The Specter of Inflation

From Annie Lowrey’s excellent profile of Ron Paul’s monetary economics:

When I asked Paul about this, he maintained the Fed has set us up for a currency crisis down the road. “It won’t be as bad as Zimbabwe,” he says. “But perhaps something like 1979 or 1980.” He noted that geopolitical events often kick of economic ones. “The revolutions in the Middle East, that could end up being the precipitating event,” he said. “Tunisia, Egypt—they may well tumble.”

From David Leonhardt:

Even better than look at current core inflation, nowadays we can look at the TIPS spread and measure market expectations of inflation over the next ten years:

The market thinks Paul is really wrong. Lowrey quotes him complaining that the Fed “sticks it to the people who want to save and make money. It is so unfair.” But there’s nothing stopping Paul or any other inflation-averse savers from investing in inflation protected securities (TIPS) that pay a guaranteed interest rate over and above the inflation rate. Indeed, if Paul’s right he and his followers will be able to make a killing in this market.