Inflation in Samadhi?

Generalissimo Francisco Franco may still be hanging on in his fight to remain dead in Spain, but in India some apparently do things a bit differently. The family and followers of one of India’s wealthiest Hindu spiritual leaders are fighting a protracted legal battle over whether he is dead or simply in a deep state of meditation.

His Holiness Shri Ashutosh Maharaj, the founder of the Divya Jyoti Jagrati Sansthan religious order, with a property estate said to be worth a fortune, died of a heart attack in January, according to his wife and son. However, the disciples at his ashram have refused to let the family take his body for cremation because they claim he is still alive, alleging that he remains in a deep Samadhi (meditative state). Meanwhile, his followers have put the body into a commercial freezer at the ashram for safe-keeping until he “awakens.”

Local police initially confirmed his death, but the area High Court dismissed the police report, asserting that the determination of the guru’s death was a spiritual matter and that the his followers could not be forced to believe he is dead. The wife and son have since filed a court application calling for an investigation into his death and for his body to be released for cremation.

Since more than a few pundits have been calling for significant inflation for a number of years now (with more than a few having offered projections of hyper-inflation) without it having turned up so far, I wonder if perhaps inflation has been alive (in not well) during that period and just meditating in a freezer somewhere. It certainly appears to have been a religious (or at least ideological) matter for many.

To be fair, the behavior of U.S. inflation during the financial crisis has indeed been “deeply puzzling,” as noted by Christina and David Romer, co-directors of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Monetary Economics Program in a report earlier this year. “We remain far from having a full understanding of the recent behavior of inflation.” Moreover, predictions of inflation will eventually come to pass.

Still, it makes me wonder….

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Lessons from “Trader Vic”

If you have been payhyperinflationing attention, you’ve heard this general narrative for a number of years now —

  • hyperinflation is “a statistical inevitability”
  • “It’s going to happen for sure”
  • We face “a dire scenario”
  • CPI is “a bogus number”
  • The current system is “unsustainable”
  • “There’s no way out”

We’re supposed to be headed off a cliff any day now.  But some version of this pitch has been on offer from a variety of sources since at least 2005 despite reams of contrary data.  Why is that?

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