Gingrich Tries To Grab Some Votes

It has turned out that Ron Paul's critique of the Federal Reserve has caught on. Polls have revealed that voters (especially Republican voters) are actually partial to the idea of going back to a gold standard. This was revealed in a Rasmussen poll in early January, which characterized the gold standard debate as a 'sleeper issue' that 'could tip the scales of the race'.

 

„Phone interviews with 501 likely caucus-goers were conducted in Iowa in mid-November. The potential respondent was screened to ensure a. registration to vote in Iowa b. registration as a Republican and c. self-described as “definitely” or “probably” going to participate in the caucuses to select the Republican nominee for president. The survey has an overall margin of error of 4.4 points at the 95 percent confidence interval.

“A majority (57 percent) of those surveyed are favorable to the United States returning to a gold standard and over one-quarter is ‘very’ favorable to the idea,” reports pollster Erin Norman. “Only 17 percent are unfavorable to this idea, which equates to a better than three-to-one favorability ratio among likely Iowa Republican Caucus goers. These are remarkably high numbers given that the question contained no information about the gold standard specifically.”

Translated out of pollsterese? The gold standard drives votes both in the caucuses and primaries and in the general election.“

 

Shortly thereafter, Newt Gingrich suddenly discovered his hankering for gold. To be fair, he did make the odd remark about 'hard money' here or there before that time. Attacking the Fed-led banking cartel and the fiat money it issues has after all become an unexpectedly popular issue now that the credit boom has faltered. On January 18, CNN Money reported that

 

Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich is calling for the United States to think about returning to the gold standard.

Speaking at a foreign policy forum in South Carolina on Tuesday, Gingrich advocated a "commission on gold to look at the whole concept of how do we get back to hard money."

Gingrich, a former Speaker of the House, has spoken in favor of a "hard money" policy in the past, but these were his strongest comments to support reinstating the gold standard.

Gingrich would model his "gold commission" after one put in place after Ronald Reagan was elected, when the nation was battling double-digit inflation.“

 

The above reveals that Gingrich has probably no serious intention to advocate the return to a gold standard. He's more likely to be merely angling for votes, and in one instance was evidently successful with the strategy (the South Carolina primary). A commission may (or may not) be put into place, a handful of people will get paid some tax payer money, spend a few months deliberating the issue and in the end it will turn out that it is 'unfeasible' to return to gold.

As it were, the Reagan gold commission was packed to the rafters with enemies of gold, thus the outcome of its deliberations were already predetermined.

As Murray Rothbard wrote in a 1987 memo, which criticized Reagan's economic policies (in the first line Rothbard stated that 'I come to bury Reagonomics, not to praise it'):

 

The gold standard was the easiest pledge to dispose of. President Reagan appointed an allegedly impartial gold commission to study the problem—a commission overwhelmingly packed with lifelong opponents of gold. The commission presented its predictable report, and gold was quickly interred.“

 

We have little doubt that gold would be just as quickly interred by Gingrich's proposed commission.

 


 

Newt Gingrich discovered his hankering for hard money.

(Photo source: The Web)

 


 

The Big Circus

Allow us to briefly comment here on the Republican primary and the presidential election. Matt Taibbi wrote a brief portrait of this particular show, looking at its current front-runners Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. He calls it 'a showdown between a walking OCD diagnosis and a flatulent serial adulterer', which while a little harsh sounding is actually not really far off the mark. We have frequently criticized Taibbi in the past for not striking the root in his articles on financial system malfeasance and at times letting his hatred for capitalism override his good sense, but it is hard to find fault with his portrayal of the two frontrunners at the GOP primaries.

First of all, he's quite right when he states that the primary has in the main very high entertainment value. As our readers know, we tend to judge politicians mostly by their entertainment value. There are probably 10,000 power-hungry psychopaths in politics for every man who actually stands for the principles that he purportedly represents, and none of them are eager to rock the establishment boat. Voters can expect precisely nothing from them, except more of the same. That leaves their entertainment value as the only criterion worth evaluating. Silvio Berlusconi had very high entertainment value for instance, so we should all root for his comeback. Taibbi writes in this context:

 

“The best we can hope for, it appears, is some truly high-quality reality-show drama. The campaign is a circus like we've never seen before. We may get worse candidates, but at least we're getting a better show.”

