John Chapman, Chief Economist here at Alhambra,was recently featured in “The Freeman Ideas on Liberty“, one of the oldest and most respected libertarian journals in the United States. He, along with John Allison, published an article titled “A Return To Gold”, which detailed the shortcomings of fiat currency and the virtues of the gold standard. Here is an excerpt:
“Lenin is said to have declared that the best way to destroy the Capitalist System was to debauch the currency. . . . Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society. . . .The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” — John Maynard Keynes
This summer marked the 40th anniversary of President Richard M. Nixon’s decision to sever the U.S. dollar’s official link to gold. On August 15, 1971, Nixon took to the airwaves in a national address from the Oval Office to declare that the U.S. Treasury would no longer honor foreigners’ demands to redeem dollars for gold. Because the United States was then the last country in the world with a currency defined by gold, it represented a complete and historic decoupling of the globe’s currencies—literally the money of the entire world—from the yellow metal.
For the first time in at least 2,700 years, dating to the Lydian coinage in what is now Turkey, gold was used as official money nowhere in the world. And for the first time ever the world’s monetary affairs were defined by a system of politically managed fiat currencies—that is, paper money run by governments or their central banks. The story behind Nixon’s catastrophic mistake, and the lessons it contains for today, suggest a framework for monetary policy and reforms that will induce strong and sustainable economic growth in the future.
Read the whole thing here.