Tag Archives: dollar

The Coming Attack On Bitcoin And How To Survive It

From EconomicsAndLiberty.com:

By Anthony Freeman

(This article is the third in a series on bitcoin. Read parts 1 and 2 here and here.)

With bitcoin gaining mainstream attention the coming attack on its users is inevitable. In this short piece I will explain how it is likely to unfold and how you can survive it.

First, a little background:

In 1996 E-gold was one of the early entrants to the market with a private, global e-currency. They achieved stellar growth and widespread attention – much like bitcoin today. Accolades came from freedom-lovers everywhere. They were the “Great Gold Hope” that would free the people by freeing the money. Privacy-enthusiasts, libertarians, gold-bugs, autarchists, anarchists, voluntaryists, drug-dealers, and even unsavory types flocked to it with praise and adoration.

Of course, the monopolists of the monetary system didn’t take lightly to this threat to their very existence. They came after the independent exchangers and e-gold with their full force and fury – eventually succeeding in convicting the key players for “conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business” and “conspiracy to engage in money laundering”. E-gold was fairly easy to take down because their operations and data-center were centralized and readily accessible.

Many folks who are now currently acting as currency exchangers for bitcoin will be the first to come under attack. Many will get hurt and possibly even imprisoned but, because of its decentralized nature, bitcoin will survive where e-gold did not.

If any of the large exchangers like mtgox.com are operating out of the US then it won’t be long before they are raided and shut down. Individual exchangers will be targeted as well – just to make an example and to scare others out of the community. This will create a giant “wet blanket” on the current enthusiasm for bitcoin and I expect the currency to take a major drop in exchange value when this happens. Not to fear though. Bitcoin will survive due to its decentralized “peer to peer” nature and it will continue to operate as an “alter-cash” resuming its growth albeit at a slower rate during the immediate aftermath.

To protect yourself I recommend the following:

You probably have a little more time before the attacks come (maybe a couple of months?) to acquire bitcoin with cash – and there are profits in speculation to be made until then but, when the raids come, expect a sharp correction before exchange values move on to new highs over a longer period of time. What you do not want to do is be involved as an “exchange service” conducting exchanges in and out of national currencies and you definitely do not want to have your money sitting in the exchanger’s account when they are raided and shut down.

Remember, e-gold was shut down for “conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business”. Do not store any money in online accounts like mybitcoin.com in case they get taken down along with the exchangers. Keep all of your bitcoins on your computer with multiple, encrypted back-ups both on the cloud and on an external thumb drive.

The safest way to acquire bitcoin is to let people know that you will accept it as payment for your products and services. Do not ever exchange it for national currencies. The point that people miss here is that national currencies are the very problem that freedom-lovers are trying to get away from. Instead, use bitcoin to trade with merchants and individuals who accept it as payment. Offer it as payment to those who are unaware of it and explain the benefits to them. This will help develop the market and create a solid economy outside of national currencies. After the initial attack, bitcoin will likely be one of the most powerful and revolutionary tools to bring about more freedom and liberty to humankind.

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Gold as the Silent Witness

Dan Norcini writes:

I wanted to post some brief comments to let some of the newer readers understand why many of us believe that there is a war being waged upon gold by the Central Banks of the West.

Let me start this off by quoting from none other than former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan more than 40 years ago:

In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. … This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard

What the former Fed Chairman was then saying was that absent a gold standard or some device for restraining the unlimited creation of fiat money, there was nothing to impede monetary officials from engaging in such activity to the extent that it would ultimately set in motion a process of inflation, which is really just another name for the erosion of the purchasing power of a nation’s currency by debasing it. Inflation was and is in essence, the transfer of wealth from one class to another.

Today we have the Fed engaging in the very process that Greenspan warned against back then. We also have the BOJ and the ECB effectively doing the same thing to an extent.

Unlike Silver, Gold is the main metal that most analysts and commentators look to when attempting to decipher whether or not inflation is a serious problem. That means the reference point of gold has become a target for Central Banks which want the world to believe that they can create unlimited amounts of funny money with absolutely ZERO impact on inflation levels. In other words, that they can conjure up wealth and produce prosperity with the electronic equivalent of a printing press and produce no serious inflationary impact by so doing.

