Inflation Products and Markets Expert

Michael Ashton is Managing Principal at Enduring Investments LLC, a specialty consulting and investment management boutique that offers focused inflation-market expertise. He may be more

ALL CONTRIBUTIONS

Velocity And Rates And The Vicious Cycle Possibility
Normalization of interest rates implies normalization of velocity, and there’s just no way to get appreciably higher velocity without higher inflation.
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The Limits To Trusting The Robots
After another day on Thursday of stocks starting to look mildly tired – but only mildly – only to rally back to a new closing high, it hardly seems unusual anymore.
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The Mystery Of Why There’s A Mystery
We have an interesting week ahead, at least for an inflation guy. The CPI statistics (released this Friday) are always interesting but with all of the chatter about the “mystery” of inflation, it should draw more than the usual level of attention.
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Gold And TIPS – Related Or Not?
When inflation expectations are high, you’d think you would see gold prices high and vice-versa.
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Targeting Tuition As A Long Run Goal
Last week, S&P Dow Jones Indices announced the launch of the “S&P Target Tuition Inflation Index,” which is designed to reflect inflation of college tuition and fees over long-term periods.
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Money And Credit Growth Update
Money velocity declines when interest rates decline because the demand for real cash balances increases when the opportunity cost of those cash balances is low.
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Comments

Latest Comments
Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy
2 months ago

Wages are rising at 3.3% per annum. Not sure what "higher wages" means here, but that's well above inflation so it would seem they are responding to low unemployment. Indeed, they are responding almost exactly as the Phillips Curve would suggest: www.talkmarkets.com/.../the-phillips-curve-is-working-just-fine-thanks

So I'm not sure what the objection is. Yes, the Fed doesn't understand how this works, and so they'll screw it up almost for certain. I think we agree on that!!!

Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy
2 months ago

No, I am saying that interest rates do not affect wages. They can WANT to clip wages because they fear wage inflation, but wage inflation responds to labor supply, not interest rates. See my recent Phillips Curve column.

Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy
3 months ago

Raising rates will not affect wages.

The Internet Has Not Killed, And Will Not Kill, Inflation
4 months ago

I didn't say it is.

However, M2 has been up steadily at 6%+ per year, which is too high to be consistent with disinflation or deflation. And that money IS on main street.

Can't Blame Trump For Everything
1 year ago

Nowhere close to trillions of dollars of bonds being used as collateral. Most of the derivatives markets trades net - the 500+ figure exaggerates the risk probably by a factor of a thousand at least. Banks are hedged against interest rate increases on their assets anyway. It's changes in their business where they can get hurt. Not to say some won't lose money on bets the Fed was going to go slower, but at least in the US there's essentially zero systemic risk now - not like in 2007.

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Michael Ashton Commented on Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy:

Wages are rising at 3.3% per annum. Not sure what "higher wages" means here, but that's well above inflation so it would seem they are responding to low unemployment. Indeed, they are responding almost ex...

more
Michael Ashton Commented on Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy:

No, I am saying that interest rates do not affect wages. They can WANT to clip wages because they fear wage inflation, but wage inflation responds to labor supply, not interest rates. See my recent Philli...

more
Michael Ashton Commented on Avoiding The Rattlesnakes In Monetary Policy:

Raising rates will not affect wages.

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PERSONAL BLOG

Latest Posts

Work Experience

Managing Principal
Enduring Investments LLC
February 2009 - Present (8 years 11 months)

Enduring Investments is a boutique consulting and investment management company, founded in 2009, offering focused inflation‐market insights and advice. The mission of Enduring Investments is to provide specialized, high value‐added advice, investment products, and research to our clients, focusing on our unique strengths and deep experience in inflation‐linked markets.

Inflation Trading and Product Development
Natixis
December 2005 - February 2009 (3 years 3 months)

I built the inflation derivatives business in the US.

Associate Director
Barclays Capital
January 2001 - August 2004 (3 years 8 months)

Traded gamma options book; in 2003 was put in charge of inflation derivatives book. Traded 1/3 of all US CPI swaps in the interbank market. Wrote a daily commentary and analysis that was distributed to thousands of clients and colleagues globally. Proposed the CPI futures contract to the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and was lead market-maker for the contract.

Vice President
Deutsche Bank
July 1999 - December 2000 (1 year 6 months)

Developed new institutional clients; suggested positions, structures, and spreads to said clientele and executed trades in a range of fixed-income product including futures, Treasuries, agencies, mortgages, and OTC product such as swaps, Treasury options, and swaptions. Wrote a daily commentary and analysis that was distributed to more than 500 clients, traders, and salespeople.

Education

Trinity University
B.A., Economics
1986 / 1990
Minors in Mathematics and Finance Graduated summa cum laude

Publications

What's Wrong With Money? The Biggest Bubble of All
Michael Ashton
Wiley
03/07/2016

"What's Wrong with Money? "explores how money is valued and warning signs that point to its eventual collapse. The author is widely regarded as a premier expert on inflation; in this book, he illustrates how erosion of trust in central banks is putting us at high risk of both near- and long-term inflation--and a potentially very serious disruption. It's not about a conspiracy surrounding inflation reporting; it's about the tentative agreement we all carry that lends money its value. This book walks you through the history of currency and details the ways in which it can fall apart; you'll learn how to invest for lesser and greater inflation outcomes.

An economic system without money is incredibly inefficient, but our shared agreement in monetary value has historically never been enough. "What's Wrong with Money?" shows you the lessons from the past and the reality of the present and helps you make plans for the future of money.

E-piphany
Michael Ashton
Michael Ashton

So, it turns out that writing commentary is somewhat of an addiction. I first began writing market commentary in 1990, when I worked for a company called Technical Data in Boston (it is now part of Thomson Financial). If you know the BondData or MoneyData product – I was writing on those products back then.

I wrote an internal commentary called “Nerd Notes” when I was at JP Morgan; wrote a more-detailed customer-focused commentary called the “U.S. Government Trading Commentary” for Bankers Trust; “Mountains and Molehills” for Deutsche Bank, “Sales and Trading Commentary from the US Interest Rate Derivatives Desk” at Barclays, and then “Inflation Desk Commentary” at Natixis. Sprinkled in between were various private letters: “Speculator’s Diary” and “Ashton Analytics Daily Commentary.”