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Should We Go Back to the Gold Standard?

Noted international monetary economist Judy Shelton believes the US should return to at least a partial gold standard to help damp volatility in the $4.4 trillion a day foreign exchange market to hasten an economic recovery. The current “dirty float” system, where a free market is subject to occasional coordinated central bank intervention that emerged after the collapse of the original Bretton Woods agreement in 1973, is not working. The US currently holds 260 million ounces of the yellow metal, which for some arcane government accounting reason is still carried on its books at the old fixed rate of $42 an ounce. At today’s prices the holdings are worth no less than $231 billion. Such a system would make it easier for governments to manage interest rates and control inflation. The highlight of the evening came when she passed around a ten ounce gold bar worth $9,000 and a one billion deutschmark Weimar Republic bank note, both of which were miraculously returned to her. In the meantime, the recent bounce in global stock markets raise the risk that we have put in a medium term double top in the chart for the barbaric relic.