A rising gold debunks their hubristic assertions to the contrary for it stands as a silent witness testifying against them. This is the reason the yellow metal is despised by so many Central Banks. It mocks their policies and displays their folly for all the world to see. Central Bankers, being the demigods that they are, will tolerate no rivals to their claims of economic omniscience. You see they have actually come to believe that it is their own wisdom and foresight which enables them to see through the fog that hinders and impedes our economic progress and that they are in a unique position to provide the rest of us with lasting prosperity. They attempt to do this by basically providing or withdrawing liquidity as they in their wisdom judge best and by the setting or manipulation of interest rates.

Those of us who believe that it is free market capitalism and the industry and efforts of mankind that produce wealth and prosperity would beg to differ but that is another story altogether. I would add that it is my opinion that the world would be better off without this plague of locusts that actually devour a nation’s wealth but the fact is that they are here.

While they are here gold will attempt to move in such a manner that it either blesses or curses their policies. Now we all would love to have our policies approved by the vote of the market but what about those times in which the market frowns on our course of action and refuses to smile upon it? Why this is but a simple matter – attack the messenger! If one can somehow manage to keep the price of gold under wrap so that it does not move sharply higher then one can attempt to make the claim that inflation is not a serious problem. The comments usually go something like this:

“Well Jerry, we are looking at the gold price and from what we can see, that while it is definitely higher, it is not soaring out of control. The market may be pricing in some gradual inflation but the action in the gold price is telling us that any fears of inflation getting out of control are definitely unwarranted. Besides, we all agree that some inflation is a good thing because the alternative is deflation and no one wants to see that”.

Imagine Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before Congress saying that the current rise in prices of many goods is only “temporary” and “relatively modest” if the gold price were soaring beyond $1650 and higher! Do you think anyone would take anything that the Chairman said seriously? Copper can soar higher and most will not notice it. Even if it does, it is generally explained as a positive because we are told it is a sign of strong economic growth ahead. Crude oil and energy prices can rocket higher and that can be attributed to geopolitical unrest among oil producing nations. Food can rise sharply and everyone notices that but such things are often explained away by citing weather conditions, supply constraints, etc. but a rising gold price? How does one explain that away?

The only reason that gold has a sustained price rise is because of a lack of confidence in the monetary system. It does not rise sharply because of such things as jewelry demand or industrial demand – it rises when fear, distrust, doubt, suspicion and uncertainty over Central Bank policy reigns. It rises when REAL interest rates are negative and investors understand the insidious process of currency debauchment practiced by these monetary authorities is underway. It thus cries aloud and issues a warning to those who can hear it and what it shouts displeases many Central Bankers because they are among those who while they despise its message, are all too keenly able to hear that message.

Thus the messenger, the prophet, the oracle, must be silenced or at the very least, his message blunted, toned down, marginalized, trivialized by whatever means possible. The mechanism employed to do just this is a subject for another time and place. Suffice it to say for now, without the efforts by the monetary officials of the West to discredit gold, it would be trading considerably higher. Even at that however, the ancient metal of kings refuses to go quietly and docilely into the night. It will yet have the final say.

Italians know the value of cash

via mises.org:

Italians love cash and avoid credit and debit purchases at the highest rate of all the euro region. As a result, they are among the region’s least indebted and biggest savers. It’s estimated that the government loses 100 billion euros of revenue a year in untaxed transactions, while its banking cartel loses out on billions of possible fee revenue when the average Italian makes only 26 credit card purchases a year. Needless to say, the government and banks are joining forces in a war on cash, cash salaries, and cash transactions.

Good luck! A cash-based culture is what one would expect from a people who have seen practically every form of government come and go over centuries. No wonder Italians, embracing a practice endorsed last year by economist Joe Salerno, tend to place their faith in private networks and associations whenever possible. “Italians have a strong family tradition that leads them to avoid debt and save a lot to ensure their kids a future,” says Bacconi University’s Carlo Alberto Carnevale-Maffe. “They like solid investments such as houses. And for renovations or purchases made under the table, what better way than cash?”