 

It is in fact producing such a wealth of material for comedians that they really have it easy at the moment.

Secondly, Taibbi is quite right when he concludes that the Republicans are making Obama's re-election a stroll in the park. As he remarks on this point:

 

“With a weak economy and a vulnerable president in the White House, the Republican Party had a real chance to reseize power, if it could only have grasped the gravity of the situation and put forward a plausible candidate. And a plausible candidate would have been better for everyone, not just Republicans, because the nation will suffer when Obama cruises to victory next fall on a sea of open-marriage jokes, instead of having to face a cogent argument against useless bailouts, endless wars and economic mismanagement.”

 

(emphasis added)

In fact the candidate most likely to actually pose a challenge to Obama would be Ron Paul, because he'd be electable for the large pool of usually undecided voters who gave their vote to Obama last time around and are now disappointed in the great orator-commissar. In fact, this is what various polls have revealed as well, see this CBS poll of independents and the Real Clear Politics graph amalgamating different polls

Currently Ron Paul – whom the mainstream media have declared 'unelectable' – trails Obama by a mere 4.4%. We conclude that the Republicans would rather lose the election and live with four more years of Obama than actually see someone empowered who would really pose a challenge to the establishment. Ron Paul opposes what are the mightiest interest groups in the country – the military-industrial complex, the health industry, the financial elite and the associated bureaucracies. It should be no surprise that the establishment tries to make as if he didn't exist, since his main aim would be the gradual disempowerment of the State – i.e., he would end a plethora of rackets and take away the trough from which the parasitic classes all feed. No other politician promises to deliver anything even remotely similar.

 


 

Ron Paul, who has advocated honest money without wavering throughout his career. Unelectable?

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)

 


 

The New York Times Comments on the Gold Standard Issue

The fact that Newt Gingrich has picked up the gold standard issue in his quest for the nomination has provoked a bit of a reaction. You can safely ignore the 'unelectable' guy after all, but Gingrich is spparently still (wrongly, we believe) thought of as a contender.

Floyd Norris has written an article at the NYT discussing the subject. It has its share of unintentionally funny moments. To be sure, Norris starts out with an observation with which we agree:

 

Mr. Gingrich, it should be noted, did not promise to support a gold standard, only to appoint a commission. If he is serious about following Mr. Reagan’s precedent, there may be little chance of a move to gold even if Mr. Gingrich does win the Republican nomination and the November election. In office, Mr. Reagan showed no inclination to buck the collected wisdom of most economists, whether Keynesian or monetarist.

 

Bingo. However, Norris also notes that the people Gingrich proposes as co-chairs of the commission this time around would in fact be supporters of a gold standard – Jim Grant and Lewis Lehrman (along with Ron Paul, Lehrman was the only pro-gold voice in Reagan's commission). If so, he may be more serious about it than we are giving him credit for. Color us highly doubtful anyway.

After these introductory remarks, we learn why it's allegedly a bad idea:

 

“More than almost any other dispute in economics, gold often seems to be a matter of theology. To supporters, gold has been money for thousands of years, and a return to it is the only way to keep politicians from debasing currencies.”

 

Let us look at this in more detail. 'It's a matter of theology' – not really. It may appear so to outside observers, but it is really a matter of economic reasoning.

Gold has been money for thousands of years not only to 'its supporters'. It has been regarded and served as money for thousands of years, period. Suitable media of exchange emerge in the market economy by a process of trial and error, until the most marketable and otherwise suitable commodity remains as the major medium exchange. Whether it is the only way to keep politicians (and bureaucrats) from debasing the currency is not even open for discussion. Obviously no-one can print gold, but they sure can print wagon-loads of funny money or create its electronic equivalent. They can and they do.

