From Gonzalo Lira
Recently, there has been a raging discussion about the fate of the U.S. currency, and therefore the fate of the U.S. economy, during this Global Depression.
There are essentially three camps: The Deflationists, who think the US economy will putter along like Japan has done since 1990. The Inflationists, who think Ben Bernanke will succeed in slowly inflating away the massive Federal government debt. And the Hyperinflationists, who think that the US economy will spiral out of control and crash.
Mish Shedlock, a prominent financial blogger, is a Deflationist. Mr. Shedlock appeared the week before last on Michael Hampton's Global Edge Radio. Michael early in the show had made reference to a longish post I wrote, laying out the conditions whereby hyperinflation might appear in the United States, following a run on Treasury bonds.
At minute 20 or so, Shedlock—without any provocation by Michael—went off the rails against me and my arguments, claiming I was "inane" and that my arguments were "too stupid to respond to". It was quite a rant, actually.
I have since then expanded on my ideas that Treasury bonds are in a bubble, fleshing out my thesis that, if there is a run on Treasuries, the cash might flow to commodities, and thereby trigger hyperinflation. I have also appeared on Michael Hampton's podcast, to respond to Shedlock's arguments, though without personalizing this, or making it about Shedlock. Or in fact, even mentioning Mr. Shedlock.
Today, however, I woke up and read in Mr. Shedlock's blog how I am a "flat-earther" for claiming that hyperinflation might happen. He goes on for quite the long rant, about me and my ideas.
Mr. Shedlock, however, does two things in today's rant: Number one, he selectively quotes me, so as to make me sound like a fool. And two, he doesn't lay out my arguments concerning the weakness in the Treasury bond market, and how that might trigger a run up in commodity prices, and therefore hyperinflation. He clips my arguments so that I sound as if I were saying that one day—out of the blue—hyperinflation will come, the sky will fall, and the Mayan prophecy of the end of the world in 2012 will come to pass—save yourselves!
So of course, Mr. Shedlock has set up a straw man argument, which he promptly demolishes, and thereby makes himself look like a superhero—at my expense. He also quotes other people—whom I am not affiliated with and don't even know—and allows his readers to infer that I fully agree with them, and that I am part of some conspiracist, gold-bug cabal.
I have—privately—offered to debate Mr. Shedlock in a public forum. He hasn't responded. That is his prerogative.
However, now, he is publicly attacking me on his blog. He is distorting my views, so as to come off the better for it—while deliberately distorting my views so that I come off looking silly, naive and ignorant.
Compare this treatment I received from Mr. Shedlock, with the treatment I gave him and his ideas, when I wrote about them in this long piece on Treasury bonds: I was courteous towards Mr. Shedlock and his work, but I respectfully disagreed with him. I quoted him accurately, so as to fully show my readers his thinking, and thereby contrast it with my own. But at no point was I dismissive of his ideas—on the contrary, I took them seriously.
And nowhere was I dismissive or belittling of him personally, in any way, shape, or form.
Mr. Shedlock, however, seems to think that courtesy, honesty and accuracy are lesser values. And he seems to have no trouble beating up on me and my ideas—but only when I am not around to defend them or myself.
Therefore, I would like to take the opportunity here on Zero Hedge to formally, publicly ask Mr. Shedlock to debate these issues with me, on Michael Hampton's program, whenever it is convenient for Mr. Shedlock. Michael has already agreed to do such a show.
This is a public calling out of Mr. Shedlock: If he is so confident in his views, he shouldn't be afraid to have a debate.
If he fails to meet this challenge, then maybe he is not so confident in his ideas—maybe he realizes he is wrong. Maybe he is afraid that I am right.
Or—maybe—he's just a coward.