Brookes began by stating that "conservatives need to understand that without basic monetary reform there is no way to balance the U.S. budget, with or without tax increases and budget cuts, and even with the most optimistic GNP growth projections." He then offered a 3 part solution:
(1) "the nation must return as quickly as possible to gold-based money and debt" (Heritage's Policy Review published another piece endorsing a return to the gold standard as a key component of balancing the budget, in the next issue, by the late Congressman, HUD Secretary and Vice Presidential candidate -- Jack Kemp, My Plan To Balance The Budget, Spring 1986)
(2) we should allow "free exchange of gold and silver, both public and private, setting up a parallel monetary system on a free market basis, allowing the public to choose," (Heritage's Policy Review published another piece endorsing the idea of Hayekian currency competition or privatization, also in the next issue -- Richard W. Rahn, Time To Privatize Money?, Spring 1986) and
(3) "the Federal Reserve would be phased back to its original role as a bank-owned clearing house, thus eliminating its huge and costly presence in the money markets where its open market operations now run as high as $1 trillion a year."
With all of the talk about the "fiscal cliff" and raising the debt ceiling yet again, it is clear that the problems of the Federal budget and debt, and especially the cost of servicing the Federal debt, have certainly not gotten any better since Warren Brookes's solutions were published (and ignored) in 1986.
In the opening days of the new session of Congress, a number of bills have been introduced that would partially enact these solutions:
(i) Congressman Paul Broun's H.R. 73 (Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act) and
(ii) H.R. 77 (Free Competition in Currency Act of 2013), both similar to bills previously introduced by Dr. Ron Paul. (Congressmen Broun and Steve Stockman have also introduced bills to audit the Federal Reserve, also similar to bills previously introduced by Congressman and Senator Paul -- H.R. 24 (Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013) and H.R. 33 (Audit The Fed Act of 2013)).
We’ll see just how serious Washington, D.C. is about the budget and debt crises.
... 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."
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...
India is getting ready for elections next year that could end a decade of rule by the Congress Party. Corruption plus economic stagnation may make it hard for the Congress Party to win a third straight term. As Wieland Wagner wrote in Der Spiegel: “India's economy is growing only half...