 

“To most current economists, gold is a commodity, subject to the normal fluctuations of supply and demand. To them, the supply of money should be controlled based on economic principles. With a gold standard, the amount of gold available to back money could grow only at the same rate that gold stocks increased, something that depends on mining successes, not on the needs of an economy.”

 

Well, if the first sentence is actually true – i.e., if that actually represents what 'most current economists are thinking', then they are simply wrong. The way we understand this sentence is that it is meant to convey that gold is a commodity like any other, similar to say, copper. This can not be the case, since gold is never consumed. The fact that gold has by far the highest stock to flow ratio of all commodities and still commands an extremely high price in terms of fiat money proves ipso facto that there exists a monetary demand for it.

Whose 'economic principles' have decreed that the 'money supply should be controlled'? Controlled by whom? In actual practice, it is controlled by a gaggle of bureaucrats and an ancillary fractionally reserved banking cartel. As noted above, they have abused this privilege often and in great measure. The outcome has been less than optimal, similar to all other economic central planning endeavors in history.

The whole point of a gold standard is that the money supply could no longer be increased willy-nilly. The idea that the 'economy needs a flexible money supply' (in actual reality, one that is growing extremely fast) is mistaken. Money is the only good which conveys no social gains whatsoever if its supply is increased (or to be more precise: it benefits a small minority to the detriment of the vast majority). Any 'needs' the market economy has with regards to a variable rate of money supply growth could indeed be satisfied by gold mining. The difference would be that the market would determine the rate of money supply growth, as opposed to a central planning agency.

Now we come to the article's 'laugh out loud' moments:

 

“The University of Chicago last month asked a panel of 40 economists, including former advisers to both Democratic and Republican presidents, if they agreed that “price-stability and employment outcomes would be better for the average American” if the dollar’s value were tied to gold. Every one of them disagreed, some with more than a little incredulity that such a question was worthy of discussion.”

 

This is easily one of the strongest arguments in favor of a gold standard we have heard in a great many years. Forty modern-day economists being unanimous in rejecting the gold standard is as good as an ironclad guarantee that it would be highly desirable to adopt it as quickly as possible.

It becomes even funnier:

 

“Why tie to gold?” asked Richard Thaler, a University of Chicago professor. “Why not 1982 Bordeaux?”

 

Hmmm…let's think about this for a moment. Maybe it's because 1982 Bordeaux is not useful as a medium of exchange and has never been selected by the market as such? A professor of economics is unaware of this? Admittedly the question does deserve some consideration. As far as we are concerned the main issue is actually not whether we should return to a gold standard. In fact, experience shows that governments can under no circumstances be trusted with running a gold standard – it would very likely not endure.

The real issue is whether money should be left to the free market or 'controlled and planned' by a government agency. Funny enough, Chicago school economists regard the market as superior in almost every respect to government meddling. Only money is somehow excepted. No good reason has ever been forwarded for this (various reasons have of course been forwarded, but no good ones).

 

“Eesh,” responded Austan Goolsbee, a Chicago colleague and former adviser to President Obama. “Has it come to this?”

 

We thank Mr. Goolsbee for his highly qualified remark. He's of course a quintessential establishment figure, as his CV reveals – the prototypical 'intellectual in the service of the State'. As Hans-Hermann Hoppe so perceptively writes of this class:


There are almost no economists, philosophers, historians, or social theorists of rank employed privately by members of the natural elite. And those few of the old elite who remain and who might have purchased their services can no longer afford intellectuals financially. Instead, intellectuals are now typically public employees, even if they work for nominally private institutions or foundations. Almost completely protected from the vagaries of consumer demand ("tenured"), their number has dramatically increased and their compensation is on average far above their genuine market value. At the same time the quality of their intellectual output has constantly fallen.

What you will discover is mostly irrelevance and incomprehensibility. Worse, insofar as today's intellectual output is at all relevant and comprehensible, it is viciously statist. There are exceptions, but if practically all intellectuals are employed in the multiple branches of the State, then it should hardly come as a surprise that most of their ever-more voluminous output will, either by commission or omission, be statist propaganda.


