The Gold Standard Revisited  (August 15, 2016)

. . .

M          “You may be right.”

G          “I don’t want to be right.  But you just cannot trust the government.”

M          “It will never seem reasonable, but it is rational.  We must do something to restrain human nature and government excess.”

. . .

G          “Gold is an element.  Gold is a commodity.  Gold is a currency if folks act as if it is a currency.  Gold is what you make it.  The vote is coming in.  The Swiss not so much but who knows what to make about the election.  Those who vote in favor of the dollar or the pound and against gold as a currency may soon be . . . pounding sand.”

. . .

G          “As I recall, Keynes proclaimed that the gold standard, not gold per se, is a ‘barbarous relic.’  ‘Barbarian’ means ‘foreign.’  For example, ‘Barbara’ is a ‘foreign woman.’  So that might suggest that the gold standard, or at least gold, is popular in foreign countries.  And it is.  One point four billion Chinese and one point three billion Indians relish the element.  The Russians embrace it with both paws.”

M          “Seems that Au is A1 in the world today.”

. . .

M          “Tying human activity to an element such as Au seems so . . . confining.  And elemental.  Yet without something tethering human greed, ‘printing money’ is a temptation too great.  If he had known about it, Bill Shakespeare would have written about it.”

G          “You cannot trust the government.  And yet the great irony is that the government is not printing money.  The government has ceded power to the Federal Reserve which sounds like the government and yet is a private business that owes its allegiance to the banks and advances the welfare of the those in the stock market racket.” 

. . . 

M          “Keynes criticized the gold standard because it was a direct threat to his ego and his identity and his desire to make unbridled decisions.  That is the hallmark of what passed for the elite.”

G          “No one in power wants to be restrained by a standard.  Some standard is better than no standard.”

. . .

G          “The rule of law is a civilizing relic yet not one in currency today.  Even with more rules and laws on the books than ever in the history of humankind, the rule of law simply does not apply to those in power.  The law is no restraint.”

. . .

G          “The Nobel gang rewards those who shill for the fiat system and the central banks.  If the Nobel gang gave awards for those who ask probing questions about the viability and consequences of fiat currency and unrestrained debt, there would be more folks asking probing questions about the viability and consequences of fiat currency and unrestrained debt.”

M          “Perhaps the new Noble Prize in Eco-nomics can be awarded to those few individuals who ask probing questions and provide trenchant answers.”

. . .

[See the previous great gold standard debate in the e-commentary at “Is The Gold Standard Really The Gold Standard? (January 18, 2010)”, a discussion of the silver standard at “The Silver Standard:  The Value Of (Sort Of) Real Money (July 15, 2013)” and the observation in “The U.S. And Saudi Arabia:  Not Playing Well With Others (Each Other) (July 11, 2016)” that President Nixon decided unilaterally to cancel the direct international convertibility of the United States dollar to gold today.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

“In truth, the gold standard is already a barbarous relic.”  John M. Keynes, A Tract on Monetary Reform (1924).

“Real gold is not afraid of the fire of a red furnace.”  Chinese proverb

“There are three hundred economists in the world who are against gold, and they think that gold is a barbarous relic – and they might be right.  Unfortunately, there are three billion inhabitants of the world who believe in gold.”  Attributed to János Fekete

In every country, culture and civilization through space and across time, gold is the one thing and the only thing that has been cherished by everyone everywhere at all times.

Eco-nomic SAT Question:  Which statement does not fit:  1) resources are finite, 2) water is finite, 3) gold is finite or 4) money printing is infinite?

The Gold Standard may just be the Gold Standard or at least a standard.

The G20 Leaders Summit is in Hangzhou, China this September 4 and 5.

Convention between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds, also called the Migratory Bird Treaty, was signed on August 16, 1916.

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