Program: Cavuto Coast to Coast
Station: Fox News Channel
DAVID ASMAN: Kingsview Asset Management CIO Scott Martin and former Dallas Fed adviser Danielle DiMartino Booth, Danielle first to you. We are heading into a full blown energy crisis. Can President Biden avoid the blame here?
DANIELLE DIMARTINO BOOTH: I do think the administration can probably get around this particular issue, there is gas in the pipeline, there will be relief. It will take a matter of days. There is a lot of panic buying going on. I’ve heard from from colleagues in Washington, D.C. that people have shown up at gas stations with empty plastic bags to fill up. So they’re hoarding gasoline. But it does appear that the Biden administration could have been a little bit quicker on the draw in terms of responding to this and and broadcasting the message that relief is on the way, regardless of what happens with the pipeline itself. So there was a delay and these types of delays can be very damning, especially in light of the current circumstances we have where where the policies of the Democrats right now, when adjusted for inflation, you actually have massive pressure on wages as well. Again, I know this story has been covered over and over because people are being paid more to stay home than they would be.
ASMAN: But we’re going to talk about that. We’re also going to talk about the inflation numbers, which shocked everybody today. But I want to keep on gas for a second and energy specifically, Scott, because just a year ago before the election, we were we were proud and happy that we were energy independent. Right now, the way they’re solving this problem is by importing fuels. We have to import fuels just to get enough for the gas stations. I mean, what a change in a year, by the way– Scott, what we’re looking at now, that’s that’s something a picture that I took on November 7th just after the election. Twenty twenty. The price of a gallon of gas in New Jersey was two dollars and one cent. Go ahead.
SCOTT MARTIN: Yeah, same here. Chicago is low twos as well, David, and now rocketing up towards four bucks, you’re right. I mean, nothing like giving up some of our national sovereignty as far as energy policy that Trump had instituted, which Biden has obviously rolled back and giving up that sovereignty so that we’re reliant on foreign oil. Again, I’ll tell you, Danielles, right. I mean, the messaging from this administration has really been the problem. I don’t foresee a major energy crisis coming, thank goodness. But look, let’s look what’s happened with the Keystone XL pipeline, other kind of, let’s say, iterations out of the administration against the energy sector. Those have not been good. Now, what’s been interesting, though, David, if you can believe it, is since the election and since the inauguration, one of the best sectors to own in the S&P. Five hundred has been, you guessed it, Energy. We own energy at Kingsview in some of our portfolios. I think that’s the way to combat, along with materials as well, some of this inflation scare that’s circulating throughout the market. And you’re seeing that in the stocks today.
ASMAN: All right. Let’s talk specifically now about inflation, Danielle. Consumer prices jumping four point two percent year over year. That is the biggest annual gain since two thousand eight stocks, of course, went down on the news. I’m just wondering where this ends. Is this just the beginning? Because as we were talking before, that doesn’t even count wage inflation, which clearly is coming as a result of trying to lure people back into those jobs that are waiting for them.
BOOTH: So, you know, I think the real problem here is not necessarily that four point two percent headline, but we had zero point nine percent increase in the core CPI, which the Federal Reserve pays very close attention to. That’s the biggest increase since nineteen eighty two. So again, it’s going to be about messaging. Vice Chair Richard Clarida, what’s on the wires today, saying that he was, quote unquote, surprised by the increase in inflation. We can’t not have the people, the Federal Reserve saying out loud that they’re surprised. We knew that base effects were coming, but the month over month changes in and of themselves are extraordinary and in large part do reflect kind of a confluence, if you will, of all of the supply chain disruption, the shortages that we’ve seen everywhere. In addition to spring break, we saw airlines and hotels, those types of prices go through the roof. That’s because a lot of Americans splurged, went out, got out of the house, hit the road in March, during spring break, because they could. So, you know, again, there needs to be more clarification and certainly not any surprise out of Federal Reserve officials.
ASMAN: Well, and, Scott, the fact is, is that we’re forgetting the main factor here in my mind, which is government spending. I mean, we’re spending trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars. When you do that, you get inflation, right.
MARTIN: To some degree you do, David, I do believe, though, and I agree with Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell in saying that is a transitory type effect fact. I mean, I, I kind of challenge or channel my inner Milton Friedman here by saying inflation over the long term, David, is more of a monetary phenomenon. As Danielle hit on. That’s got to be something that’s more wage related, which, yes, I think is starting to come back. But technology is providing some sort of deflationary environment. Counterintuitive to that. The last thing I’ll say, though, to David, you know, pushing, gosh, what is it now, 30 trillion in national debt. We’ve printed, you know, almost 10 trillion or looking to print 10 trillion. Now in the latest covid relief stuff, if you add it all up correctly, if we are to pay that debt back, David, we’re going to need inflationary dollars to do that. We have to pay back that debt with cheaper dollars. So we actually better hope for some inflation down the road. Just not crazy.
ASMAN: You quoted Mr. Friedman, Danielle. I’m going to quote him, too. He said, Inflation is very simple. It’s too much money chasing too few goods. And right now we have a lot of extra money in the markets because of the Fed buying up those bonds. And we have a lot less goods because we can’t get people back to work.
BOOTH: You know, it’s a terrible combination, and I think that if the administration and if the Democrats don’t understand at this point that too much stimulus money can be a bad thing for the economy, it can produce unintended consequences.
ASMAN: But the president and forgive me, the president doesn’t get it. The president is saying it’s not related, that the the money that we’re spending on keeping people at home is not related to the fact that we have eight point one million unfilled jobs. He said there’s no connection.
BOOTH: Then he’s not connecting the dots. It’s pretty simple map, the average American right now is getting paid seventeen dollars and fifty cents an hour. That’s just what the unemployment benefits don’t trust. I’m not even talking about rental moratorium evictions. Right. Just just look at that. It’s simple math, president by simple math.
ASMAN: All right. Well, we’ll wait and see if he wakes up or the administration wakes up to that simple math. Good to see you both, Danielle. Scott, thanks very much. Back to what?