(emphasis added)

It should be obvious that the monetary system lies at the root of State control over the economy; with honest money, the State would by necessity shrink. We can not expect any of these people to bite the hand that feeds them, which they would do if they advocated a truly free unhampered market economy (this is to say, an economy where money is chosen by the market).

Norris' article continues by noting that even economists allegedly 'sympathetic to gold' reject a gold standard:

 

“Even economists with some sympathy to gold opposed the idea. “The gold standard adds credibility when a country lacks discipline,” said Edward Lazear of Stanford, who served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. “The cost is monetary policy flexibility. The trade-off is unclear in the U.S.”

 

Ending 'monetary flexibility' would not be a 'cost', it would be an enormous gain. Let us see – since January 2008, the true broad US money supply has increased by nearly 75%. There is now 75% more money in the economy than a scant four years ago. The government's deficit has grown from $9.5 trillion to over $15 trillion over the same span. It is already certain that it will exceed $16 trillion before the year is out. Does anyone think that the country might 'lack discipline'?

Floyd then presents the kind of ex-post reasoning that has been routinely applied as the justification for the above facts:

 

“It is no coincidence that gold is back as an issue now, more than 30 years after its last significant appearance in presidential politics. It was the vanquishing of inflation by the Federal Reserve in the early 1980s under Paul A. Volcker that led to a collapse in the price of the precious metal and to the widespread belief in the wisdom of central bankers.

That reputation suffered badly in recent years. There is little doubt that the Fed, under Alan Greenspan, helped bring on the housing bubble through a combination of easy money and loose regulation of banks. But to most economists, the fact that central banks can err does not prove they should be replaced by an inflexible gold-based regime, which many think contributed to the Great Depression.

“A gold standard would have avoided the policy mistakes of the 2000s,” conceded Daron Acemoglu of M.I.T. in his response to the Chicago survey. But, he added, “discretionary policy is useful during recessions.”

 

(emphasis added)

So let's get this straight: a gold standard would have 'avoided the policy mistakes of the 2000s', but we can still not forego the discretionary policies that are so 'useful during recessions'.

In other words, not having a gold standard has produced the current sorry state of affairs. Given the current sorry state of affairs, we unfortunately can not afford to have a gold standard. This kind of circular reasoning is characteristic for a lot of the collectivist nonsense we have to put up with.

It should be noted here that recessions don't fall out of the sky. The current economic mainstream makes as though recessions were akin to natural catastrophes. One day, everything is fine, the next day highly indebted borrowers suddenly lose their 'animal spirits', and presto, an economic downturn ensues.

They must all have listened to an inner voice that has told them this – since as a rule no other more credible explanation is forwarded (admittedly there exists a variation of the argument since 2009 that is even less credible: 'we didn't have enough regulations').

The error here is of course the widespread belief that a committee of well-intentioned bureaucrats can improve the market economy by means of interventions. Recessions are some sort of illness that is inherent in the market economy in this view, requiring the intercession of 'potent directors'. When these interventions predictably not only fail to produce the desired result but produce its exact opposite, this is not held to represent proof that we'd be better off without interventionism in the first place. It is held to prove that more of the same is required, only in even greater quantities than last time around.

What else can be concluded from the facts? When the Nasdaq bubble collapsed, it was argued that Greenspan needed to 'create some other bubble to replace it' (Paul McCulley and Paul Krugman were especially vocal regarding the need to 'create a housing bubble'). He complied and we can all see the end result. It should be clear that society as a whole would be better off if no committee of central planners held such power. Some of the economists polled probably really don't know any better, but we wager that a great many are driven by their personal motives: in a free market economy, only the services of the best would be paid for, and the pay would probably be considerably less than it is today.

As to the gold standard, we reiterate that it does not matter whether gold or another, more suitable medium of exchange is picked by the market. It stands to reason however that by dint of thousands of years of experience, gold would probably play a big role in a free market monetary dispensation.

 


 

Gold – the medium of exchange the free market would likely settle on.

