Archive for the Money Category

One World Currency? (January 8, 2018)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Cryptocurrency, Currency, Cyberactivities, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Magazine Reference, Money, Petrodollar, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), Universal Monetary Unit, World's Reserve Currency on January 8, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Thirty years ago tomorrow, The Economist magazine uploaded an article titled ‘Get Ready for the Phoenix’ with a cover proclaiming ‘Get ready for a world currency’ and featuring a rising Phoenix.”

J          “Get ready.  The Phoenix, the Bancor, the S.D.R., the Universal Monetary Unit, the Bobcoin, the Something Else is likely to replace the PetroDollar in the near future.  Stay tuned.” 

. . .

K          “On a simple level, ‘cryptocurrencies’, etc. are digital and gold, etc. is analog.  Blockchain technology underlying ‘cryptocurrencies’ is likely to be supplanted by a fast, fair, sustainable, scalable, guaranteed Byzantine fault tolerant consensus digital technology using gossip protocols and virtual votes such as Hashgraph.  And Hashgraph is likely to be supplanted by even more advanced and sophisticated technologies.” 

J          “That’s what everyone is saying.  Get ready.  Stay tuned.”

. . .

[See a related and more recent article “One world, one money” in The Economist magazine dated September 24, 1998.  First published as a five-part series punctuated with reprints of paintings by Gustave Courbet, “Bitcoin Doesn’t Exist – The Full Story” written by “Dr. D” for “The Automatic Earth” project/site provides some perspective on the phenomenon known as ‘cryptocurrencies’.  The comments to the series and the comments on the sites that reprint the series provide some robust ideas and opinions.  Much is happening quickly.]

[See the e-commentary titled “‘Bitcoin’, ‘Ethereum’ . . . ‘Blockchain Technology’  Say What? (July 3, 2017)”, “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)” and “USA + FRN/PD — > IMF + SDR — > NDB + UMU? The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You (January 2, 2017)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Want to improve your love life?  Change your handle to “Blockchain”

. . .

The Economist, January 9, 1988, Vol. 306, pages 9-10; Cover:  “Get ready for a world currency”; Title of the article:  “Get Ready for the Phoenix”

THIRTY years from now, Americans, Japanese, Europeans, and people in many other rich countries, and some relatively poor ones will probably be paying for their shopping with the same currency.  Prices will be quoted not in dollars, yen or D-marks but in, let’s say, the phoenix.  The phoenix will be favoured by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the last twentieth century.

. . .

At the beginning of 1988 this appears an outlandish prediction.  Proposals for eventual monetary union proliferated five and ten years ago, but they hardly envisaged the setbacks of 1987.  The governments of the big economies tried to move an inch or two towards a more managed system of exchange rates – a logical preliminary, it might seem, to radical monetary reform.  For lack of co-operation in their underlying economic policies they bungled it horribly, and provoked the rise in interest rates that brought on the stock market crash of October.  These events have chastened exchange-rate reformers.  The market crash taught them that the pretence of policy co-operation can be worse than nothing, and that until real co-operation is feasible (i.e., until governments surrender some economic sovereignty) further attempts to peg currencies will flounder.

. . .

The new world economy

The biggest change in the world economy since the early 1970’s is that flows of money have replaced trade in goods as the force that drives exchange rates.  As a result of the relentless integration of the world’s financial markets, differences in national economic policies can disturb interest rates (or expectations of future interest rates) only slightly, yet still call forth huge transfers of financial assets from one country to another.  These transfers swamp the flow of trade revenues in their effect on the demand and supply for different currencies, and hence in their effect on exchange rates.  As telecommunications technology continues to advance, these transactions will be cheaper and faster still.  With unco-ordinated economic policies, currencies can get only more volatile.

. . .

In all these ways national economic boundaries are slowly dissolving.  As the trend continues, the appeal of a currency union across at least the main industrial countries will seem irresistible to everybody except foreign-exchange traders and governments.  In the phoenix zone, economic adjustment to shifts in relative prices would happen smoothly and automatically, rather as it does today between different regions within large economies (a brief on pages 74-75 explains how.)  The absence of all currency risk would spur trade, investment and employment.