For more information, see Bloomberg.

10 Things That Would Be Different If The Federal Reserve Had Never Been Created

From EconomicCollapseBlog.com:

The vast majority of Americans, including many of those who believe that they are “educated” about the Federal Reserve, do not really understand how the Federal Reserve really makes money for the international banking elite.  Many of those opposed to the Federal Reserve will point to the record $80.9 billion in profits that the Federal Reserve made last year as evidence that they are robbing the American people blind.  But then those defending the Federal Reserve will point out that the Fed returned $78.4 billion to the U.S. Treasury.  As a result, the Fed only made a couple billion dollars last year.  Pretty harmless, eh?  Well, actually no.  You see, the money that the Federal Reserve directly makes is not the issue.  Rather, the “magic” of the Federal Reserve system is that it took the power of money creation away from the U.S. government and gave it to the bankers.  Now, the only way that the U.S. government can inject more money into the economy is by going into more debt.  But when new government debt is created, the amount of money to pay the interest on that debt is not also created.  In this way, it was intended by the international bankers that U.S. government debt would expand indefinitely and the U.S. money supply would also expand indefinitely.  In the process, the international bankers would become insanely wealthy by lending money to the U.S. government.

Every single year, hundreds of billions of dollars in profits are made lending money to the U.S. government.

But why in the world should the U.S. government be going into debt to anyone?

Why can’t the U.S. government just print more money whenever it wants?

Well, that is not the way our system works.  The U.S. government has given the power of money creation over to a consortium of international private bankers.

Not only is this unconstitutional, but it is also one of the greatest ripoffs in human history.

In 1922, Henry Ford wrote the following….

“The people must be helped to think naturally about money. They must be told what it is, and what makes it money, and what are the possible tricks of the present system which put nations and peoples under control of the few.”

It is important to try to understand how the international banking elite became so fabulously wealthy.  One of the primary ways that this was accomplished was by gaining control over the issuance of national currencies and by trapping large national governments in colossal debt spirals.

The U.S. national debt problem simply cannot be fixed under the current system.  U.S. government debt has been mathematically designed to expand forever.  It is a trap from which there is no escape.

Many liberals won’t listen because they don’t really care about ever paying off the debt, and most conservatives won’t listen because they are convinced we can solve the national debt problem if we just get a bunch of “good conservatives” into positions of power, but the truth is that we have such a horrific debt problem because it was designed to be this way from the beginning.

So how would America be different if we could go back to 1913 and keep the Federal Reserve Act from ever being passed?  Well, the following are 10 things that would be different if the Federal Reserve had never been created….

#1 If the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free money all this time, the U.S. government could conceivably have a national debt of zero dollars.  Instead, we currently have a national debt that is over 14 trillion dollars.

#2 If the U.S. government had been issuing debt-free money all this time, the U.S. government would likely not be spending one penny on interest payments.  Instead, the U.S. government spent over 413 billion dollars on interest on the national debt during fiscal 2010.  This is money that belonged to U.S. taxpayers that was transferred to the U.S. government which in turn was transferred to wealthy international bankers and other foreign governments.  It is being projected that the U.S. government will be paying 900 billion dollars just in interest on the national debt by the year 2019.

#3 If the U.S. government could issue debt-free money, there would not even have to be a debate about raising “the debt ceiling”, because such a debate would not even be necessary.

#4 If the U.S. government could issue debt-free money, it is conceivable that we would not even need the IRS.  You doubt this?  Well, the truth is that the United States did just fine for well over a hundred years without a national income tax.  But about the same time the Federal Reserve was created a national income tax was instituted as well.  The whole idea was that the wealth of the American people would be transferred to the U.S. government by force and then transferred into the hands of the ultra-wealthy in the form of interest payments.

#5 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, we would not be on the verge of national insolvency.  The Congressional Budget Office is projecting that U.S. government debt held by the public will reach a staggering 716 percent of GDP by the year 2080.  Remember when I used the term “debt spiral” earlier?  Well, this is what a debt spiral looks like….