 


 

Addendum:

Via the German site 'Querschüsse', below is the most recent update of the Bank of Spain's 'TARGET-2' liability. The trade deficit and depositor flight from the banks of the 'PIIGS' combine to produce ever larger imbalances in the euro-system's payment system between national central banks (on the other side of the deficits, we find the German BuBa, and the central banks of the Netherlands and Finland as holding the biggest claims). As can be seen below, Spain's deficit was still growing by leaps and bounds as of December 2011.

 


 

The Bank of Spain's 'TARGET-2' balance in billions of euros – click chart for better resolution.

 


 
 

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14 Responses to “The Gold Standard Debate”

  • Pater, that is my understanding as well. Like any American with good sense, Paul believes in limited central government power, the 9th and 10th amendment. Roe vs Wade as a suit against the abortion laws of Texas. Abortion was legal in a couple of places in the USA, I think DC and WV. Wade was the infamous DA of Dallas County.

  • Andyc:

    Agree about Ron Paul, he is probably the only candidate that has any credibility but I cant see him getting the nomination.

    If he did get the nomination he could certainly win as elections here boil down to mindlessly pulling the R or D handle in the election booth and Obama has lost some of his following over his term.

    Paul could win but they dont want him and TPTB and MSM are dead set against him even getting the nomination.

  • Let Us Have Peace:

    Bretton Woods was not an example of the Constitutional gold standard. The Constitutional gold standard presumed that citizens had an absolute right to hold gold coin and to demand that payments in legal tender be made in specie. Bretton Woods specifically prohibited individual ownership of gold and specie coinage.

    Credit banking with fractional reserve issues of U.S. bank notes existed quite happily for over half a century. People are happy to use credit for financial transactions if they have the assurance that they can demand coin. Bankers knew that their customers could be spooked into “runs” if there was even a hint that the bank could not redeem its bank notes and drafts in coin. The fractional reserve institutions that tried to evade these principles of sound banking – the Ohio trust company, for example – were caught out in panics and had to close their doors; the sound banks had no such difficulties. The lobbying for a Federal Reserve system came from the same reformist impulse that brought us the ICC and other regulation in the name of the public interest; the progressives thought it was unfair to leave the choice of fractional reserve institutions in the hands of the public because they should not be left free to choose.

    • worldend666:

      Hi Let Us Have Peace

      Yes it’s true about Bretton Woods but regardless the US was meant to supply gold on demand to foreign powers who demanded it in exchange for their own currencies, and this relationship broke down because the US had been cheating and expanding its money supply for 25 years. The same can always be expected of any party, from the private or government sectors offering convertibility to gold in the long run under a gold standard. The Romans first discovered this 2000 years ago and more recently since fractional reserve banking was “invented” the debasements have been faster and more devastating.

      Without a 1:1 relationship between circulating currency and gold in the vaults defaults will always happen. Note that the 50 years you mention above that a gold backed fractional reserve banking system existed is no better than the recent track record of the goldless system.

      Don’t get me wrong. I would like to see honest money, but the problem lies within the fractional reserve system, not whether it is backed by gold or not.

  • Andyc:

    I have one problem with a gold standard and that is how will this be implemented?

    Would the old money notes be taken out of circulation and new money gold backed notes be issued and at what exchange rate in regards to the old money into new gold money?

    I only have the old money and no gold so you can see my concerns.

    Sure the old money will soon become worthless anyway but still………

    heh

    : )

    • If credit banking is endowed by the state, there isn’t a way to have a gold standard. What is confused as sovereign currencys aren’t anything but national bank paper. Breton Woods was a bankers agreement. I believe credit banking should be allowed, it just shouldn’t be protected.

  • AustrianJim:

    “We conclude that the Republicans would rather lose the election and live with four more years of Obama than actually see someone empowered who would really pose a challenge to the establishment.”

    Bingo!

  • worldend666:

    Much as a gold standard beckons there is much evidence to show it does little to prevent clandestine printing (Bretton Woods), or credit expansion (roaring 20s). People are people and they will find a way to subvert any system. You only have to see how the bureaucrats are interpreting EU regulations to suit themselves to imagine how the end of a gold standard might come about.

