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.
... While the Fed's easy-money policies have not produced many jobs, they have produced a persistent, low rate of inflation that is choking the American middle class. Since the asset purchases began five years ago, the average American family has experienced rising prices and stagnant wages. The resulting decline in living standards explains why voters ranked rising prices nearly tied with unemployment as their top economic concern during the 2012 election.
... It is difficult to interpret [Jeb] Hensarling’s declaration to hold hearings on “the entirety of their hundred year history and what America has looked like since adopting a fiat currency” as anything but an intention to bring the Commission up for a vote. Hensarling promises to process vast amounts of information. The constraints on a committee hearing, and on a committee staff, cannot do such a huge topic justice. As Rep. Kevin Brady put it in his own remarks at Cato, a “brutally bipartisan” Commission — with Hensarling a Commissioner — is called for.
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
The Problem of the Quantity Theory of Money
Rueff’s first work in monetary theory, Theorie des Phenomenes Monetaires (1927), was devoted partly to examining the theories put forward by Irving Fisher in The Purchasing Power of Money (1911). Rueff himself owed a large debt to Fisher, as does all of economics, for ideas like the modern understanding of income and capital. But Fisher is best remembered for his famous Equation of Exchange:
MV + M’V’ = PT
where M is the supply of money, M’ the supply of bank credit, and V and V’ referred to the “velocity of circulation” of money and bank credit, respectively.
"By means of the lawful stamp of convertibility to gold, a near-worthless paper was suffused with a monetary life of its own. It circulated in place of coins and bullion because it was even more convenient, equally divisible, and above all secured by the substance of real money. Moreover, convertible paper and deposit currencies conserved still further the scarce mineral, labor, and capital resources previously invested in the production and circulation of precious bullion or coins. One sees in the evolution of this extraordinary commercial institution of exchange that money became a unique conservator, and the effective mechanism of growth of a civilization born of scarcity."
Speaking in Berlin November 21, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi declared: "Let me react towards what is a nationalistic undertone in some of our countries whereby we [are said to] act against the interests of some countries and in defense of our own countries." German members of the European...
Two erudite and discerning officials affiliated with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York -- the bellwether of the Federal Reserve System -- have posted another scholarly essay in their series entitled "Crisis Chronicles." An excerpt from the fine, and immediately relevant, work of James Narron, senior vice president and...