Now retired but still active, Ron Paul – born in 1935 – is an important public figure in America. He was elected several times to Congress as a Republican, and he has been a candidate in the presidential election for the Libertarian party. He has kept asking for an audit of Fort Knox’s gold reserves, to no avail, and this cause has made him a celebrity. He is also a renowned economist, a proponent of the Austrian School, and a staunch defender of the gold standard.
And this iconoclast has launched an excellent idea: he recommends that “the liberty movement capitalize on Brexit with Fed-exit". This would not mean literally to “exit” from the Fed or, in other words, to get rid of it and go back to the 1913 situation, with a gold standard – although he would love that – but at least, to start with, considerably restrict the power of the American central bank. According to Ron Paul, Congress should drastically limit the Fed’s capacity to intervene on financial markets, to acquire Treasuries and to manipulate interest rates. And at the same time, there should be monetary freedom, meaning that all currencies should be allowed to circulate (gold and silver coins, crypto-currencies etc.).
Because, as Ron Paul and the “Austrian” economists have understood, those interventions are precisely what amplifies crises, under the guise of solving them or buying some time. The central banks’ printing presses and their zero-rate policies only serve to increase the debt volume in the economy and, thus, make it less stable and more prone to the risk of bankruptcy. When the next financial crisis hits, it is far from certain that the central banks will be able to save the banking system – and, by the way, measures are already in place to loot the savers’ accounts, as we’ve mentioned before (BRRD, Sapin Law 2).
So why not launch this idea in Europe as well? Let’s ask for ECBexit! Not to get out of the euro (and get back to manipulated national currencies... no, thanks!), but to drastically reduce the power of the European Central Bank. Let’s prohibit “quantitative easing” (QE), which consists in buying sovereign debt to soften the pain of their deficits, let’s move away from zero rates – a real monetary cancer that kills savings – and let’s authorise alternative currencies, whether they consist of gold coins, Bitcoin, Swiss francs, whatever. The Fed and the ECB wield so much power that any word from Janet Yellen or Mario Draghi is analysed as if it were an oracle from Delphi... This is utterly ridiculous and unhealthy, because central banks corrupt the markets, the expectations and behaviours.
In the United States things are starting to move: Texas just created its own gold reserves – competing with the Fed’s – and Kansas is planning to exempt from taxation all purchases of gold, silver and precious metals so they can be used as money. It’s a start, but it’s going to be a long and hard battle... In the meantime, the best way to have one’s “ECBexit” right away is to acquire physical gold, as we know. But we also have to denounce the almighty power of the central banks: the future of the global economy is at stake here.
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Philippe Herlin Finance Researcher / Doctor in Economics
Philippe Herlin is a researcher in finance and a doctor in economics of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in Paris. A proponent of extreme-risk thinkers like Benoît Mandelbrot and Nassim Taleb, and of the Austrian School of Economics, he will be bringing his own views on the actual crisis, the Eurozone, the public debts and the banking system. Having written a book on gold that has become a reference (L’or, un placement d’avenir, Eyrolles 2012), he wishes to see gold play a growing role in our economies, all the way to its full re-monetization.