    The main difference between a credit collapse under a gold standard and the same under a fiat currency is that under the gold standard repayment is demanded usually at the point of a gun, whereas under a fiat regime the money is printed and hey presto there is nothing to go to war about.

    Fofoa has an interesting solution called Freegold that few people really understand (including me). Basically he believes gold should be the premier store of value and should remain in the private domain. Fiat currencies should be used as a medium of exchange and should float freely against each other and against gold. Once a financial transaction is made using fiat, the money should return to storage (in gold) until it needs to be deployed again. Gold would flow from consumers to producers. There would be no national deficits because gold would move to cancel them out. Currencies would move in response to the flow of gold and would cause a natural balance. If a country consumed more than its share of goods, its currency would depreciate as less gold would be in circulation in that country bidding for local currency. Producer prices would drop and exports would rise in response, bringing the system back to equilibrium.

    Freegold is quite a nice solution but I am sure once the power mongers got their hands on it they would manage to bastardise it too :)

  • sandorgb:

    The reason people don’t want the gold standard is that it serves an anchor on the economy – it imposes a form of monetary discipline. Which isn’t to say that you can’t or won’t have bubbles and panics under a gold standard. History says otherwise. Gold is a bit like a credit card limit. It keeps the debt from getting obscenely large, but it still won’t stop imbalances building up in the system, which lead to panics and depressions. A gold standard doesn’t address the hoarding/balance of payments problem. True market discipline means the starvation of millions/billions of people. Who’s going to willingly pull that trigger…

    I don’t think we’ll get a gold standard in the future, because I don’t think most people want one. The problem is human aversion to pain/loss. The losses are constantly being pushed onto ‘someone else’. Gold doesn’t really solve this problem. Free market capitalism doesn’t solve the problems of mafia cartels and externalities. But then neither does the state-run mafia and the EPA. People want deposit insurance. Health insurance. They want the pain to be spread around. They want ‘stability’. The logical outcome of this ‘pain/loss-aversion’ is the monetary ‘methadone maintenance’ drip-feed we have now – ZIRP/NIRP. A world of debt junkies and debt pushers.

    I love this site, but I think pater is far too sanguine about the power of the free market to produce beneficial outcomes. I am all for free trade, but I don’t think it’s a panacea for human welfare. The problems all arise from defects in human nature. The only reason rules are needed in the first place is because people are not responsible, disciplined, generous, and honest enough (greed/sex/fear/deception). The laws, much like a gold standard, are a crutch. They can helps us limp around, but they limit how fast/far we can go. When push comes to shove, if there’s not enough gold to go around, scrip will appear out of necessity. Gold standards get you even more extreme distributions of haves/have nots – since counterfeiting isn’t as viable a strategy to ‘outperform’, leveraging capital hoards becomes a much stronger strategy. Resource wars. The burn/return rate of oil/coal is far more pertinent a problem than whether or not we’re on a gold standard.

    • Belmont Boy:

      sandorgb:

      You write that “the problems all arise from defects in human nature.” I agree in principle, but take issue with your use of the word “defects.” Might it not be preferable to say “the problems all arise from human nature?” Where there is a perception of defects, there tends to be an impulse to remediate; i.e., a utopian urge.

      Anyway, your comment touches upon the root of my own discomfort with pristine libertarianism. I have read Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s article, which Pater cites here. It strikes me that, in his thesis about the origins of human social organization, Hoppe is as willfully dismissive of the wisdom of Hobbes, as are the MSM of Ron Paul’s critical economic-cum-monetary insights.

      As for Dr. Paul’s foreign policy ideas: while he is absolutely right that U.S. interventionism has gone way, way too far, and that it’s necessary to firmly rein the military in, his rhetoric with regard to the strategic interests of the United States is, to my ear, so pristine in its libertarianism that I fear he, too, has long since chosen to willfully dismiss that essential wisdom of Hobbes.

  • Unfortunately Paul isn’t 15 years younger, but his message is right for the times. The problem is the entire system has to change if we went back to gold, starting with guaranteed deposits and big government. It will all have to collapse first. Paul is speaking the only solution we will have when all international bank paper currencies collapse under the strain of insolvent systems.

