Transitory Word Games From The Bank Of Canada

Who do they think they’re fooling?

Given a long enough timescale, everything is ‘transitory.’

After all, nothing lasts forever.

The Earth is transitory.

The Moon is transitory.

The Sun is transitory.

Every star we see in the night sky is transitory.

And on and on.

Yet, since those ‘transitory’ things last for such an immense amount of time – especially when compared to a human lifespan – we don’t use the word transitory to refer to them.

Rather, we use the word transitory to talk about things that are short-term and temporary by our standards.

If someone says you are going to take a ‘transitory’ pay cut, you wouldn’t expect that to mean a pay cut lasting years and years.

Words have a real impact, and that impact is based on whether the words are used to accurately describe reality, or to deceive.

And that bring us to the Bank of Canada, and BOC Governor Tiff Macklem’s talk of ‘transitory’ inflation.

When Macklem started to discuss the rise in inflation, he said it was ‘transitory,’ and the BOC evinced little concern.

Macklem continued to use the ‘transitory’ term, as did the Bank of Canada.

Many people understandably saw this as the Bank of Canada saying inflation would be a short-term phenomena, quickly returning to normal.

And why wouldn’t people think that?

After all, here’s how the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines the word ‘Transitory.’

“transitory adjective

/ˈtrænzətri/

/ˈtrænzətɔːri/

(formal)

continuing for only a short time

SYNONYM fleeting, temporary

the transitory nature of his happiness

“These feelings of resentment tend to be transitory.”

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘Transitory‘ this way:

“of brief duration : TEMPORARY the transitory nature of earthly joy

2: tending to pass away : not persistent”

Here are the synonyms:

“brief, deciduous, ephemeral, evanescent, flash, fleeting, fugacious, fugitive, impermanent, momentary, passing, short-lived, temporary, transient”

I want you to especially note that ‘short-lived’ is a synonym for ‘transitory,’ because it makes the recent comments by Tiff Macklem all the more interesting:

The full interview is here:

Word games

Why is Macklem playing these word games?

‘Short-lived’ is basically another way to say ‘Transitory,’ and vice-versa, so Macklem is essentially saying ‘inflation will be short-lived but not short-lived.’

Manipulation

Let’s not talk around the issue here.

Macklem and the Bank of Canada are completely out-of-touch with what Canadians are experiencing on the ground, and have used sneaky and manipulative language to try and downplay inflation.

They want you to ignore what you are seeing in your own life, and instead just take their word for it.

As we know, inflation is certainly far higher than what the government claims – Stats Canada says inflation is 4.4% – and the Bank of Canada has repeatedly tried to convince people not to worry about inflation.

Choosing a word like ‘transitory’ wasn’t just some sort of one-off mistake by Macklem.

He has said it over and over again.

Over and over again, Bank of Canada statements also used the term ‘transitory’ interchangeably with other words that meant ‘short-term’, showing it was a key part of their communication strategy.

Indeed, in their latest statement (October 27, 2021) on interest rate policy, the Bank talked about ‘temporary’ inflation (words bolded for ease of discovery):

“The recent increase in CPI inflation was anticipated in July, but the main forces pushing up prices – higher energy prices and pandemic-related supply bottlenecks – now appear to be stronger and more persistent than expected. Core measures of inflation have also risen, but by less than the CPI. The Bank now expects CPI inflation to be elevated into next year, and ease back to around the 2 percent target by late 2022. The Bank is closely watching inflation expectations and labour costs to ensure that the temporary forces pushing up prices do not become embedded in ongoing inflation.”

When you look at the previous Bank of Canada statement (September 8, 2021), they used the word ‘transitory’ in a similar way as they used word ‘temporary.’

“CPI inflation remains above 3 percent as expected, boosted by base-year effects, gasoline prices, and pandemic-related supply bottlenecks. These factors pushing up inflation are expected to be transitory, but their persistence and magnitude are uncertain and will be monitored closely. Wage increases have been moderate to date, and medium-term inflation expectations remain well-anchored. Core measures of inflation have risen, but by less than the CPI.”

Arrogance

At this point, it is obvious the Bank of Canada wanted Canadians to think inflation was no big deal, and would quickly go away.

They wanted to downplay it.

And they tried to spread that message by using a word that everybody understood to mean ‘short-term,’ only to claim – when it became undeniably obvious that inflation is higher than they claimed and isn’t going away – that ‘transient’ meant ‘wouldn’t last forever.’

Well of course, nothing will last forever, but telling people that means absolutely nothing in the context of inflation, and the Bank of Canada knows that.

It shows a tremendous amount of arrogance by Macklem and the Bank of Canada to think they would fool everybody with such transparent deception, especially when we can all see in our own lives how rapidly prices are going up.

“Transitory but not short-lived” is such a BS weasel way for Macklem to try and act as if the Bank of Canada hasn’t been exposed as being dishonest and wrong about inflation.

It’s the same kind of attitude we see from politicians like Justin Trudeau, who regularly try to trick, deceive, and manipulate the public, and then act as if we are just supposed to ignore it.

The illusion of competence

Just as concerning as the arrogance and attempt to manipulate we see from the Bank of Canada is the level of incompetence on display.

Much of the deception used by the Bank of Canada appears to be an attempt to have people not realize that they have no real grasp of the economy.

They spent months and months saying inflation was going away soon, only to now say that’s it’s going to continue for longer than they expect.

That would be an understandable mistake or error from most people, but understanding and managing inflation is literally the job of the Bank of Canada.

If they can’t figure out what’s going on, and if their ‘predictions’ are merely a response to what is already taking place and what is already obvious, then what are they actually doing?

With our institutions increasingly untrustworthy, more and more citizens need to bypass the government to the greatest extent possible, becoming more and more independent, embracing private money, and recognizing that we simply cannot rely upon the state or state institutions to protect our earning power and wealth.

Spencer Fernando

Photo – YouTube

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