“This brings me to one of the huge or mega-trends which will affect us all this year. This mega-trend is that things are getting more expensive for poor people, while things are getting cheaper for richer people. Or, more accurately, the things that poor people spend relatively more of their income on are getting expensive, while things that rich people spend relatively more of their income on are getting cheaper. There is deflation for the rich and inflation for the poor and this is an extremely worrying development.
…I think about very rich people in Ireland who are already wealthy and have preserved this wealth in the downturn. For them the deflation, in very expensive houses for example, is an opportunity. It means that they can buy these assets right now, if they want to, for a song.They can also buy all sorts of upmarket, leisure gadgets much more cheaply relative to what they were years ago because Chinese competition is keeping the price of these things low and pushing them lower. So the ‘leisured’ class — the already wealthy — are seeing a fall in the price of goods which they spend relatively a lot of their cash on, while the poor are seeing a rise in the price of the goods that they spend relatively more on.”