    Somehow the idiots think the worlds’ governments printed up paper and it passed around the world. All currency in the world today was at one time anchored in gold until debts became punative. FDR’s devaluation of the dollar and seizure of gold had to do with the fact there wasn’t enough gold to settle international debts around the world and the international bankers needed it to stop the collapse of trade. He also freed the insolvent US system from having to mark to gold domestically. But, the same group also used gold to establish the dollar as the unit of international trade. The only reason the system has lasted since was the fact the world was awash in collateralized dollar and other currency loans and foreign central banks were collateralized for international trade on dollar debt.

    Today we are faced with a race to the bottom by governments and banks around the world. All that has to happen is one of the large currency units (dollar, Euro, yen) stop inflating and they all collapse. Those not involved will not want any of them for international trade. Insolvency will get them all.

    Credit banking can’t function on the gold standard for long. As long as bank runs are prohibited or discouraged by deposit insurance and a system of sovereign bank liabilities, a gold standard won’t last for long. Thus the people and groups that hold all the power would lose power under gold. Socialism on an international basis would cease, as deficit financing over any extended period of time would collapse.

    Thus we are caught between 2 groups, neither of which has the middle class Americans interest. Both are run by bankers. One wants us in perpetual war. The other in perpetual domestic wars on various social problems. Both imply big government, big business and lots of debt. The elimination of the power of both literally requires a collapse. Gold will be a requirement for the next money.

    • jimmyjames:

      FDR’s devaluation of the dollar and seizure of gold had to do with the fact there wasn’t enough gold to settle international debts around the world and the international bankers needed it to stop the collapse of trade.

      ************
      The problem was that gold reserves had been double counted in 1922-that was the reason they were short of gold-when the “paper” credits that were once counted as gold reserves lost value-
      The reason FDR outlawed gold was to eliminate the bank runs-that gold redeem ability would have forced-
      That was a huge blunder by FDR-if in fact he actually didn’t know better-
      That was the chance to correct the gold standard manipulation of 1922-
      FDR blew it and here we are today-

  • xcut:

    Ron Paul might be the only candidate with a backbone, an economic policy that is thought-through, and the only principled defender of liberty as a concept, but that’s not the only side to the man. I certainly would not vote for this (Ron Paul campaign site):

    “We must stand for life – not allow millions of innocent children to continue to be slaughtered with the government’s approval.”

    There are more important problems out there than the pursuit of such a divisive agenda.

    • As far as I know, Paul’s standpoint is that although he is personally against abortion, it should be a matter delegated to the States. In spite of his personal view on it (he’s an obstetrician by the way), he does not want to make it a matter of federal legislation.
      I quote from his site: “Ron Paul believes that the ninth and tenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution do not grant the federal government any authority to legalize or ban abortion. Instead, it is up to the individual states.”
      With regards to your remark that there are more important problems, I would note that Paul has never made a big issue out of it. He thinks the federal government should not be involved, hence as president he would have nothing to do with the question. The agendas he DOES wish to actively pursue as president are indeed the important ones.