. . .

The phoenix zone would impose tight constraints on national governments.  There would be no such thing, for instance, as a national monetary policy.  The world phoenix supply would be fixed by a new central bank, descended perhaps from the IMF.  The world inflation rate – and hence, within narrow margins, each national inflation rate – would be in its charge.  Each country could use taxes and public spending to offset temporary falls in demand, but it would have to borrow rather than print money to finance its budget deficit.  With no recourse to the inflation tax, governments and their creditors would be forced to judge their borrowing and lending plans more carefully than they do today.  This means a big loss of economic sovereignty, but the trends that make the phoenix so appealing are taking that sovereignty away in any case.  Even in a world of more-or-less floating exchange rates, individual governments have seen their policy independence checked by an unfriendly outside world.

. . .

As the next century approaches, the natural forces that are pushing the world towards economic integration will offer governments a broad choice.  They can go with the flow, or they can build barricades.  Preparing the way for the phoenix will mean fewer pretended agreements on policy and more real ones.  It will mean allowing and then actively promoting the private-sector use of an international money alongside existing national monies.  That would let people vote with their wallets for the eventual move to full currency union.  The phoenix would probably start as a cocktail of national currencies, just as the Special Drawing Right is today.  In time, though, its value against national currencies would cease to matter, because people would choose it for its convenience and the stability of its purchasing power.

. . .

The alternative – to preserve policymaking autonomy – would involve a new proliferation of truly draconian controls on trade and capital flows.  This course offers governments a splendid time.  They could manage exchange-rate movements, deploy monetary and fiscal policy without inhibition, and tackle the resulting bursts of inflation with prices and incomes polices.  It is a growth-crippling prospect.  Pencil in the phoenix for around 2018, and welcome it when it comes.

“Analog Knowledge Devices” (“AKD”):  The Next “Currency” (July 10, 2017)

Posted in Analog Knowledge Devices, Collapse, Currency, Digital, Internet, Money, Technology on July 10, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “When they folded the book store, they unloaded the stranded volumes by the bushel basket for a dollar.  What was not unloaded by the end of the day was given away to anyone who would haul them away.  Some just recycled the paper for a few paper dollars.”

J          “Running with the big dogs was just too tough.  Prepping is nuanced.  They are always thinking ahead.  They exchanged a few sheets of paper for many sheets of paper.  Their tiny house is now an enormous storehouse and warehouse of knowledge.”

K          “They now have a private library with attached living quarters.  Preppy prepping, perhaps?  How many preppies really care about books and knowledge?”

. . .

K          “The possibility that an EMP or some such interruption in service could descend upon the land seems just surreal enough to be plausible.”

J          “Taking down the grid may not come from on high.  Someone could bring it down and not even know it.  A lowly mouse could short a sub-station and subvert everything.  A line of bad code could take down the line.”

. . .

K          “The Internet is pernicious in so many ways, yet, like life, you need to thread your way through and around the porn and propaganda and pursue the positive possibilities.  Despite all the inaccurate information along the gauntlet of the search, enough accurate information emerges.  However, when the current light goes dark, that also goes.  We revert to older technologies.  . . .  Analog Knowledge Devices.”

J          “When the current is interrupted, we may get a new paper currency.  Cash will be confiscated by the authorities, but no one may care about books as books or books as currency.  Except, however, leaving books in circulation leaves the ideas advanced in the leaves of the books in circulation.  It is inevitable when you think about it.  All paper will be banned in time.” 

. . .

K          “You may be able to exchange a copy of Catch-22 and a box of 22s for a copy of Fahrenheit 451 and a hand full of .410 bore shells.”

J          “Or a box of condoms and a copy of the The Joy of Sex for a dozen eggs and a tattered edition of the Joy of Cooking.”

K          “Gets you wondering which is the product and which is the lagniappe in the deal.”

