Monday, November 22, 2010

Gold v. The Fed

There were no worldwide financial crises of major magnitude during the Bretton Woods era from 1947 to 1971. Lesson: Gold is a more efficient governor of monetary policy that the Federal Reserve.

When it last met, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) signaled its desire to increase the rate of inflation by providing additional monetary stimulus. This policy is based on a false – and dangerous – premise: that manipulating the dollar’s buying power will lead to higher employment and economic growth. But the experience of the past 40 years points to the opposite conclusion: that guaranteeing a stable value for the dollar by restoring dollar-gold convertibility would be the surest way for the Federal Reserve to achieve its dual mandate of maximum employment and price stability...

What’s happened since 1971, when President Nixon formally broke the link between the dollar and gold? Higher average unemployment, slower growth, greater instability and a decline in the economy’s resilience...

Economists and pundits may disagree on why the gold standard delivered such superior results compared to the recurrent crises, instability and overall inferior economic performance delivered by the current system. But the data are clear: A gold-based system delivers higher employment and more price stability. The time has come to begin the serious work of building a 21st-century gold standard for the benefit of American workers, investors and businesses.

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