Let’s think about economic life around the world, as it was one hundred years ago – a very short time ago, in historical terms.
The first thing that comes to my mind, is how difficult it was to accumulate any quantity of gold. My maternal grandfather was a schoolteacher and a minister; I guess he made some $600 dollars a year, and he raised a family of eleven on that wage. I doubt very much, that he ever owned a $20 dollar gold piece for any length of time. A silver quarter-dollar was an adequate birthday present for his children.
Businessmen did not accumulate gold. Paper dollars, redeemable in gold, were quite adequate and physical gold accumulation would have meant idling resources that could be deployed profitably in the business.
Gold as money was taken for granted, at least in the U.S. It was because of this social situation, that essays such as “Silas Marner” were written. If you haven’t read it – I was obliged to read and comment on this essay in High School, over fifty years ago – it’s about a miser who accumulated gold; the essay was not kind to him and his ilk. Of course, in those days, why should anyone in his right mind accumulate gold, when there were useful things to be done for society by working and using gold, instead of hoarding it away? The economy was sound, gold was simply money, and money is to be used, it is not to be regarded as an end in itself. A sound economy produced a sound morality – or was it viceversa, the morality was reflected in the money?
Gold circulated through the economy, as it should. Paper bills, unquestionably redeemable, were a completely acceptable substitute, and gold was actually rarely seen. Silver change circulated, because gold was overvalued with regard to silver. (See Mundell’s “Uses and Abuses of Gresham’s Law in the History of Money”)
Large accumulations of gold were a rarity, because it was uneconomic for businesses to accumulate more than necessary, and because individuals had better ways of providing for their future needs through savings, namely, by investing in bonds and bank deposits, which were payable in redeemable dollars in any case, and paid interest in those same dollars.
Gold moved very little between countries. It was extremely difficult for a country without gold, to obtain it. As soon as a country would begin to export its gold, to settle its trade balance, interest rates in the country would rise, and imports of merchandise would decline. Every country tried to attract gold, but this same attraction all over the world, implied very little international movement in what gold there was.
Gold mining in a country was very definitively, a great asset. In order for a country to increase its gold stock, and thus allow a sound expansion of its financial system and the consequent real prosperity of its people, it was important to have some particular export which was absolutely indispensable to other nations. Superior technology in manufactures was therefore of great importance. But always, there was the counterbalancing effect of interest rates in other nations, which responded to exports of gold, and held down exports of manufactures from the gold-hungry nations, to their clients.
War was a simple way to obtain the all-important gold stocks. Another, was to create uncertainty and fear amongst the inhabitants of weaker states, by stoking through covert means, the fires of party strife and revolution, and thus causing flight of gold to safer havens. Destabilization, we call it nowadays – nothing new under the sun.
So gold has always been very scarce and highly prized; extremely difficult to accumulate in any quantity. I shall not repeat what hundreds of writers have said before, and more eloquently, regarding the barbaric savagery that has accompanied the quest for gold, throughout history.
This passion for gold will not be eradicated by any New World Order, in my opinion. Rather, if the New World Order which is being established at present tries to erradicate gold, it will find itself up against an intractable feature of mankind – something as impossible to suppress as sex itself. The day that the way of a man with a woman can no longer be helped along by offering a present of gold, then I will believe the New World Order has triumphed. I am confident that day is far, far off, indeed.
Let us now turn our attention to the present.
Gold is extremely cheap! A mere $9,130,000 U.S. dollars will buy you – one tonne! Think of it: one tonne of this metal, for which men have strained, struggled, fought and died to attain in quantities of a few ounces, during uncounted centuries in the past! This is a remarkable period, indeed! I say “a mere $9,130,000” because such a quantity is but a pittance in today’s reckoning of wealth – or what passes for it – in the U.S. I read where Mr. Lay of the deceased Enron is putting up for sale one of his cottages at Snowmass in Aspen, for – $6,5 million. A cottage for skiing and summer recreation, a pile of stone and wood in the mountains, an afterthought as an investment, and it is “worth” over two thirds of a tonne of solid gold! What a extraordinary age we are living in!
It is my conviction that the shady characters who are behind the scenes in this world, and who really run things, a la Disraeli’s “Coningsby”, have a plan which they have been carrying out over the past decades. These are the individuals who give orders to Central Banks, of their own, and of other nations. They have the power to do so. We have been witnessing a new way of accumulating gold, never before seen in the world: accumulation through mass-deception, through manipulation of the mass-mind, which was never before possible.
These unidentified characters have used the dollar to accumulate wealth, and they have been going after the gold. They can well see, that the present international monetary system is doomed. It was a visible fact to them, long ago. If we, the little spectators, can see this is happening, it most certainly cannot have escaped the observation of the movers and shakers in this world. We private, small-time spectators count for little, and though we can see what is happening, we have not the means to convince the masses. Perhaps the world rulers will deal with us, one by one, at their leisure. Or perhaps not. Don’t mess with the Mafia, and they will let you alone. Killing is messy and preferably avoided. Let us hope this is the outcome.
A new system will have to come into existence, when this present system passes away in disorder and revolution. And lo and behold! Gold will figure prominently in it. Gold amassed while the Central Banks of the world were being coerced to dishoard it. The propaganda regarding the “death of gold” has been effective. It has allowed the Central Banks to sell off their stocks, painfully acquired through centuries, at cheap, very cheap prices, to the characters operating in the shadows. In a sense these past decades have been one long bankruptcy sale on the part of the world’s Central Banks, where the banks have been selling off their best assets – to their owners! – at rock bottom prices. Of course, at fire-sale prices, otherwise, it would be next to impossible to accumulate it in any quantity.
There is a precedent for this surprising action: Adam Smith believed implicitly in the integrity of the Bank of Amsterdam, the premier banking institution of his day. The bank’s notes are solidly backed by gold in its vaults, he wrote, and the committee of honest burghers who oversees the gold stocks, is made up of the most prominent and trustworthy merchants of the city; the committee is made up of men who hold their position in it for a time only, and are replaced by new auditors. The Bank of Amsterdam, the model institution. Well, Adam Smith was duped! When Napoleon entered the city, and went directly to the Bank of Amsterdam, he found the fabled vaults – empty!
When the re-distribution of gold in the world is accomplished, then we – or our descendants – will see what will surprise some: that there are huge amounts of gold, in the hands of the new rulers. Gold placed in the hands of new institutions, which will respond to the orders of their masters, the owners of the gold. And gold will be once again, extremely hard to come by, the metal of kings and queens.
As the French say: “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose” – the more things change, the more they remain the same.
Let us not be deceived by all the shenanigans; get some gold while it is cheap. Participate in the fire-sale! Be assured, men will struggle to own it, a thousand years from today.
Written by Hugo Salinas Price for In This Age of Plenty ~ January 18, 2002