J          “When we get there, joy of any kind and kindness in any form will be cherished.”

. . .

K          “Is the AKD mightier than the AK?”

. . .

[See the “e-commentary” at Beans and Bullets (April 6, 2009), On Entitlements (July 19, 2010) and Girding For The Going Grid (October 11, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Analog Knowledge Devices:  The Future Of Technology

From Analog To Digital To Analog:  The Arc Of Civilization

“Bitcoin”, “Ethereum” . . . “Blockchain Technology” Say What? (July 3, 2017)

Posted in Currency, Gold, Gold Standard, Money, Silver, Silver Standard on July 3, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “‘I shoulda’ is my middle name.  My first and last name, really.  ‘I Really Shoulda, Jr.’  Some years ago, someone at the monthly Tuesday night ‘Bitcoin Boosters’ meeting offered me some Bitcoin for $30.  I could have and should have exchanged paper fiat for electronic fiat.”

J          “A day late and a Bitcoin short, as they say.  I have the brains of the scarecrow and the courage of the lion.  I asked myself ‘Why not’ and could not discern any reason why not to take a small risk and then did not take a small risk.”

K          “Fiat for fiat; faith for faith; dust for dust; ashes for ashes.”

. . .

K          “Those who mine for and invest in gold and silver and other precious metals are undermined by those who can manipulate the price of physical gold and silver and other precious metals via paper and electronic trades.  Bitcoin, Ethereum and the like seem to be the refuge for some because they are purported by their proponents not to be as susceptible to manipulation.  But are they?”  

J          “Are they real?  I do not know why the stuff could not be hacked or extinguished if the site goes dark.”

K          “This thing called ‘Blockchain technology’ is another newfangled nebulous technological construct that surely intrudes on our privacy and invades our pocketbooks.”

J          “They say that you can store your Bitcoins in an ‘electronic wallet’ of some sort.  From my perspective, if it is not in your hand or if it is not land, it is not real.”

. . .

J          “A percolating battle is quietly raging between and among Bitcoin, Ethereum and the other crypto-currencies that is akin to the videotape format wars that raged years ago.”

K          “Betamax versus VHS.  Will the best one win?  Who do we want to win?”

. . .

K          “The government tracks all the transactions and shortly will tax all the transactions.”

J          “The government views the stuff as a commodity not as a currency.  The government taxes any exchange of a commodity by demanding payment in its own currency.”

K          “The government will attack any viable challenge that thwarts or could thwart the monopoly of the coin of the realm.”

. . .

K          “I do not mind losing $30.  But do I want to gamble $3000?”

J          “Dollars or Bitcoin?”

. . .

K          “Hard come, easy go.”

J          “Hard come, easy go.”

. . .

K          “As they say:  ‘You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em,  Know when to walk away, know when to run.’”

J          “If you had anted up your two bits and purchased a Bit, would you know when to walk away?” 

K          “I am confident that I would later lament that ‘I shoulda’ sold it before it dropped precipitously in price . . . and of course before I unloaded it.”

J          “Run.”

. . .

[Listen to the interview “‘One Nation Under Gold’ Explores America’s Obsession With One Precious Metal” with James Ledbetter on “Fresh Air” with Dave Davies substituting for the legendary and celebrated Terry Gross on June 26, 2017.  Contrast the author’s criticism of a gold standard with the defense of and justification for a gold standard in “Jim Grant Explains the Gold Standard” by James Grant on the “Mises Wire” on June 27, 2017.]

[See the e-commentary at “Money” and other related topics.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I hack charities

“Fiat” is “faith” without the “h”; “life” is “lie” with an “f.”

Fiat for fiat; faith for faith; dust for dust; ashes for ashes.

A day late and a Bitcoin short.

“You’ve got to know when to hold’em, know when to fold’em,  Know when to walk away, know when to run.  You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table,  
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.”  “The Gambler” written by Don Schlitz and sung by Kenny Rogers.

Hard come, easy go.

