goods and services, that we're going to see in the coming months.
GLENN: That's the current -- did they ever change this calculation ever?
CAROL: Of course, they changed the name of the whole index. We're going to have a new name. We're going to brand it. It's going to be great. So, of course, it will change.
GLENN: This is the highest number, even with all the changes. This is the highest number ever recorded?
CAROL: So based on this current index, this is the highest number ever recorded.
GLENN: Holy cow.
CAROL: Yeah. It was staggering. 11.2 percent.
GLENN: Okay. So why is this -- I would think this is a leading indicator. Because if the prices to produce things are more expensive today, at 11 percent more expensive. That means, it's showing me, when it finally gets a finished product, you're going to be paying at least 11 percent more, right?
CAROL: Yeah. We're saying the same thing in a different way. What I'm saying, it lags, what shows up in the CPI numbers. You have not seen it yet. Because it hasn't hid it yet. So we're both saying the same thing, with just slightly different words here.
GLENN: Got it.
So what -- what -- what -- what can be done here?
CAROL: You know, it's a really good question. Obviously a lot of people are looking to the Federal Reserve, to get us out of this, with monetary policy. The challenges, I don't think they can do that without causing a recession, and major carnage in the economy. Because at this point, all the things that have led to this -- the monetary policy. The fiscal policy. The disruption. In the supply chain. It's created this systemic supply and balances. Monetary policy can quell our demand. It can make us go, oh, we're not going to get a mortgage because it's at 6 percent. Or we're not going to spend as much at the store. But how does it fix the fact that we have 1.8 jobs available for every worker? How does it fix the fact that we have four to 5 million homes, that are underbuilt at this point in time? How does it fix the fact that we have underinvested in energy, and health care infrastructure.
So it's -- you know, the things that they would have to do to make those changes, there's a huge advertise connect. And as I said, I think it would be really ugly for the economy. So, you know, this could -- it will probably at some point, come down on a headline basis. But that's the growth rate. It does not mean that we won't have elevated inflation. And continued pain for a very long time.
GLENN: Correct. So when we look at things like what's happening over in shanghai. Where they shut everything down. And where is that story? China has stranded 30 million truckers. 30 million truckers in China are now stuck at home.
What is this going to mean? This impact. We felt it last time, that China shut down. But we shut down as well. This time, we're not shutting down. What is that impact going to mean to us?
CAROL: Yeah. Well, obviously it's not a good thing. For the companies that are still depending on China. I think internally, China, it's a huge issue. Because they are a net importer of not only energy, but food. And so what does that mean in terms of the potential for some of those people to have pretty substantial food security or starvation. If they don't get things going again. And certainly as we know, the reverberations about all these decisions around the world, could lead to other issues. Social unrest and what not. And we're all connected. And even though we'll be in a better position. It doesn't mean it won't have real impacts. And as we know, any time something has an impact here in America.
Who feels it? Is it the elite? Is it the wealthy? Is it the well-connected? Of course not. They'll find a way to insulate themselves. It's going to be the average American. It's going to be the Main Street business. It's going to be the back bone of this country and this economy that bears the brunt of this.
GLENN: Back with Carol Roth here in just a second. First, let me tell you about our sponsor this half-hour.
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So there was another story I read today. Global renewable power prices soar on heavy demand. That contract prices for renewables in North America have gone up 28.5 percent, and 27.5 percent in Europe. That's just in the last 12 months.
Gee, why would that be, Carol?
CAROL: Well, this is what's called supply and demand, Glenn.
We have underinvested in all kinds of different economies. It's not just energy. But it's all different kinds of commodity components. Things that are required for decarbonization. And this huge push has led to increased demand. And when you don't have enough supply to meet that demand, what happens, but the prices go up. So you think about something like copper. You know, it's one of the biggest inputs into energy. And so if you're going to have something that is electricity based. You're going to need copper. There are a whole slew of other materials from aluminum and lithium and what not. That are used in these sort of green, friendly products. And again, we have not seen enough investment in order to fulfill these crazy wishes that the folks were pushing decarbonization, wants to fulfill.
GLENN: By the way, you can ask Carol for answers on anything.
You know, I -- I said yesterday, that, you know, I've always felt like I was here to warn what's coming over the horizon. But I also think that it is to empower you. And information is empowering. And to encourage you. And that means, you know, to just keep doing the things that you know are right. Do the next right thing. But also, to give you some answers on some things. So we've put up at GlennBeck.com/questions.
I think that's what it is, right? Is it -- what? Contact. GlennBeck.com/contact. You go there, and you can ask Carol a question, and if she can, she will answer it. Do we have time for one question? Concerning the economy for Carol Roth, we don't feel like we can trust our money to be in big banks. But we also know the dollar stands to lose most of its value. So keeping it in cash is also useless. What is the best course for us to invest and convert our money to, so we'll have something if things change to digital?
CAROL: Okay. So this is the normal caveat. This is not financial advice in legal aspect of it. This is just for your own information and additional research.
Okay. So the first thing I want to make sure is that you take care of your near-term and emergency expenses. Because we do see prices going up. If something goes sideways, you do want to make sure you have enough cash on hand, to be able to handle that. But outside of that, you don't want your cash sitting in the bank, because it's going to lose value. You have to be looking at hard assets. Some of the things to consider is housing. Now, obviously, as we know, the fed is increasing those mortgage rates. So that is going to have some impact on housing in the near-term. But in the long-term, we're underbuilt, four to five plus million homes, depending on who you last from the last decade. Plus, given the prices and what's happened over the last couple of years. We haven't seen that same bump in building. So I think that imbalance is something you want to be thinking about.
Also, having some exposure to tangible commodities. To gold. To silver. To, you know, investments in other commodities. Again, we've seen run-up in those. But if you're thinking as a long-term hedge, against inflation. It's something for you to consider.
GLENN: Please don't. This is just my opinion. Please stay away from paper stuff.
CAROL: Correct. This is physical -- especially on the gold and silver standpoint, you want to actually have the physical gold, yes. Exactly.
And then on the stong side, obviously with the Federal Reserve raising rates. There's going to be some choppiness. Some volatility in the market. If you're not 50, the S&P 500 gives you that broad diversification. If you're looking to pick stocks, you'll look for ones with inelastic demand. That means they're able to raise their prices to customers, and customers will continue to pay that. You're going to want to look at ones with strong balance sheets that can weather whatever is ahead. And probably ones with extra cash to do share buybacks. That is going to help with the earnings per share.
GLENN: Thirty seconds. Give me the last one.
CAROL: Yes. In terms of the central bank currency, that will come down potentially to bartering. If things go sideways. Think of things that will be a valuable barter commodity as well.
GLENN: If that happens, just hold on -- just brace for impact. If that happens. We have a whole bunch of problems. Carol, thank you so much.
CAROL: God bless. Thank you for having me.
GLENN: It's GlennBeck.com/contact. We'll have Carol back to answer some more of those questions.