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      The Crypto-Bubble - A Speculator's Dream in Cyberspace When writing an article about the recent move in bitcoin, one should probably not begin by preparing the chart images. Chances are one will have to do it all over again. It is a bit like ordering a cup of coffee in Weimar Germany in early November 1923. One had to pay for it right away, as a cup costing one wheelbarrow of Reichsmark may well end up costing two wheelbarrows of Reichsmark half an hour later. These days the question is...
  • Quantitative Easing Explained
      [Ed. note: This article was originally posted in November of 2010 - we have decided to republish it with updated charts, as it has proved to be very useful as a reference - the mechanics of QE are less well understood than they should be, and this article explains them in detail.]   Printing Money We have noticed that lately, numerous attempts have been made to explain the mechanics of quantitative easing.  They range from the truly funny as in this by now 'viral' You Tube...
  • In Gold We Trust, 2017
      The 11th Annual In Gold We Trust Report This year's Incrementum In Gold We Trust report by our good friends Ronald Stoeferle and Mark Valek appears about one month earlier than usual (we already mentioned in our most recent gold update that it would become available soon). As always, the report is extremely comprehensive, discussing everything from fundamentals pertaining to gold, to technical analysis to statistical studies on the behavior of gold under different economic...
  • The Three Headed Debt Monster That’s Going to Ravage the Economy
      Mass Infusions of New Credit   “The bank is something more than men, I tell you.  It’s the monster.  Men made it, but they can’t control it.” – John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath   Something strange and somewhat senseless happened this week. On Tuesday, the price of gold jumped over $13 per ounce.  This, in itself, is nothing too remarkable.  However, at precisely the same time gold was jumping, the yield on the 10-Year Treasury note was slip sliding down...
  • Recession Watch Fall 2017
      One Ear to the Ground, One Eye to the Future Treasury yields are attempting to say something.  But what it is exactly is open to interpretation.  What’s more, only the most curious care to ponder it. Like Southern California’s obligatory June Gloom, what Treasury yields may appear to be foreshadowing can be somewhat misleading.   Behold, the risk-free tide...   Are investors anticipating deflation or inflation?  Are yields adjusting to some other market or...
  • Stocks, Bonds, Euro, and Gold Go Up – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      Driven by Credit The jobs report was disappointing. The prices of gold, and even more so silver, took off. In three hours, they gained $18 and 39 cents. Before we try to read into the connection, it is worth pausing to consider how another market responded. We don’t often discuss the stock market (and we have not been calling for an imminent stock market collapse as many others have).   NYSE margin debt has reached new record highs this year, dwarfing previous peak...
  • Jayant Bhandari on Gold, Submerging Markets and Arbitrage
      Maurice Jackson Interviews Jayant Bhandari We are happy to present another interview conducted by Maurice Jackson of Proven and Probable with our friend and frequent contributor Jayant Bhandari, a specialist on gold mining investment, the world's most outspoken emerging market contrarian, host of the highly regarded annual Capitalism and Morality conference in London and consultant to institutional investors.   As soon as Jayant touches down in London, he is accosted by...
  • Monetary Madness and Rabbit Consumption
      Down the Rabbit Hole “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” is oft attributed to the White Rabbit from Lewis Carroll’s, Alice in Wonderland.  Where this axiom appears within the text of the story is a mystery.  But we suspect the White Rabbit must utter it about the time Alice follows him down the rabbit hole.   Pick a rabbit to follow...   No doubt, today’s wage earner knows what it means to work harder, faster, and better, while slip sliding behind. ...
  • The Anatomy of Brown’s Gold Bottom – Precious Metals Supply and Demand
      The Socialist Politician-Bureaucrat with the Worst Timing Ever As most in the gold community know, the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announced on 7 May, 1999 that HM Treasury planned to sell gold. The dollar began to rise, from about 110mg gold to 120mg on 6 July, the day of the first sale. This translates into dollarish as: gold went down, from $282 to $258. It makes sense, as the UK was selling a lot of gold... or does it?   Former UK chancellor of the...
  • Mexicans and Chinese Aren’t “Stealing Our Jobs”
      Tremendous Flop GUALFIN, ARGENTINA – Now comes a report from the Financial Times that tells us the nation’s No. 1 industry – home building – has been backing up for a quarter of a century. According to the newspaper, U.S. home builders “started work on the same number of houses in the past year as they did a quarter of a century ago, even though there are 36% more people working as residential builders now than then.”   Moat contractors have been particularly bad....
  • The Valium Era
      Don’t Be Fooled by These Calm Markets What is happening in the world of money? Well - the most striking thing is: nothing. It doesn’t seem to matter what happens. Dysfunction in Washington. Meltdown of the techs. No matter how rough the seas get, the markets glide along... scarcely noticing the storm-tossed waves below.   Thankfully the world's central planners are so well-versed in egging on the creation of an ever greater mountain of debt and seemingly limitless asset...

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