File Name: alan greenspan gold and economic dom 1966 .zip
Discussion in ' Economics ' started by TraderD , Jan 20, Log in or Sign up. Elite Trader.
Not long ago, Alan Greenspan was widely regarded as a sort of gnome of Zurich, on whose unique, ineffable powers our prosperity depended. His famously cryptic mumblings could spook markets and spur investors, many of whom believed that his every word carried great weight. As the San Francisco Chronicle reported:.
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was widely used in the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Most nations abandoned the gold standard as the basis of their monetary systems at some point in the 20th century, although many still hold substantial gold reserves. The gold standard was originally implemented as a gold specie standard , by the circulation of gold coins.
The monetary unit is associated with the value of circulating gold coins, or the monetary unit has the value of a certain circulating gold coin, but other coins may be made of less valuable metal. With the invention and spread in use of paper money, gold coins were eventually supplanted by banknotes , creating the gold bullion standard , a system in which gold coins do not circulate, but the authorities agree to sell gold bullion on demand at a fixed price in exchange for the circulating currency.
Lastly, countries may implement a gold exchange standard , where the government guarantees a fixed exchange rate , not to a specified amount of gold, but rather to the currency of another country that uses a gold standard. This creates a de facto gold standard, where the value of the means of exchange has a fixed external value in terms of gold that is independent of the inherent value of the means of exchange itself.
The gold specie standard arose from the widespread acceptance of gold as currency. The use of gold as money began thousands of years ago in Asia Minor. During the early and high Middle Ages , the Byzantine gold solidus , commonly known as the bezant , was used widely throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. However, as the Byzantine Empire's economic influence declined, so too did the use of the bezant.
In modern times, the British West Indies was one of the first regions to adopt a gold specie standard. Following Queen Anne 's proclamation of , the British West Indies gold standard was a de facto gold standard based on the Spanish gold doubloon. In , Sir Isaac Newton , the master of the Royal Mint , established a new mint ratio between silver and gold that had the effect of driving silver out of circulation and putting Britain on a gold standard.
A formal gold specie standard was first established in , when Britain adopted it following the introduction of the gold sovereign by the new Royal Mint at Tower Hill in The United States used the eagle as its unit, Germany introduced the new gold mark , while Canada adopted a dual system based on both the American gold eagle and the British gold sovereign.
Australia and New Zealand adopted the British gold standard, as did the British West Indies, while Newfoundland was the only British Empire territory to introduce its own gold coin.
From to , wars within Europe as well as an ongoing trade deficit with China which sold to Europe but had little use for European goods drained silver from the economies of Western Europe and the United States. Coins were struck in smaller and smaller numbers, and there was a proliferation of bank and stock notes used as money.
In the s, the United Kingdom suffered a silver shortage. It ceased to mint larger silver coins and instead issued "token" silver coins and overstruck foreign coins. With the end of the Napoleonic Wars , the Bank of England began the massive recoinage programme that created standard gold sovereigns, circulating crowns, half-crowns and eventually copper farthings in The recoinage of silver after a long drought produced a burst of coins.
The United Kingdom struck nearly 40 million shillings between and , 17 million half crowns and 1. The Act for the Resumption of Cash Payments set as the date for resumption of convertibility, which was reached by Throughout the s, small notes were issued by regional banks. This was restricted in , while the Bank of England was allowed to set up regional branches.
In however, Bank of England notes were made legal tender and redemption by other banks was discouraged. In , the Bank Charter Act established that Bank of England notes were fully backed by gold and they became the legal standard. According to the strict interpretation of the gold standard, this act marked the establishment of a full gold standard for British money.
The pound left the gold standard in and a number of currencies of countries that historically had performed a large amount of their trade in sterling were pegged to sterling instead of to gold. The Bank of England took the decision to leave the gold standard abruptly and unilaterally. John Hull was authorized by the Massachusetts legislature to make the earliest coinage of the colony, the willow, the oak, and the pine tree shilling in This system would also apply to monies in the United States.