#6 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, the big Wall Street banks would not have such an overwhelming advantage.  Most Americans simply have no idea that over the last several years the Federal Reserve has been giving gigantic piles of nearly interest-free money to the big Wall Street banks which they turned right around and started lending to the federal government at a much higher rate of return.  I don’t know about you, but if I was allowed to do that I could make a whole bunch of money very quickly.  In fact, it has come out that the Federal Reserve made over $9 trillion in overnight loans to major banks, large financial institutions and other “friends” during the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009.

#7 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, it is theoretically conceivable that we would have an economy with little to no inflation.  Of course that would greatly depend on the discipline of our government officials (which is not very great at this point), but the sad truth is that our current system is always going to produce inflation.  In fact, the Federal Reserve system was originally designed to be inflationary.  Just check out the inflation chart posted below.  The U.S. never had ongoing problems with inflation before the Fed was created, but now it is just wildly out of control….

#8 If the Federal Reserve had never been created, the U.S. dollar would not be a dying currency.  Since the Federal Reserve was created, the U.S. dollar has lost well over 95 percent of its purchasing power.  By constantly inflating the currency, it transfers financial power away from those already holding the wealth (the American people) to those that are able to create more currency and more government debt.  Back in 1913, the total U.S. national debt was just under 3 billion dollars.  Today, the U.S. government is spending approximately 6.85 million dollars per minute, and the U.S. national debt is increasing by over 4 billion dollars per day.

#9 If the Federal Reserve did not exist, we would not have an unelected, unaccountable “fourth branch of government” running around that has gotten completely and totally out of control.  Even some members of Congress are now openly complaining about how much power the Fed has.  For example, Ron Paul told MSNBC last year that he believes that the Federal Reserve is now more powerful than Congress…..

“The regulations should be on the Federal Reserve. We should have transparency of the Federal Reserve. They can create trillions of dollars to bail out their friends, and we don’t even have any transparency of this. They’re more powerful than the Congress.”

#10 If the Federal Reserve had never been created, the American people would be much more free.  We would not be enslaved to this horrific national debt.  Our politicians would not have to run around the globe begging people to lend us money.  Representatives that we directly elect would be the ones setting national monetary policy.  Our politicians would be much less under the influence of the international banking elite.  We would not be at the mercy of the financial bubbles that the Fed has constantly been creating.

There is a reason why so many of the most prominent politicians from the early years of the United States were so passionately against a central bank.  The following is a February 1834 quote by President Andrew Jackson about the evils of central banking….

I too have been a close observer of the doings of the Bank of the United States. I have had men watching you for a long time, and am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the Bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the Bank and annul its charter I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families, and that would be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I have determined to rout you out and, by the Eternal, (bringing his fist down on the table) I will rout you out.

But we didn’t listen to men like Andrew Jackson.

We allowed the Federal Reserve to be created in 1913 and we have allowed it to develop into an absolute monstrosity over the past century.

Now we are drowning in debt and we are on the verge of national bankruptcy.

Will the American people wake up before it is too late?

The Purchasing Power of the Dollar Since 1914

Freer Is Better

Freer Is Better

By John Stossel

The 2010 Index of Economic Freedom lowers the ranking of the United States to eighth out of 179 nations — behind Canada! A year ago, it ranked sixth, ahead of Canada.

Don’t say it’s Barack Obama’s fault. Half the data used in the index is from George W. Bush’s final six months in office. This is a bipartisan problem.

For the past 16 years, the index has ranked the world’s countries on the basis of their economic freedom — or lack thereof. Ten criteria are used: freedoms related to business, trade, fiscal matters, monetary matters, investment, finance, labor, government spending, property rights and freedom from corruption.

The top 10 countries are: Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Switzerland, Canada, the United States, Denmark and Chile.

The bottom 10: Republic of Congo, Solomon Islands, Turkmenistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Venezuela, Burma, Eritrea, Cuba, Zimbabwe and North Korea.

The index demonstrates what we libertarians have long said: Economic freedom leads to prosperity. Also, the best places to live and fastest-growing economies are among the freest, and vice versa. A society will be materially well off to the extent its people have the liberty to acquire property, start businesses, and trade in a secure legal and political environment.

