Is Wikileaks founder Julian Assange channeling Don Draper in the TV series Mad Men—the brilliant but ethically challenged publicist with retro lifestyle issues? Assange got the Daily Telegraph breathlessly to report an old June 2009 "confidential" cable from the U.S. London Embassy to the U.S. Treasury, State Department, Beijing and Moscow embassies, headed "LONDON-BASED EXPERTS AGREE THE U.S. DOLLAR WILL MAINTAIN ITS RESERVE STATUS."
The significance was hardly that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner deemed HSBC and Deutsche Bank economists' stumble-along-further prognosis a policy endorsement. At most it was that U.S. monetary authorities hadn't previously spelled out to U.S. diplomats that "recent proposals to make the SDR a global reserve currency lacked viability"—which had long been obvious to HSBC's Currency Outlook and James Grant's Interest Rate Observer (and LBMC LLC's Market Watch).
Since the dollar standard isn’t sustainable and the SDR isn't viable, the next successful U.S. president will undertake the remaining practical alternative: restoring the gold standard without reserve currencies. The chart below compares the U.S. dollar against gold, the yen and Euro/DM since monetary 'experts' famously predicted in the '60s that gold would fall from $35 to $6 an ounce if it were demonetized. Instead, the gold price multiplied forty-fold while the dollar slid against other currencies.
Today’s economic conditions reflect a fiat monetary system held together by many tricks and luck over the past 40 years. The world has been awash in paper money since removal of the last vestige of the gold standard by Richard Nixon when he buried the Bretton Woods agreement — the gold exchange standard — on August 15, 1971.
Since then we’ve been on a worldwide paper dollar standard. Quite possibly we are seeing the beginning of the end of that system. If so, tough times are ahead for the United States and the world economy.
The new Federal Reserve chairman, Janet Yellen, gave a policy speech today at Chicago, where, in a startling gesture, she mentioned three working individuals by name — Jermaine Brownlee, Vicki Lira, and Doreen Poole. They lost their jobs the Great Recession and have been struggling ever since. It was a refreshing, even affecting demarche by Mrs. Yellen, who has made a return to full employment a public priority. She underscored her sincerity by telephoning Mr. Brownlee and Ms. Lira and Ms. Poole before delivering her speech.
Publisher's Note: Originally released in June/July of 1991, this detailed report discusses Jacques Rueff's economic theories and applies them to modern economic events.
By John D. Mueller
Who Was Jacques Rueff?
... Trained in science and mathematics at the Ecole Polytechnique, Rueff devoted his first theoretical work to showing that the same scientific method applies to “moral” or “social” sciences like economics as to the physical sciences (Des Sciences Physiques aux Sciences Morales, 1922). In both cases, he pointed out, individual acts can be “indeterminate,” but the pattern of large numbers of individual acts can be predicted as a matter of probability. And so in economics no less than physics, as he later wrote, “A scientific theory is considered correct only if it makes forecasting possible.”
"Forerunners of man lived upon the planet several million years ago. But the unique, modern, social order of man – civilization – emerged only four to five thousand years ago. Historical and archaeological evidence suggests that the institution of money evolved coterminously with civilization. From the standpoint of the 100,000-year history of Homo sapiens, civilization and money are but young and fragile reeds. Today their very existence is threatened by financial disorder."
There is a lot of bad behavior in the global political and monetary world. Much of it comes in countries that should know better. Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) easily won municipal electons in Turkey but the party’s candidates won far short of the nation’s votes.
Hostility toward gold has a long pedigree.
19th century depiction of Pliny the Elder courtesy of the Library of Congress
Gaius Plinius Secundus, commonly known as Pliny the Elder, in his The Natural History, Book 33, section 3, writes:
Would that gold could have been banished for ever from the earth, accursed by...