A sharp rise in inflation would be terrible news for the stock market and a catastophe for bondholders. But not everyone is afraid.
In fact, a select few mutual fund investors are positively cheering for it. They were heartened by Ben Bernanke's comments this week suggesting the rate remains "elevated," and by the inflationary news on unit labor costs.
They want more. Frankly, these perverse souls would love to see soaring prices and runaway interest rates. Memories of Jimmy Carter and double-digit inflation make them misty-eyed with nostalgia. They probably like to watch That '70s Show and listen to to old Bee Gees LPs.
Who are these characters?Easy. Anyone who has a chunk of money in the (RYJUX) Rydex Inverse Government Long Bond Fund (RYJUX) -- or one of its equivalents. These fancy-footed mutual funds use derivatives to bet against the government bond market. Their value rises and falls with long-term interest rates. And long-term interest rates rise and fall with inflation expectations. These have been good places to be for the past couple of weeks. The Rydex fund, which used to be called Juno, is up 5.5% over the past month. (RRPIX) ProFunds' Rising Rates Opportunity (RRPIX) is up a little more, at 6.2%. This younger and slightly smaller fund offers more kick. It still effectively tracks the yield on 30-year government bonds but promises 125% of the inverse performance, rather than just 100%. To watch Brett Arends video take of this column,