Bill Beach, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis, which compiles the index with The Wall Street Journal, says the index defines “economic freedom” to mean: “You can follow your dreams, express yourself, create a business, do whatever job you want. Government doesn’t run labor markets, or plan what business you can open, or over-regulate you.”

We asked Beech about the U.S. ranking. “For first time in 16 years, the United States fell from the ‘totally free’ to ‘mostly free’ group. That’s a terrible development,” he said. He fears that if this continues, productive people will leave the United States for freer pastures.

“The United States has been this magnet for three centuries. But today money and people can move quickly, and in less than a lifetime a great country can go by the wayside.”

Why is the United States falling behind? “Our spending has been excessive. … We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world. (Government) takeovers of industries, subsidizing industries … these are the kinds of moves that happen in Third World countries. …”

Beach adds that the rule of law declined when the Obama administration declared some contracts to be null and void. For example, bondholders in the auto industry were forced to the back of the creditor line during bankruptcy. And there’s more regulation of business, such as the Dodd-Frank law for the financial industry and the new credit-card law. But how could the United States place behind Canada? Isn’t Canada practically a socialist country?

“Canada might do health care the wrong way,” Beach said, “but by and large they do things the right way.” Lately, Canada has lowered tax rates and reduced spending.

China is an interesting case. It ranks 140th out of 179, but its economy is on fire. How can this be?

“They have a complex economy,” Beach says. “Around the edges of the mainland are rapidly growing city-states, like Hong Kong, which are pockets of enormous prosperity (and) economic freedom. But within the mainland is a very different economy. It’s heavily controlled by the state. If you look at the growth rates of these two regions, you’ll see one hardly growing.”

And look at France. It ranks 64th, behind Mexico, Peru and Latvia! Yet France is a much wealthier country.

“France is doing their best to fall out of the index,” Beach explained. “That’s a country that says, ‘We’d rather not be economically free if we can be economically secure.'”

Which countries should we keep an eye on in the future? Beach says parts of Central and South America are awakening. “Brazil has pretty much broken through after years of doing the right thing and is on the verge of serious sustained economic growth.”

And Mexico is improving: “If Mexico could fix its drug war problem, we’d see the good things happening there.”

If we want to reverse America’s decline, we’d better get to work. There’s a lot of government to cut.

John Stossel is host of “Stossel” on the Fox Business Network. He’s the author of “Give Me a Break” and of “Myth, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.” To find out more about John Stossel, visit his site at <a href=”http://www.johnstossel.com&#8221; <http://www.johnstossel.com>>johnstossel.com</a&gt;. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at http://www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2010 BY JFS PRODUCTIONS, INC.

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Austrian Economics in Fortune Magazine

From Fortune Magazine:

Will the Fed be able to survive Ron Paul?

December 14, 2010 11:48 am

The erstwhile presidential candidate and soon to be head of Congressional oversight of the Federal Reserve talks gold, jobs and the presidency with Fortune.

If there’s anything to be said about U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, he sure is persistent. And lately, that inner flame that’s helped him gain the reputation for sometimes being the “G.O.P. loner” appears to be paying off.

The soft-spoken obstetrician has represented the 14th District of Texas on and off since 1977, spending much of his political career arguing that the Federal Reserve is evil for America and far too secretive. He doesn’t see why there’s so much faith in paper money, including the U.S. dollar. If Paul had it his way, there’d be a return to the gold standard. He even laid out his case in his book, End the Fed.

What’s more, Paul is a big believer in Austrian economic thought – the idea that government has no role in regulating the economy. And for years, he’s supported keeping Congress from any action not explicitly authorized in the Constitution, or that he sees as wasteful spending, including – as a recent New York Times article highlighted – on issues as ceremonial as honoring Mother Teresa with the Congressional Gold Medal.

No doubt Paul’s views fall outside the mainstream. At times, his thoughts are arguably off-putting and easy to brush off as extremist political rhetoric. Even Libertarians don’t always see eye-to-eye with the Texas politico.

Lately though Paul’s views are garnering the attention that he and supporters have long been waiting for. Earlier this month, Paul was picked to head the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy. That means he will help oversee the body he’s opposed to — the Federal Reserve — as well as currency and the dollar’s value.