The question was what type of standard: gold, silver or both. From to various attempts to resurrect bi-metallic standards were made, including one based on the gold and silver franc; however, with the rapid influx of silver from new deposits, the expectation of scarce silver ended. The interaction between central banking and currency basis formed the primary source of monetary instability during this period. The combination of a restricted supply of notes, a government monopoly on note issuance and indirectly, a central bank and a single unit of value produced economic stability.
Deviation from these conditions produced monetary crises. Devalued notes or leaving silver as a store of value caused economic problems. Governments, demanding specie as payment, could drain the money out of the economy. Economic development expanded need for credit. The need for a solid basis in monetary affairs produced a rapid acceptance of the gold standard in the period that followed.
Following Germany's decision after the — Franco-Prussian War to extract reparations to facilitate a move to the gold standard, Japan gained the needed reserves after the Sino-Japanese War of — For Japan, moving to gold was considered vital for gaining access to Western capital markets. In , Congress passed the Mint and Coinage Act. It authorized the federal government's use of the Bank of the United States to hold its reserves, as well as establish a fixed ratio of gold to the U.
Gold and silver coins were legal tender, as was the Spanish real. In the market price of gold was about 15 times that of silver. In President Jefferson suspended the minting of silver coins. This resulted in a derivative silver standard, since the Bank of the United States was not required to fully back its currency with reserves. This began a long series of attempts by the United States to create a bi-metallic standard.
The intention was to use gold for large denominations, and silver for smaller denominations. A problem with bimetallic standards was that the metals' absolute and relative market prices changed.
With the Coinage Act of , Congress passed an act that changed the mint ratio to approximately 16 to 1. Gold discoveries in California in and later in Australia lowered the gold price relative to silver; this drove silver money from circulation because it was worth more in the market than as money.
Doing business with the American government required gold or silver coins. Government accounts were legally separated from the banking system.
However, the mint ratio the fixed exchange rate between gold and silver at the mint continued to overvalue gold. In , the U. In the final crisis of the free banking era began as American banks suspended payment in silver, with ripples through the developing international financial system. Due to the inflationary finance measures undertaken to help pay for the U.
Civil War , the government found it difficult to pay its obligations in gold or silver and suspended payments of obligations not legally specified in specie gold bonds ; this led banks to suspend the conversion of bank liabilities bank notes and deposits into specie.
In paper money was made legal tender. It was a fiat money not convertible on demand at a fixed rate into specie. These notes came to be called " greenbacks ". After the Civil War, Congress wanted to reestablish the metallic standard at pre-war rates. This was accomplished by growing the stock of money less rapidly than real output.
By the market price matched the mint price of gold. This act removed the With the resumption of convertibility on June 30, , the government again paid its debts in gold, accepted greenbacks for customs and redeemed greenbacks on demand in gold. Greenbacks were therefore perfect substitutes for gold coins. During the latter part of the nineteenth century the use of silver and a return to the bimetallic standard were recurrent political issues, raised especially by William Jennings Bryan , the People's Party and the Free Silver movement.
In the gold dollar was declared the standard unit of account and a gold reserve for government issued paper notes was established. Greenbacks, silver certificates, and silver dollars continued to be legal tender, all redeemable in gold.
The U. Stocks rose to 2. Net exports did not mirror that pattern. In the decade before the Civil War net exports were roughly constant; postwar they varied erratically around pre-war levels, but fell significantly in and became negative in and The net import of gold meant that the foreign demand for American currency to purchase goods, services, and investments exceeded the corresponding American demands for foreign currencies.
In the final years of the greenback period — , gold production increased while gold exports decreased. The decrease in gold exports was considered by some to be a result of changing monetary conditions. The demands for gold during this period were as a speculative vehicle, and for its primary use in the foreign exchange markets financing international trade.
