We see the deflation. Demand sagged. The price of fuel followed. At one point the price of oil was below zero.
Customers are not going to the mall, not trying on clothes they really did not need, not buying them.
Customers don't need power lunches or neck-ties or $500 wing-tip shoes. Kids don't need soccer togs or new swim-suits.
The entire pipeline between Big-box, America and China was full. It drained into a market with no customers.
Retailers are screwed. They need cash to make payments. They have inventory. "Make me an offer"
Companies going bankrupt will put assets up at fire-sale prices. Want to buy a car or a Boeing 747? The next six months will be the time.
Hyper-inflation is a harder call.
What happens when you give everybody $1200 a month and a substantial portion of the population is not producing anything? More dollars, fewer goods and services to purchase.
The other factor is the nose-dive in productivity associated with the new protocols.
Big-box, America is no longer open 24/7. And mom decided to stay home to home-school Buffy and Jody.
Politicians can "not print money" as easily as you can "not slap a mosquito that is biting you".
Mrs ERJ and I
Mrs ERJ and I are having on-going discussions about the "best" way to spend stimulous money.
Mrs ERJ has a very tender heart. She knows many families who are barely getting by in the best of times. Her thinking is "We are doing OK. We could give it to KD or KC or MSDS or....."
My thinking is a little bit different. This money was conjured up out of thin air. It is a loan we took out that our grandchildren will have to pay for.
Debt falls into two categories, in my mind.
There is good debt. That is the debt you take on to start a business, buy a house or buy a reliable vehicle so you don't get fired. Those are debts that will presumably increase your wealth and create assets that will last longer than the loan payments.
Then there is the other kind of debt. That is the trip to Aruba you put on the credit card or the game system that your kid "had to have" but will be obsolete in six months.
My thinking is that there are hard-working roofers and furnace men and plumbers and the like who would be happy to take that stimulus money and make our castle cheaper to run and more comfortable for us.