"...Fresh on the heels of his victory in May, the then President-elect [Juan Carlos] announced that one of his first orders would be to regulate prices for staple food products.
He followed through on his promise, establishing price controls on certain brands of roughly two dozen items like chicken, rice, eggs, and bread.
And within a matter of weeks, many grocery store shelves are already empty, at least for the regulated items.
...the price of basic foods rose 4.1% from April 2013 to April 2014.
Over the last five years, food prices have risen more than 24%.
And when average wages are little more than a few hundred dollars a month, a 24% increase in food prices really hurts.
...Panama ...is dollarized.
...Panama has never issued its own currency.
Locals and foreigners alike pay US dollars for goods and services across Panama just as you would in Houston, Jacksonville, or Las Vegas.
This means that the country is subject to all the whims and consequences of US monetary policy; when the Fed conjures money out of thin air, the negative effects are quickly exported to Panama.
...Of the jobs that the Fed claims they have created by printing $3.7 trillion over the last few years, zero of those have ended up in Panama.
...So to get a true sense of US dollar inflation… and where it’s headed in the Land of the Free… one only need look at dollarized countries like Panama."