The major effect of the increase in gold demand by the public and Treasury was to reduce exports of gold and increase the Greenback price of gold relative to purchasing power. Towards the end of the 19th century, some silver standard countries began to peg their silver coin units to the gold standards of the United Kingdom or the United States.
In , British India pegged the silver rupee to the pound sterling at a fixed rate of 1s 4d, while in , the Straits Settlements adopted a gold exchange standard against sterling, fixing the silver Straits dollar at 2s 4d. When Siam adopted a gold exchange standard in , only China and Hong Kong remained on the silver standard. When adopting the gold standard, many European nations changed the name of their currency, for instance from Daler Sweden and Denmark or Gulden Austria-Hungary to Crown, since the former names were traditionally associated with silver coins and the latter with gold coins.
Governments with insufficient tax revenue suspended convertibility repeatedly in the 19th century. The real test, however, came in the form of World War I , a test which "it failed utterly" according to economist Richard Lipsey. By the end of , the classical gold standard was at its peak but World War I caused many countries to suspend or abandon it.
Price levels doubled in the U. Exchange rates changed less, even though European inflations were more severe than America's. This meant that the costs of American goods decreased relative to those in Europe. Between August and spring of , the dollar value of U. Ultimately, the system could not deal quickly enough with the large balance of payments deficits and surpluses; this was previously attributed to downward wage rigidity brought about by the advent of unionized labor , but is now considered as an inherent fault of the system that arose under the pressures of war and rapid technological change.
In any case, prices had not reached equilibrium by the time of the Great Depression , which served to kill off the system completely. For example, Germany had gone off the gold standard in , and could not effectively return to it because War reparations had cost it much of its gold reserves.
He works as a private adviser and provides consulting for firms through his company, Greenspan Associates LLC. First appointed Federal Reserve chairman by President Ronald Reagan in August , he was reappointed at successive four-year intervals until retiring on January 31, , after the second-longest tenure in the position behind William McChesney Martin. Greenspan came to the Federal Reserve Board from a consulting career. Although he was subdued in his public appearances, favorable media coverage raised his profile to a point that several observers likened him to a "rock star". The easy-money policies of the Fed during Greenspan's tenure, including the Greenspan put , have been suggested to be a leading cause of the dot-com bubble , and the subprime mortgage crisis occurring within a year of his leaving the Fed , which, said The Wall Street Journal , "tarnished his reputation.
Earlier I wrote a post on the gutting of Rep. Gold and economic freedom are inseparable,. What medium of exchange will be acceptable to all participants in an economy is not determined arbitrarily. Where store-of-value considerations are important, as they are in richer, more civilized societies, the medium of exchange must be a durable commodity, usually a metal. A metal is generally chosen because it is homogeneous and divisible: every unit is the same as every other and it can be blended or formed in any quantity.
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was widely used in the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Most nations abandoned the gold standard as the basis of their monetary systems at some point in the 20th century, although many still hold substantial gold reserves. The gold standard was originally implemented as a gold specie standard , by the circulation of gold coins. The monetary unit is associated with the value of circulating gold coins, or the monetary unit has the value of a certain circulating gold coin, but other coins may be made of less valuable metal. With the invention and spread in use of paper money, gold coins were eventually supplanted by banknotes , creating the gold bullion standard , a system in which gold coins do not circulate, but the authorities agree to sell gold bullion on demand at a fixed price in exchange for the circulating currency. Lastly, countries may implement a gold exchange standard , where the government guarantees a fixed exchange rate , not to a specified amount of gold, but rather to the currency of another country that uses a gold standard.
An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense — perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire — that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other. In order to understand the source of their antagonism, it is necessary first to understand the specific role of gold in a free society. Money is the common denominator of all economic transactions.
A gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is based on a fixed quantity of gold. The gold standard was widely used in the 19th and early part of the 20th century.
Alan Greenspan is correct to be concerned that soaring stock prices will lead to higher spending and prices elsewhere in the economy.