Since the plandemic came along, I’ve being making regular stop-offs at a variety of supermarkets to ensure my fridge is stocked up. While Denmark seems to wander around in a state of blissful unawareness, there have been many first-hand reports from personal UK sources as to supermarket fights and empty shelves of certain items. Be prepared. Not anything ridiculous, but food prices are unlikely to fall and conversely, quite likely to rise, or suffer supply disruptions. May as well keep stocks high, eh? There’s also enough history that inflation and shortages are a very realistic concept that can affect supposed first world countries as much as somewhere like Zimbabwe. Look at this classic picture from 1923 Germany, when the real value of banknotes was as firewood.
I actually vaguely remember 1970s inflation in the UK. As an adult, the stats tell me inflation rose 30% in 1978 alone. I have memories of going to the supermarket around then and finding things like Tudor crisps had gone from 5p to 6p a packet, then a few weeks later, 7p. Warlord, the fantastic World War 2 comic of my childhood, saw similar rises until, shock horror, it entered double figures and hit 10p around 1980. Many seem to have suffered collective memory loss as to how bad the 1970s really were – while too young to remember the 90% FTSE fall of 1974, I most certainly remember only being able to have warm food at certain times of the day – households were allocated only a few hours of electricity time to cook meals, and I definitely remember one time all garages were closed, no petrol to be found anywhere. Is it too much of a stretch to link at least some of this economic hardship with EU membership starting in 1973? Project fear was not a new 2016 referendum concept, the excellent Peter Shore identified the same phenomenon back in 1975.
The clues are there already, if you look. Gold ,the historically-proven protection against any economic crisis continues to rise. Other weird things happened, like the price of oil turned negative for the first time ever in history, as demand collapsed and producers are forced to pay to have their product taken away, with storage running out. That the Rockefellers and the Saudis put in place their plans to exit the oil market in recent years can be no coincidence. Many people probably hold shares in their offloaded duffers in their pension portfolios without even realising how much they lost on this. One other major thing occurred that didn’t even get much coverage – the US dropped the fractional reserve lending requirement to ZERO. Never seen before, but now if the bank grants you a loan, they can just press a button and create it out of thin air, with no requirement on them to actually have any money in their account to back it up, not even 1% of the loan amount. The banks are going to do well out of this crisis. It’s a 2009-style bailout, played in a different way. So subtle no-one has even noticed, but they are lending out created money to businesses at good rates, knowing the government has underwritten most, if not all, of the risk. To hammer this home the obnoxious Ed Milliband is shouting for the government, ie taxpayers, to take on 100% of the risk. You couldn’t make it up, talk about socialising the losses! This free money to lend is then secured against real assets, some of which the banks know they will help themselves to when businesses and individuals fail. I said in a prior post, a bank might fail – and it might, but the key banking players will do well out of all this.
Then finally, I went to Netto on Monday lunchtime. Just a regular walking trip, but it was immediately striking how prices had gone up. Bananas – were 2kr, now 2.5kr, Milk – was 8,95, now 9,45, Cucumbers – was 6kr, now 7kr. I sense they were busy at the weekend upping the price tags. It may sound minor but that equates to up to a 25% inflationary increase in a single weekend. Hmm, thought I, must check Fakta back home later. It was identical – Milk – was 8,95, now 9,45, Cucumbers – was 6kr, now 7kr, except Fakta also had a sign up saying something like “Due to to supply issues from Spain, certain fruit and vegetable stocks may run out”. The cracks are starting to appear. I looked around the store, everyone else seemed to be carrying on as normal. Then took another bag of new potatoes – was 10kr, now 12kr, then strolled up to the frozen section and took several bags of frozen veg to fill up the freezer. Can’t be too careful!
As a footnote to those supermarket trips, I visited Fakta again the following day. There were massive gaps in the bread section, no chicken at all and hardly any milk – a shocking thing for Denmark where people live on the stuff. I may even visit tonight – after all one of my favourite ales is on offer for 6kr a can and if it comes to it, good beer has plenty of vitamin content to keep you going for a while.
Despite all this though, I still wonder if massive deflation comes first, as people stop spending and are forced to sell assets like excess cars and houses to stay afloat and repay debt. It may seem good to be on 75% pay for 0% work, but such a situation can’t last forever and one day, when the music stops, people may find their old job doesn’t exist any more. Food prices may rise, but possible deflation in other commodities, such as houses, cars and computers would offset the official figures, at least for a while. Deflation would be a great thing if it was allowed to happen – cheaper prices are the best thing for most common people. The inflation part comes later, just like it did in Germany 1921-23. The same thing happened in 1929-32, massive deflation until they decreed a new USD/Gold ratio after forcibly confiscating as much as possible of it from the public, so history again tells us how things might go. Nowadays we are even further removed from those two periods of history – gold and silver don’t even figure in peoples heads as money any more and in this digital currency world we now live in, what are we going to do when we can’t even use it as an emergency firewood backup?