If anything, it appears the timing somehow worked out for beliefs that Paul has held for decades. The congressman’s backing has grown considerably with the rise of the Tea Party, whose frustrations with government bailouts of big banks and corporations following the financial crisis seem to fall in line with Paul’s views.

I caught up with Paul this week to talk about his new role, the Fed, how the world could possibly return to the gold standard and the 2012 presidential election. The following is a lightly edited transcript of our talk.

What are the Federal Reserve’s shortcomings?

They’re doing a job that’s impossible to do. So it’s not a single person’s fault. It’s not just former Chairman Alan Greenspan or just current Chairman Ben Bernanke. It’s the assumption that anybody knows what interest rates should be, or the assumption that they know what money supply should be, or the assumption that they can have stable prices or the assumption that they could deal with unemployment.

Do you think we’re better off without a Central Bank?

Sure, it’s better off that we don’t have depressions and inflations and financial chaos and the problems that we face. We of course wouldn’t have this backdoor financing of big government fighting wars overseas and getting people to depend on the welfare state. None of that can happen without a Federal Reserve.

What do you think of the Fed’s latest move to start pumping $600 billion into the economy in hopes to boost the recovery through huge purchases of long-term bonds?

I think it’s terrible. They got us into trouble because there was too much quantitative easing. I mean it was a continuous inflation and artificially low interest rates that Bernanke gave us – he gave us all the bubbles so you can’t solve all the problems of quantitative easing with more of it. So we had one, we’re on number two. But actually we had it under Bernanke. They didn’t call it that but it was essentially the same thing – massive monetary inflation with interest rates way lower than the market.

So what do you think the economy would look like without the Fed?

We’d probably have a much healthier economy – it wouldn’t be so fragile. Nobody would be worrying about currency exchange rates and people wouldn’t be in and out of currencies and spending all their energy doing what they’re doing. Also, we wouldn’t have a situation where the Fed creates money and hands it out for free and let’s the banks make billions of dollars. And the poor people who are retired and have CDs get nothing and because of the downturn in the cycle, which the Fed creates, people lose their jobs and lose their houses. You wouldn’t have any of that.

This was all very clearly predicted by Austrian economic theory and it’s come about and it’s very disturbing to the Fed because they’re going to have to recognize that their theories are completely wrong and they’re not about to do that gracefully.

As chairman of the House subcommittee on domestic monetary policy, which among other things oversees the Federal Reserve, you’ve mentioned you will renew your push for a full audit of the Fed. What do you hope this will do?

It would tell us who the beneficiaries are.  They’ve released recently some information but they really didn’t tell us exactly about everything and where the money has gone and what kind of collateral they have. The people in this country deserve to know who are the beneficiaries and their budget and what they hand out is bigger than the Congress, which is pretty amazing. They’re off budget. They’re not responsible to anybody.

Who do you think the beneficiaries are?

We don’t know exactly but obviously banks and big corporations and foreign central banks and foreign governments.

How do you think these corporations have benefited from the Fed?

They receive free money. I mean they tide them over. The free market would have allowed General Motors (GM) to go bankrupt and the various companies that got the benefits. The banks would have had to reassess and the bad debt would have been liquidated rather than have all the derivatives and the illiquid assets being dumped on the taxpayer, which is what the Fed holds. Instead of the people who made all the money in the boom times suffering they got bailed out and the people who got stuck with it will be the American taxpayer.

You’ve long advocated returning the world to the gold standard. Where do you see the US dollar going?

The world will eventually give up on the dollar. That’s why the markets are so shaky – they don’t know what to do. Gold prices are up and commodity prices are starting up. And most people realize that the world will not be suckers forever and just take our dollars at will. I mean if we can create trillions of dollars and expect to buy goods and services someday they’re going to put their foot down and I think we’re just starting to see the signs of that happening.

The euro conveys no more confidence than the dollar. All the currencies are paper money. So the only way you can measure the value of the currency is by something that has been used for 6,000 years and that is in its relationship to gold. And that of course shows that all the currencies are weakening, which means in time all the crisis will go up. So the measurement has to be on what the money purchases.

