Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.The Greatest Stock Market Crash Of Your Life Is Just Ahead… – Warns Harry Dent - GoldCore
2.Budget 2016: Borrowing, Lifetime ISA, House Prices, Economy, Syria, Brexit and Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Gold Price Intermediate Top - Clive_Maund
4.Brussels Terror Attacks, Death of the European Union, BrExit Wake up Call - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Stock Market Maybe This Time is Different? - Tony_Caldaro
6.UK House Asking Prices Break Above £300k! Housing Market Paralysis - Nadeem_Walayat
7.A Big Reason Why Silver Price Is Set To Soar - Hubert_Moolman
8.The Financial Crisis Has Just Begun; Is The American Dream Is Over? - Chris_Vermeulen
9.Gold Stocks Spring Rally - Zeal_LLC
10.GLX, GLDX, Baby Gold Bull Market Stillborn? - Rambus_Chartology
Last 7 days
Silver: The “Five Year Plan” and the Great Leap Forward - 28th Apr 16
Michael Hudson: The Wall Street Economy Has Taken Over The Economy and Is Draining It! - 28th Apr 16
AUD/USD - Trend Reversal or Just a Bigger Pullback? - 28th Apr 16
A Gold Revaluation Could Transform Your Financial Status - Overnight - 28th Apr 16
Monetary Policies Misunderstood - 28th Apr 16
Gold Bullion vs Gold Miners - 28th Apr 16
OECD Suggests BrExit Would Cut Net Migration by 1.2 Million by 2030 - 28th Apr 16
MP Naz Shah Punished for Tweets Made During Israel's Genocide of Gaza Palestinian People - 28th Apr 16
Global Recession in 2016 and Beyond - The Obvious Evidence - 27th Apr 16
Why Gold Bugs Need to Stop Listening to The Fear Mongers and Start Thinking for a Change - 27th Apr 16
BlackRock’s Fink: Fed to Raise Interest Rates by Quarter Point ‘at Best’ - 27th Apr 16
Gold More Productive Than Cash?! - 27th Apr 16
Donald Trump Will Fire Janet Yellen and Be Trapped - 27th Apr 16
Money Saving Gardening by Propagating Roses From Cuttings - Propagating Rose Plants Over 2.5 Years - 27th Apr 16
Facebook Censors Pro Trump and Negative Hillary News - 27th Apr 16
This is the Era of the Democrats and Your Taxes are Going Up - 27th Apr 16
Long Awaited Gold Price Breakout - 26th Apr 16
Crude Oil Price Double Top or Further Rally? - 26th Apr 16
Madness in the Crimex Gold and Silver Trading Pits - 26th Apr 16
Britain's Prospects: GBP and BREXIT - MAP Wave Analysis - 26th Apr 16
CRB, Gold, Oil, Cotton, Coffee - 7 Must See Commodities Charts - 26th Apr 16
Gold Price Target is $3,000 and Silver is $75 per Ounce - 25th Apr 16
Parameters for a Stock Market Sell Signal-in-the-making - 25th Apr 16
Stock Market Dangerous Divergence - 25th Apr 16
Gold Miners Nub is the Sweat of the Sun - 24th Apr 16
US Dollar Price Forecast - 24th Apr 16
Stock Market Upside Objective Reached - 24th Apr 16
Why Leftist Greeks have more reasons than Liberals to favour Entrepreneurship and Support Entrepreneurs - 24th Apr 16
The Dow Jones is a Catalyst for Misplaced Stock Market Optimism - 24th Apr 16
Why Russia Harasses U.S. Aircraft and Ships - 24th Apr 16
Stocks Bull or Bear Market Rally? - 23rd Apr 16
A Bright Future for Solar Power in the Middle East - 23rd Apr 16
Silver Commitments of Traders – Halloween is Arriving Early This Year - 23rd Apr 16
Good News, Bad News, Both Favor Gold And Silver - 23rd Apr 16
Mish's Sure Fire Proposal to End Japanese Deflation - 23rd Apr 16
Mish Shedlock: “EXCUSE ME MR. PRESIDENT, IS THAT A JOKE?” - 23rd Apr 16

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Catching a Falling Financial Knife

Gold Cross, The End of Honest Money

Commodities / Gold and Silver 2013 Feb 14, 2013 - 12:15 PM GMT

By: Bill_Bonner

Commodities

You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. ~ William Jennings Bryan

The season of fasting is upon us. No more high living. It's time to cinch up our belts... to put on a gaunt face and a smug look. Alone among friends and associates, we will keep Lent.


So neglected is Lent that even Google has forgotten about it. When we searched for it, it proposed "lentil soup."

