quarta-feira, 6 de Agosto de 2003

Gold Standards, the State, and Free Banking

Comentário: Uma das muitas "conquistas" da Grande Guerra foi a nacionalização do dinheiro (pela "necessidade" de financiar as despesas militares pela inflacção monetária), o que em última análise conduziu à Grande Depressão de 1929, e que contribuiu também para os trágicos eventos da década seguinte: Hitler e Mussolini, etc, como "salvadores" do caos económico. Roosevelt e o New Deal como prova de uma qualquer deficiência do Capitalismo. Como sempre, "unintended consequences".

"For instance, Britain in the 1920's allegedly returned to the gold standard it abandoned in 1914, but made the pound convertible only into bullion (as opposed to coins), so that only large traders had the privilege of convertibility. It was a debased form of a gold standard if you will.

Moreover, it returned to the gold standard at the prewar (overvalued) rate for the pound. Instead of solving the attendant problems with monetary deflation, or by applying sound money principles to increase the Pound's value:

"Great Britain persuaded the other European countries at the Genoa Conference of 1922 to go back, not to a genuine gold standard, but to a phony gold exchange standard. Instead of each nation issuing currency directly redeemable in gold, it was to keep its reserves in the form of sterling balances in London, which in turn would undertake to redeem sterling in gold. In that way, other countries would pyramid their currencies on top of pounds, and pounds themselves were being inflated throughout the 1920s. Britain could then print pounds without worrying about the accumulated sterling balances being redeemed in gold." (Rothbard; Mystery of Banking; pp.246)

Later, when the United States abandoned its government guaranteed gold standard, it adopted this model. The Bretton Woods monetary system was premised on just such a recycling (pyramiding) scheme, except with more members and the reserves this time were Federal Reserve Notes.

The world had their currencies pegged to the dollar, and the dollar was redeemable in gold. But what made the Bretton Woods system a gold-exchange standard was that gold coins weren't allowed in circulation; individuals in the United States were restricted in owning both bullion and coins (from 1934 until 1973/75).

The same kind of centralized pyramiding of Federal Reserve Notes goes on today, except there isn't even a phony gold standard in place to deceive people. It isn't necessary. For, inflation is indeed the true opium of the people..."

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