Inflation & Corporate Profits

… price gouging isn’t just for medical care anymore. Thus my decision to ignore Hussman and maintain my 95% stock allocation.

Companies use inflation to hike prices and generate huge profits, report says…

Some of the nation’s largest retailers have been using soaring inflation rates as an excuse to raise prices and rake in billions of dollars in additional profit, a corporate watchdog group charged on Friday.

Companies such as CVS Health, Kroger and T.J. Maxx parent company TJX appear to have raised their prices unnecessarily in 2020 and 2021 at a time when Americans were dealing with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, Accountable.US said in a new report. Instead of keeping prices stable for struggling families, corporations have overcharged Americans and prioritized profit, the group claims.

Accountable.US said it examined the financial statements of the nation’s top 10 retailers over the past two years — including Lowe’s and Target — and found that they collectively increased their profits by $24.6 million for a grand total of $99 billion.



Doesn’t surprise me at all. The constant media hysteria about “shortage” and “inflation” can provide excuses for a lot of gouging.

Passing time looking at Audi Q3s a week ago, I noticed one dealer that had one on offer. The dealer’s web site shows the “msrp” at $45,100, with the note “dealer sets actual price”. What is the “actual price” the dealer wants? He has it listed on Autotrader, at $69,870. The local news ran a piece last week about the cars bringing the most over sticker in metro Detroit: the dealers were gouging $8-$10,000 above sticker for them.

When the media moves on from “shortage” and “inflation” to some other hysteria, the price gougers are going to have a lot of trouble with their y/y comps.

But then the media may not move on. They have been on their daily “severe weather” hysteria thing for several years now. The forecast for yesterday was 2" or less of snow, but to hear the local “news”, it sounded like the end of the world.

But you never hear a “JC” leverage “shortage” or “inflation” in offering wage increases with enthusiasm equal to that applied to price increases. I have commented before at the number of restaurant and bar owners, crying a river for the TV cameras, that they have to close their business because “no-one wants to work”.