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Your Grandparents Are Selfish

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Your grandparents are selfish

An inflation/recession signal everyone can understand: McDonald’s has put the price of its cheeseburger up, for the first time in 14 years, from 99p to 119p.

That is (checks calculator) a rise of 20.2%. That’s at least double inflation.

We didn’t know things were this bad.

Amongst the professionals, and the hacks who pretend to be, the economic debate has been framed around this: what is worse – inflation, or recession?

Those on the right, who you suspect have significant savings, think inflation the greater evil.

In the FT today former Fed official Claudia Sahm takes the opposite view. “A lost pay cheque or even lost hours would far exceed the extra monthly costs due to inflation,” she says.

So, as long as we stay employed, we should be basically ok.

We wondered what ordinary folk thought about this.

Our Find Out Now poll this week found that four times more people worry about inflation than they do a recession.

This could be because inflation is in the news a lot and not many people are sure what a recession is, really (two quarters of consecutive negative growth).

We also asked people what they thought interest rates should be (they are 1.25% at the moment).

Broadly speaking, the older you are the higher you think interest rates should be. That’s not surprising, but does rather make old folk look a bit selfish.

The point of the low rates, grandad, is so your kids and grandkids can get a house.

None of the economic commentary we read puts things in that sort of context.

The stuff that plops into my inbox or into newspapers is nearly all inside-baseball stuff. It is by members of the club for other members of the club.

Lots of it is excellent, but it does tend to be similar.

Be good to see the experts write about these important things more accessibly.

You can see the full poll results below.

Press release of the day

85% of London law firms are recruiting says this from Robert Walters. The small print is where it gets interesting. Tax and real estate lawyers are in demand – banking lawyers are not.

There is a real City slowdown coming I think, perhaps even for lawyers.

Stories that will keep rolling

1) How is the market reacting to the Fed’s move last night?

2) How are the bad debts looking at Barclays?

3) How is BT getting on with the government lately?

4) What is M&B’s forecast for the top price of a pint of beer?

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