I think what’s going to happen is what’s happened in the last 10 years. People will start using gold as money, shift some of their paper assets into gold. Purchasing power of gold goes up and it will go up in all currencies, even though there may be minor fluctuations where the yen may do better than the euro – that sort of thing.

Do you really think America could adopt the gold standard? How can this practically happen?

Not only the faith in the gold standard, it’s the lack in confidence in paper and insanity of creating money out of thin air. Throughout history, we’ve seen that money ought to be a real asset whether it’s silver or whether it’s gold depending on the situation. People always want something of real value.

Look at how many people have money in exchange-traded funds for gold. Billions and billions of dollars. I’ve always considered myself being on the gold standard. I studied this in the 1960s and the predictions made that Bretton Woods couldn’t work. When it failed in 1971 it really caught my attention. Back then you can buy gold at $35 an ounce. I put my reserves in gold and it hasn’t hurt at all. People who would have had at the same time parked a bunch of paper dollars back then they would have lost about 80% of their purchasing power where the purchasing power of gold has skyrocketed.

But then some would argue that investment in gold is also a bubble. What would you say about that?

They can believe it, but I think it’s the bonds that are at a bubble and the dollar is at a bubble. But no, I don’t consider that a bubble at all. There will be corrections – you can have gold go down $200 or $300 and it wouldn’t prove a thing.

Although I wrote the book End the Fed, I don’t say that you should end the Fed in one day. All I say is allow the constitution to be used – you can use gold and silver as legal tender, that’s what the law still says. We have multiple currencies being used around the world all the time. There’s no reason why we can’t have a couple of currencies circulating here in this country. So we should be allowed to have gold and silver as legal tender to pay our debt.

How do you think the economy would improve if the gold standard were adopted?

The transition is one thing, but if you were on a gold standard the economy would be many, many fold stronger and you wouldn’t have the business cycle. You wouldn’t have to go through booms and busts. Prices would be relatively stable, the purchasing power of your money would be stable, balance of payments would be adjusted automatically.

But gold over the century has increased in supply by 2% to 3%. If more people are demanding gold and there doesn’t seem to be enough physical gold, it pushes the purchasing power of gold up. Then the incentive grows for the people to mine gold. So it has worked many many times over hundreds if not thousands of years of history.

Do you want to end the Fed?

Well, I don’t expect to. The Fed’s going to end itself when they destroy the system. So yes I would end the Fed but I would do it gradually and have a transition. I would let people voluntarily opt out and not be forced to use depreciating money. Just think about how terrible it is that people make 1% or less on a certificate of deposit and banks get money for free and then they buy Treasury bills for 3% or 4% making billions of dollars. It’s just not fair and people are waking up to this.

You’re a big believer in Austrian economics, which holds that government does not have a role in regulating the economy. Some people would argue it was the lack of government regulations that contributed to the financial crisis. What would you say to something like that?

I think it was too much regulation. What they did was create the imbalance by keeping artificially low interest rates, which causes excessive debt and mal investments. For instance, interest rates were low, builders built too many houses, prices of houses seemed to go up, seemed like it would last forever, congress comes in and they pass a law, affirmative action that you must give loans to everybody even people who don’t qualify.

Will you run for president in 2012?

Sure, there’s always a chance. Probably depends on my mood come next January or February. I have not made up my mind. I have a lot of people supporters who are very anxious for me to do it. Right now I’m totally undecided.

It seems a lot of presidential candidates will neutralize their positions on certain touchy topics.Would you ever characterize yourself as extreme?

No, I think what we have is extreme. It’s out of wack. I mean I want to balance the budget – I don’t know why that would be extreme. I want limited government, I wanted personal liberty, I want to bring our troops home.

But some would consider ending the Fed is a bit extreme, don’t you think?

No, I think printing money is extreme and crazy. I think the obscenity is allowing the Federal Reserve to print $3.3 trillion and we don’t even know where it went. That to me is what’s so extreme. And that’s what the American people are waking up to. Government is extremely out of control. That is what I think everybody agrees on in the Tea Party movement.