Any interview that starts off with John Williams saying "Eventually it is going to be a hyperinflationary great depression" is sure to be controversial. While not necessarily news to those who subscribe to the Shadowstats.com editor's newsletter, sometime we wish that Blackhawk Ben was among them, because despite his 100% confidence that rates will never do the kind of move that they exhibited in the past two days, they, well, did. To quote Williamss, who actually keeps track of the US economy as if it were a GAAP audited corporation: "The annual deficit is running $4-5 trillion a year, that includes the Y/Y change in the NPV of unfunded liabilities... There is no political will to deal with this." The catalyst is well-known: "When you see panic selling of the US dollar, that's when you have to be really careful. But what's already been done with the dollar has spiked oil prices, and other commodity prices." On the question of why Bernanke would not be able to pull off what Volcker did in the early 1980s, Williams' explanation for why this time it is different, mostly focuses on the size of the US trade and budget deficits, which are not even remotely comparable on both an absolute and relative basis. Most specifically what consumers should do in the post-apocalypse world, Williams is not too optimistic. Ironically, he notes that Zimbabwe in its hyperinflation may have been lucky in that it had the dollar to fall back on in the black market, and now every market. However the US does not have that facility, and this "will get very difficult when food starts disappearing from shelves." Having goods for storage and barter would be critical. However, there may be a snag...
It appears that Mountain House, which is one of the better purveyors of freeze dried food and holds over 30 servings and last for 20 years because they are packed with nitrogen rather than oxygen, is now sold out of all #10 cans -link.
And for those who go to NitroPak, which sells these products, they have the following message:
***CURRENT INVENTORY UPDATE*** There is currently EXTREMELY high demand for all of our Mountain House foods nationwide due to current economic uncertainty and inflation fears. With this increase in demand, our food order processing times have increased also. As Mountain House’s leading distributor, we are receiving huge shipments weekly to fill our customer orders. We are shipping as quickly as we can. Your charge card will not be charged-up until we are ready to process your order. Thank you for your understanding and patience! Harry R Weyandt President
It appears that the battle lines have already been drawn, and the cheap optionality is gradually being eliminated. At this point the best the world can do is hope that Williams is wrong.
Full BNN interview with John Williams (after the jump):