USA + FRN/PD – – > IMF + SDR – – > NDB + UMU? The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You (January 2, 2017)

Posted in AIIB, Banks and Banking System, Book Reference, BRICS, CFETS, CIPS, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Gold, Gold Standard, Hyperdive Economic Collapse, International Finance, International Monetary Fund, Money, Petrodollar, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), Trade, Universal Monetary Unit, World's Reserve Currency on January 2, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Remember way back on October 1 when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) implemented the modified composition of the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) that includes for the first time the Chinese Renminbi (RMB) along with the United States Dollar (FRN/PD), the Euro (€), the British Pound Sterling (£) and the Japanese Yen (¥) in the Great Valuation Basket?”

J          “Couldn’t forget.  To celebrate the transition, we got the entire day off.”

K          “The Federal Reserve Note/PetroDollar maintained its percentage share of the portfolio with the Euro, Pound and Yen yielding room for the new kid on the block.  The way I see it, the evolution of the SDR may be too slow for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the BRICS countries) and other countries (the BRICS+ countries) and still leaves the FRN/PD as the world’s reserve currency.”

J          “They say more countries are getting cranky that the FRN/PD remains the mandatory currency peg for trade on the global market.  Last Thursday, the China Foreign Exchange Trade System (CFETS), the foreign exchange trading platform operator, announced that it is adjusting the way it calculates the CFETS Yuan Index which is a critical measure of the Yuan against a basket of currencies, starting yesterday.”

K          “And you got the entire day off.” 

J          “And today, for good measure.  They say that the USA will not allow the IMF to revisit the composition of the SDRs again for years.  The problem for the BRICS+ countries is that the United States has veto power over the composition of the SDR and will block any attempt to accelerate the transition to incorporate other currencies.”

K          “Think about this possible scenario.  The BRICS+ countries may make an end run and expand the mandate and activities of what is now known as the New Development Bank (NDB) and create a Universal Monetary Unit (UMU) constituted of the Chinese RMB, Russian Ruble, Indian Rupee, South African Rand, Brazilian Real, good old gold (Alpha uniform) and a smorgasbord of other currencies.”     

J          “While they are at it, the South African Kruggerand could supplant the Rand and serve as the gold component or part of the gold component.”

K          “Who knows, when they do that, you may get the week off of work.”

J          “Count me in and count me off.  And to provide for a smoother transition, include in the new generation UMU the current currencies in the SDR in diluted amounts.  A measured and gradual approach is prudent.  Interdependent economies and unintended consequences, you know.”

K          “While they are at it, they could go full in.  The Cross-Border Inter-Bank Payment System sometimes known as the China Interbank Payment System (CIPS) could develop into a comparable transnational multilateral payment system as a complement to and to compete with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT).”

J          “That’s exactly what I was going to suggest.  An economy needs a ‘thing’ to serve as money/currency/chits/script/wampum and a means to reconcile payments.  The BRICS+ countries have no reason to wait another half decade when they can do it themselves.”

. . .

J          “Or the BRICS+ countries may force the issue at the IMF meeting in Rome, District of Columbia on April 21 – 23.”

K          “And you will get at least two days off of work.”

J          “Can’t forget.  Stay tuned.”

. . .

K          “Someone surely has thought and wondered about these possible developments.”

J          “You think?  I wonder if anyone cares.  What’s on tv?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)” and “Dollar – World’s Reserve Currency”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

The “Universal Monetary Unit” . . . Coming To a Planet Near You

Paper [Money] Is Patriotic

Fight the War on Cash

 

Musings On Silver (November 21, 2016)

Posted in Banks and Banking System, Gold, Gold Standard, Money, Silver, Silver Standard on November 21, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

_          “First place among the losers?”

_          “Dismissed as the ‘also-ran’ of precious metals?”

_          “Chump change or chump’s change?”

. . .

_          “I view gold as the farm and silver as the crops and the animals.  You do not sell the farm.  You do buy, sell and exchange the crops and the animals.”  

