Rabo researchers lament ‘suffocating inflation’
Rabobank researchers regret coining term ‘grabbing inflation’ In a recent study, researchers sought to determine whether firms use high inflation to boost profits. The term ‘Graaiflation’ was also used. Researcher Hugo Ergen regrets it later, he tells FD.
Ergon says the choice is correct for ‘recognition’ in the debate in the newspaper. “But there is a moral judgment hidden in it, and it stirs the emotions.” A neutral term like ‘profit inflation’ could have been used, says FD journalist Marijn Jangsma, author of the story. “But nobody knows what you’re talking about.”
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In retrospect, researchers regret the moral judgment that companies ‘catch up’. ‘Everyone ran away with that statement, even though they didn’t actually say there was ‘crap inflation’,” explains Jongsma. “They say there are strong indications, but they’re not sure. That statement has taken on a life of its own.’
Trade unions in particular have used the term enthusiastically. ‘It helped because the unions wanted to screen out reports they didn’t make themselves. It comes from an unexpected angle, you could almost say,’ says Jongsma. However, he thinks the debate on inflation would have erupted even without the Rabobank report. ‘Like many things, it has already blown out of America.’
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