A major US investor has predicted the world’s leading economy will return to the
gold standard, giving further weight to Republican moves to set up a commission
to look at the issue
2:22PM BST 31 Aug 2012
Peter Schiff, chief executive of Euro Pacific Capital, has argued that the US is heading for a currency crisis, and an immediate move to peg the dollar to gold is needed as the economy is caught in a “phony recovery”.
“Eventually we will be back on a gold standard, not because politicians want it, but because the public demands it and the situation requires it,” he told King World News.
“We are headed for a currency crisis, and the only way we’re going to stop it is by putting real value back into the paper dollar. So we have to tie it to gold.
“The sooner we do it the better because the sooner we start to repair the problems the easier it is. The longer we wait, the bigger the problems get. But I think it’s happening soon [a return to the gold standard].”
The economy is so bad, Mr Schiff argues, that despite Ben Bernanke’s speech today in which he is expected to dampen hopes of further monetary policy stimulus, the Federal Reserve chairman will soon be forced into another round of quantitative easing.
“QE3 is coming. You know we’ve got a phony recovery, so it’s going to fail. So we are going to get more QE. It’s not that we need it, but if we don’t have QE3, then we are back in recession,” said Mr Schiff, who ran as a candidate in the Republican primary for the US Senate seat in Connecticut in 2010.
“We have a lot of problems, and if we cure them it’s going to mean a short-term recession as we repair the damage. Until the Fed lets us have a real recession, as painful as that may be, we are never going to have a recovery.”
Added to North America’s economic woes, a “fiscal cliff” is looming. A number of tax increases and spending cuts are due at the end of the year that are expected to weigh heavily on growth and possibly drive the economy back into a recession.
Mr Schiff believes this will push the US into currency and debt crises, paving the way for a return to the gold standard.
“They want to keep growing the government, growing the deficits. That eventually means we will have a currency crisis, and a sovereign debt crisis, which will lay the foundation for a return to the gold standard.”
The gold standard has returned to mainstream US politics for the first time in 30 years with a “gold commission” becoming part of official Republican party policy. This commission will look at whether a return to the gold standard is feasible.
Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman from Tennessee and co-chair of the committee, recently told the Financial Times: “These were adopted because they are things that Republicans agree on. The House recently passed a bill on this, and this is something that we think needs to be done.”
The proposal evokes memories of the Gold Commission created by Ronald Reagan in 1981, 10 years after Richard Nixon broke the link between gold and the dollar during the 1971 oil crisis. That commission supported the status quo.
Some argue a return to the gold standard would foster economic stability and prosperity, primarily by creating price stability, fixed exchange rates and placing limits government deficit spending as well as trade imbalances.
However, opponents believe it would limit the flexibility of governments and central banks in managing economies, restricting the ability to adjust money supply, government budgets and exchange rates.
Gold rose 0.3pc to $1,660.95 an ounce on Friday