_          “So gold is the store of value and silver is the medium of exchange.  But what is the unit of account – hectares or hogs . . . or flashy pretentious paper with no real underlying value other than faith that is often misplaced by the populace?”

. . .

_          “The historic price relationship between gold and silver is way out of kilter.  Gold should be priced lower or silver should be priced higher.  If you account for the cost of production, gold is not priced too low and cannot be priced much lower without impacting the supply which will . . . drive up the price and further distort the price and the historic price relationship.  Ergo, silver should be priced much higher.”

_          “Everything is out of kilter.  Like so many other ostensible markets, we are dealing with rigged rackets.  Both prices are held artificially low by the powers that control price and sell paper precious metals.  But the prices cannot be held low forever.”

_          “Mr. Supply and Ms. Demand are not in the game.”

_          “Except to the extent that if a miner cannot make any money from mining, the miner will not mine.”

. . .

_          “Gold is for kings and silver is for royalty.”

. . .

_          “And there are some pure silver mines, yet silver is usually a byproduct of other mining for gold and copper.  The economics are intertwined and interdependent.”

. . .

_          “Someone said that roughly seventy percent of gold is used in jewelry and roughly seventy percent of silver is used in electronics and other commercial uses.”  

_          “Silver was once used in large quantities for analog photography.”

_          “Many digital devices use a speck of silver.  Those specks add up to a peck.”

. . .

_          “She reported back to her students that during her field trip to China fifteen years earlier, some shopkeepers exchanged her pre-1965 Washington silver quarters for two dollars and fifty cents in credit for her purchases in the shop that day.  Think about it, on average, the Chinese shopkeepers offered the tenfold premium without even a prod or a prompting.  They are in the know and they know it.”

_          “The Chinese shop keepers’ take on the pre-1965 two bits is revealing.  They will take them in exchange for twenty bits worth of products.”  

. . .

_          “That Series 1935 A silver certificate framed in the den is from a Hong Kong shopkeeper who swiftly slipped the certificate with the lapis lazuli Treasury seal in among the other unpretentious camo-colored Federal Reserve Notes she dealt and dropped in front of me.  She appeared to be sloughing it off on someone who might not notice the outlier dealt to him.  I pulled it out of the stack, stared at it and could hear its story and feel its history.” 

. . .

_          “And silver is shinier than gold.”

_          “Describing a silver salmon as ‘dime bright’ invokes and evokes a clear image.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “The Silver Standard:  The Value Of (Sort Of) Real Money (July 15, 2013)”, “Is The Gold Standard Really The Gold Standard? (January 18, 2010)”, “The Gold Standard Revisited (August 15, 2015)”, “‘Fiat Gold’ / Fool’s Gold (May 2, 2011)”, and “The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016).”]

[JFK – May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Silence is golden; gold is silent

What is the gold standard again?

The Mandibles, FRNs, SDRs, IMF, G20, WTD! (September 5, 2016)

Posted in Book Reference, Collapse, Courts, Debt/Deficits, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Federal Reserve, Gold, Gold Standard, Guns, INFORM Act, International Finance, International Monetary Fund, Journalism, Money, Newspapers, Petrodollar, Press/Media, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Silver, Silver Standard, Special Drawing Rights (SDR), World's Reserve Currency on September 5, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

X          “Some of the folks at the G20 Summit may kick around the future composition of the ‘Special Drawing Rights’ that is emerging as the new world’s reserve currency.  The International Monetary Fund formally sets the composition of the SDRs, yet the major players gathered in China yesterday to discuss such matters.  A thing is now being described as a right.”

Z          “Sounds like they are creating a right to reach first for your gun.”

X          “Or they are sketching a new picture of the economic future based on rights rather than on power and circumstance.”

Z          “Or someone special who has been allowed to have the only gun in the great currency gunfight now must play well with others who are suitably armed.”

X          “Or the one with the big gun is now being disarmed.”

. . .

X          “Felicitous publication really.”

Z          “Timely, even.  The times they are changin’ the way we will make change in the near future.”

