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MN Gordon is President and Founder of Direct Expressions LLC, an independent publishing company.  He’s the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Economic Prism – an E-Newsletter that brings clarity to the muddy waters of economic policy and targets investment opportunities for ... more

The Federal Reserve is a Barbarous Relic

Date: Friday, November 1, 2019 10:48 PM EDT

“We believe monetary policy is in a good place.” – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, October 30, 2019.

The Sky is Falling

Ptolemy I Soter, in his history of the wars of Alexander the Great, related an episode from Alexander’s 334 BC compact with the Celts ‘who dwelt by the Ionian Gulf.’  According to Ptolemy’s account, which survives via quote by Arrian of Nicomedia some 450 years later, when Alexander asked the Celtic envoys what they feared most, they answered:

“We fear no man: there is but one thing that we fear, namely, that the sky should fall on us.”

Today, at the risk of being called Chicken Little, we tug on a thread that weaves back to the ancient Celts. Our message is grave: The sky is falling.  Though the implications are still unclear.

The sky, for our purposes, is the debt-based dollar reserve standard that’s been in place for the past 48 years.  If you recall, on August 15, 1971, President Nixon “temporarily” suspended convertibility of the dollar into gold. The dollar became wholly the fiat money of the Treasury.

At the G-10 Rome meeting held in late-1971, Treasury Secretary John Connally reduced the new dollar reserve standard to a bite-sized nugget for his European finance minister counterparts, stating:

“The dollar is our currency, but it’s your problem.”

Predictably, without the restraint of gold, the quantity of debt-based money has increase seemingly without limits – and it’s everyone’s massive problem.  What’s more, over the past 30 years the Federal Reserve has obliged Washington with cheaper and cheaper credit.

Hence, public, private, and corporate debt levels in the U.S. have multiplied beyond comprehension. Total U.S. debt’s now on the order of $74 trillion. The consequences, no doubt, are an economy that’s equally distorted and disfigured beyond comprehension.

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