Alasdair Macleod outlines how the US could return to gold-backed money. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:
Given the current fiat money system is on a path towards its own destruction it is not surprising that there has been increasing talk of a monetary reset. Without a completely different approach and by retaining the same institutions and macroeconomic concepts, any such reset is bound to fail.
This article provides a template for an enduring sound money solution that will deliver economic progress while eliminating destructive credit cycles. It posits that a properly constructed gold and gold substitute monetary system, which also includes the removal of bank credit inflation as a means of providing investment capital, is the only way that lasting stability and prosperity can be achieved. As well as the establishment of an incorruptible monetary system, the state’s role in the economy must be curtailed, budgets always balanced, banking reformed, and the private sector allowed to accumulate the wealth necessary to provide the investment for producers to produce.
Monetary reform involves a clear understanding of why free markets succeed and why socialism, together with neo-Keynesian macroeconomics, are responsible for the impending monetary and economic collapse. It will require a complete change of socio-political and economic cultures, but properly approached it can be done.
There has been very little commentary in recent years about the benefits of sound money, being limited almost entirely to followers of the Austrian school of economics. Even less has been written about how to back out of inflationism, end unsound money and return to a monetary arrangement which cannot be corrupted by governments and the banking system.
The most notable attempt was by Ludwig von Mises who appended a chapter on the subject in his updated 1952 version of The Theory of Money and Credit[i] The circumstances were very different from that of today. At that time, the US had corrupted its gold exchange standard to progressively exclude the ability of individuals to demand gold for paper dollars. And both Keynesianism and socialism, in the West at least, were in their earlier days. Today, we face more of an end game where considerable damage has been done since to the status of circulating money, and we face the prospect not of reform but of a collapse of the entire fiat money system.
A depositor in a bank has made a loan to the bank, he or she is an unsecured creditor. If the bank goes bust, the depositor joins the other creditors in line. If the government doesn’t guarantee the depositor, the depositors will get cents on the dollar or euro. From GoldCore at goldcore.com:
– Protect Your Savings With Gold: ECB Propose End To Deposit Protection
– New ECB paper proposes ‘covered deposits’ should be replaced to allow for more flexibility
– Fear covered deposits may lead to a run on the banks
– Savers should be reminded that a bank’s word is never its bond and to reduce counterparty exposure
– Physical gold enable savers to stay out of banking system and reduce exposure to bail-ins
It is the ‘opinion of the European Central Bank’ that the deposit protection scheme is no longer necessary:
‘covered deposits and claims under investor compensation schemes should be replaced by limited discretionary exemptions to be granted by the competent authority in order to retain a degree of flexibility.’
To translate the legalese jargon of the ECB bureaucrats this could mean that the current €100,000 (£85,000) deposit level currently protected in the event of a bail-in may soon be no more.
But worry not fellow savers as the ECB is fully aware of the uproar this may cause so they have been kind enough to propose that:
“…during a transitional period, depositors should have access to an appropriate amount of their covered deposits to cover the cost of living within five working days of a request.”
So that’s a relief, you’ll only need to wait five days for some ‘competent authority’ to deem what is an ‘appropriate amount’ of your own money for you to have access to in order eat, pay bills and get to work.
Here’s the camel’s nose under the tent. In the next financial crisis you can be sure that bank’s will be unable to pay all of their liabilities. Customer deposits are liabilities, and bank runs start when people get nervous about their bank. Here’s the Catch-22, governments would be given the authority to freeze deposit withdrawals, but only at banks that are failing or likely to fail. In other words, as soon as the government freezes deposits, depositors will know the bank has one foot in the grave. That should calm them down. From John Glover and Alexander Weber at bloomberg.com:
Working paper retains power to stop payments of failing firms
Payments stay to affect derivative payments for up to 5 days
The European Central Bank intensified its push for a tool that would hand authorities the power to stop deposit withdrawals when a bank is on the verge of failing.
ECB executive board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said that bank resolution cases this year showed that a so-called moratorium tool, which would temporarily freeze a bank’s liabilities to buy time for crucial decisions, is needed. Her comment comes as policy makers in Brussels debate how such measures should be designed, and just days after the ECB officially called for the moratorium to extend to deposits as well.
“If we have a long list of exemptions and we have a moratorium that doesn’t work, I do not want to have a moratorium tool,” Lautenschlaeger told a conference in Frankfurt on Tuesday. “Then you will never use it.”
EU member states appear ready to heed the request, according to a Nov. 6 paper that develops their stance on a bank-failure bill proposed by the European Commission. They suggest giving authorities the power to cap deposit withdrawals as part of a stay on payments only after an institution has been declared “failing or likely to fail.”
The power to install a moratorium “can in principle apply to eligible deposits,” the paper reads. “However, resolution authority should carefully assess the opportunity to extend the suspension also to covered deposits, especially covered deposits held by natural persons and micro, small and medium sized enterprises, in case application of suspension on such deposits would severely disrupt the functioning of financial markets.”
Governments are broke and need money. As SLL has said on multiple occasions, wealth taxes are coming, and it looks like Australia might be the first to jump into that slime-ridden pond. From zero hedge.com:
Up until now, the world’s descent into the NIRPy twilight of fiat currency was a function of failing monetary policy around the globe as central bank after desperate central bank implemented negative and even more negative (in the case of Denmark some four times rapid succession) rates, hoping to make saving so prohibitive consumers would have no choice but to spend the fruits of their labor, or better yet, take out massive loans which they would never be able to repay. However, nobody said it was only central banks who could be the executioners of the world’s saver class: governments are perfectly capable too. Such as Australia’s.
According to Australia’s ABC News, the “Federal Government looks set to introduce a tax on bank deposits in the May budget.”
Ironically, the idea of a bank deposit tax was raised by Labor in 2013 and was criticized by Tony Abbott at the time. Much has changed in two years, and as ABC reports, assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has indicated an announcement on the new tax could be made before the budget.
Mr Frydenberg is a member of the Government’s Expenditure Review Committee but has refused to provide any details.
“Any announcements or decisions around this proposed policy which we discussed at the last election will be made in the lead up or on budget night,” he said.
Speaking at the Victorian Liberal State Council meeting Mr Abbott has repeated his budget message, focusing on families and small businesses.
“There will be tough decisions in this year’s budget as there must be, but there will also be good news.”
There just won’t be any good news for savers, the unsung and thoroughly plundered and abused Atlases who are holding up the shaky world economy and financial system (see “Anti-Value: Europe’s Rape of Savers,” SLL, 3/6/15). The shrug can’t come too soon.
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