business news in context, analysis with attitude

Within five minutes yesterday, I got two emails from MNB readers … one asking me if'd seen anything interesting about inflation that I planned to share with the MNB community … and the second sharing with me a column in The Guardian by Robert Reich, the former US Secretary of Labor and current professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley.

Reich writes, "A major reason for price rises is supply bottlenecks, as Jerome Powell, chair of the Federal Reserve, has pointed out. He believes they’re temporary, and he’s probably right.

"But there’s a deeper structural reason for inflation, one that appears to be growing worse: the economic concentration of the American economy in the hands of a relative few corporate giants with the power to raise prices.

"If markets were competitive, companies would keep their prices down in order to prevent competitors from grabbing away customers."

It is a provocative point of view … one that won't be shared by everyone, I suspect, but worth reading here.