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September 01, 2020 10:18am
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The inflation red herring

Rising inflation fears are all over the headlines. From a top-down perspective, inflation pressures are clearly rising.

The Transcript, which monitors earnings calls, documented companies reporting rising inflationary pressures from supply chain bottlenecks and commodity price strength, which have the potential to create margin squeezes.“…the inflationary pressures, particularly surrounding some of our key commodities, looks like it is going to be more of a headwind in ’22” – Coca-Cola (KO) CFO John Murphy
“…we’re watching and seeing SG&A inflation in different parts of the world and in different parts of the business, ranging from wage inflation in selective geographies. You’ve got global logistics inflation. You’ve got commodity inflation.” – Genuine Parts (GPC) President William Stengel
“In the first quarter, global semiconductors and resin shortages amplified existing supply constraints, and thus impacted our product availability. Further, we are faced with rapidly rising inflationary pressures, primarily in steel and resins. To address these issues, we swift the responses with the necessary actions to protect margins and product availability. We announced significant cost based price increase in various countries across the globe ranging from 5% to 12%” – Whirlpool (WHR) CEO Marc Bitzer
BoA also documented a surge in the mentions of "inflation" on their earnings calls.

Instead, I would argue that the inflation threat to equity prices is a red herring. Tax policy poses a stronger threat.

The full post can be found here.
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