Monday, 5 September 2011



Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon – per Milton Friedman.

Inflation – being the economic process which erodes only the real value of money and other monetary items (not inflation simply meaning any price increase) – is a sustained rise in the general price level of goods and services inside a national economy or monetary union measured over a period of time. Prices and the values of all economic items are normally expressed in terms of unstable money (the unstable monetary unit of account).

The unstable monetary unit of measure is fixed in nominal value but unstable in real value during inflation, deflation and hyperinflation because it is currently impossible to inflation–adjust the nominal values of physical bank notes and coins.

All non–cash monetary items can be inflation–indexed or deflation–indexed on a daily basis during inflation and deflation. The entire money supply excluding actual bank notes and coins can be inflation–adjusted on a daily basis in terms of a Daily Consumer Price Index or a monetized daily indexed unit of account during inflation. Chile has been inflation–adjusting a portion of the country´s money supply since 1967 by means of the Unidad de Fomento which is now a monetized daily indexed unit of account. According to the Banco Central de Chile 20 to 25% of the broad M3 money supply in Chile is inflation–indexed on a daily basis in terms of the Unidad de Fomento.

Nicolaas Smith

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