X          “In The Mandibles, Lionel Shriver adopts Keynes’ term ‘Bancor’ rather than the new age term ‘SDR’ to describe supplementary foreign exchange reserve assets.  As the U.S. Petrodollar slips as the world’s reserve currency and then as the dominant component of the SDR/Bancor, the United States people will slip to second-world status in the world.”

Z          “The way I describe it, when the Petrodollar is no longer the big dog, the United States is no longer the leader of the pack.”

X          “Prices will increase and perhaps double in short order before more structural disorder devolves.  Our McMansions still will sport baroque brushed nickel bathroom fixtures in the multiple bathrooms, yet in due course the water coursing through the corroding pipes will be increasingly intermittent and decreasingly safe.”

Z          “Many of us have those problems now while everything appears to be dory hunky.”

. . .

X          “Her description of the human consequences is very plausible, yet her explanation for the underlying causes is only partially complete.  Contemporary economic doctrine is exposed as voodoo and a specious secular religion that rationalizes those in power acquiring and retaining wealth.  The entitlement Ponzi scheme receives appropriate blame.  The pernicious involvement of the Federal Reserve is alluded to obliquely, yet the entrenched corruption and incompetence in every quarter are not addressed.”

Z          “She does not describe the institutions that are failing systematically and simultaneously.  Congress, courts, executives and executive agencies, bureaucrats, universities, news outlets, parents, preachers, prophets, you name it.  At some time, a fragile, fractured, fissured and fundamentally weak system of manipulation and intervention will fail with consequence.”

X          “She does observe that the traditional news fashioners are defunct.”

. . .

X          “‘The Chip’ is first described in an e-commentary titled ‘Monitoring The Masses:  The Card And The Chip’ published on January 12, 2015.  She further develops the human impact of implanting ‘The Chip’ to control and corral the masses.  ‘The Chip’ is so much more efficient and effective than the corn chip and football at sating the populace.”

Z          “‘The Chip’ is an electronic lobotomy that is more powerful, pervasive and perverse than fear or drugs.  Technology saves us.  I think that is what one would conclude.  Surely.”

. . .

X          “An empire cannot continue to mimeograph a fiat currency and force it on the rest of the world at great cost and consequence to the rest of the world without the rest of the world demurring at some point.”

Z          “And the rest of the world is becoming restive.”

X          “They are issuing SDR-denominated bonds.”

Z          “And they are selling oil without even acknowledging the Petrodollar.”

. . .

X          “In her novel, the U.S. government confiscates gold and disregards even basic civil liberties while confiscating the yellow stuff.”

Z          “Survey the universe of commentary on the subject and you discover that no one has ever even questioned that the government will confiscate gold when the stuff competes with the fake stuff.”

X          “The people of the United State of Nevada who seceded from the dysfunctional disunion agree that it is ‘dumb’ and ‘arbitrary,’ but they base their currency the ‘Continental’ on the gold standard.”

Z          “She does not see that the government would have eliminated cash of any kind years or decades earlier.”

X          “That is one of the harbingers of great danger.  When the government outlaws or confiscates Au, Ag, Fe, Pb, or even worthless fiat cash, the end of civil rights and civil liberties is near.”

Z          “Or here.”

 . .

[See the e-commentary at “Monitoring The Masses:  The Card And The Chip (January 12, 2015)”, “Brave 1984 Farm:  The Best Of All Possible Worlds (March 19, 2012)” and the e-commentary on the institutional distractions in our society at “Foot Longs and Football (September 2, 2013).”]

Bumper stickers of the week:

G20 > G7; SDR > FRN; World > USA   

In the intermediate run, a Kleptocracy is unsustainable.

The Gold Standard Revisited  (August 15, 2016)

Posted in Book Reference, Dollar - World's Reserve Currency, Gold, Gold Standard, Money, Nobel Prize, Noble Prize, Petrodollar, SDR - Special Drawing Rights, Silver, Silver Standard on August 15, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

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.