Lent is meant to rehearse the 40 days and nights that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before going public. We remember the lean days with prayer, meditation and self-denial. No alcohol will cross our lips from Ash Wednesday till Easter Sunday. (Except on Sundays. And saints' days. And national holidays. And days that begin the letter "T" or have a date that is a prime number.)

Yes, dear reader, we will be true to the church calendar, with a few emendations of our own.

Why? Because we wish to remember that periods of gluttony and wantonness must be followed by periods of fasting and correction. Yin and yang must be kept in balance. Pain and pleasure... good and bad... right and wrong – all must get what is coming to them. Otherwise, the entire world gets out of whack.

We fast to remind ourselves that there are hardships... there are lean periods in life. Not just in our drinking lives... but in our economic lives... and in our emotional lives too. There is adversity. There is pain and penance. We fall in line, observing church rituals, so that we don't fall apart when real adversity hits us in the face. We endure Lent so we can enjoy Easter.

Yes: Corrections are a part of life.

You correct your mistakes... or you are corrected by them. No other outcome is possible.

But along comes the doctrine and practice of modern central banking. All these MIT-educated central bankers have a different idea. They work tirelessly to avoid correction... to prevent pain... and to bring back the good times of free-spending revelry. Now they have a program – "QE to Eternity" – which promises to keep the economy pain free forever.

A "Wicked Project"
To fully understand how this came about, we step back to the founding of the United States of America, in whose Constitution today's central bank money was specifically prohibited. The states (which had the power then to mint their own money) were not to "make any thing but gold and silver coin legal tender in payment of debts."

James Madison, in The Federalist Papers, described allowing paper money as "improper or wicked project." And in his 1819 Dartmouth College v. Woodward decision, Chief Justice John Marshall explained that paper money had "weakened the confidence of man in man and embarrassed all transactions between individuals by dispensing with a faithful performance of engagements."

Not that paper money was necessarily the work of the devil, but Satan had a hand in it. When you can counterfeit money – and get away with it – it's a hard habit to stop. You are soon hooked on it.

Congress resorted to paper money – greenbacks – during the War Between the States. Five hundred million paper dollars were issued. This led to higher prices, which pleased debtors. They borrowed in expensive money; they repaid in cheap greenbacks. Prices in the North rose 75% from 1860-1865.

A Cross of Gold?
After the war, the greenbacks went away. But the desire for cheap money continued.

Farming was the largest sector of the economy in the 19th century. Typically, farmers borrowed to expand their farms during booms, when prices were high. Then, in the correction, they cursed the bankers who had lent them money and railed against the gold standard.

Late in the century, William Jennings Bryan took up their cause as his own. The rural proletariat had gone bust in the farm crash of the 1880s... and now found itself so deep in debt it was willing to take up with a fool like Bryan, if he promised relief.

The roads choked up with dust when Bryan came to a cow town in the Midwest. There, he ranted and raved against all that the farm folk detested – often sweating like a hot shower in the summer heat.

"You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold," he roared to the approving hallelujahs of the yokels.

The speech had a ring to it. It was a rhetorical flourish with great power. Remembered and repeated, it is still today probably more readily recognized than Lent. But it was empty: nothing more than bombast and fraud.

There is some liturgical disagreement about it. But Lent generally ends on Good Friday, when Jesus was crucified on a cross of wood. Since then, millions have been crucified financially by paper money (a wood product). No one has ever been nailed to a cross of gold.

What Bryan had against gold was the same thing that all paper money pushers – including modern central bankers – have against it. Gold is uncooperative and stiff-necked. You borrow it and you have to pay it back. The lender expects to get his money back in real money.

And since the supply of gold rarely grows faster than the supply of goods and services for which it is exchanged, prices remain more or less stable. Debtors are not let off the hook.

Prices rose from 1800-1913, when America's central bank was founded, by 176%, says Paul Moreno. New discoveries of gold in Alaska, South Africa and Australia had increased the money supply significantly. But that was nothing. In the 100 years since, when paper money was the stuff most often issued by the U.S. Treasury, prices have gone up 448%.

Bryan got his way after all. Nobody in America suffers from an honest currency. Nobody pays back as much as he has borrowed. Even contracts with "CPI adjustment" clauses fail to make the lender whole; the feds have seen to that too.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning

Bill Bonner [send him mail] is the author, with Addison Wiggin, of Financial Reckoning Day: Surviving the Soft Depression of The 21st Century and Empire of Debt: The Rise Of An Epic Financial Crisis and the co-author with Lila Rajiva of Mobs, Messiahs and Markets (Wiley, 2007).

http://www.lewrockwell.com

    © 2013 Copyright The Daily Reckoning, Bill Bonner - All Rights Reserved
    Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife