The must watch 5 minutes from today’s second day of Bernanke hearings before congress is the following interaction between the Chairman and his archnemesis: Ron Paul. The first brilliant rebuttal by Ron Paul has to do with the ongoing “Federal Reserve lecturing” on why Congress should not allow out of control deficits to escalate. As Paul so correctly put its, “the Congress and the Fed are symbiotic because the Congress spends and they know there is a moral hazard involved because they know that if interest rates go up, the Fed accommodates them. So the Fed really facilitates this spending, and until we realize this I think the Fed is involved with our deficit and encourages it as well as the Congress.” This is an absolutely smack on point which goes to the whole heart of the real premise behind QE2: keeping rates low so there is no prohibitive lever against runaway deficits. That, and of course, ending up the primary holder of US debt so that the Treasury can convert “interest expense” into “revenue.” And if the 10% of the public that benefits from a Dow 36,000 believes the false “wealth effect” myth in the process (nominal, not real) so much the better. It did, after all, work for a while in Weimar Germany. And while Paul touches on other key topics such as purported price stability (there recently was a scientific paper proving there has been no real change in price stability before and after 1913, which we will track down shortly), real plunging employment and the definition of the dollar (to which Bernanke’s repartee that “Consumer don’t want to buy gold” should probably be reevaluated in light of today’s all time record high price). Yet one exchange that was missing, which was not between Paul and Bernanke had to do with Bernanke’s reasoning why in his view it was not possible to get back to the gold standard: “there is not enough gold.” That, unfortunately, is the most patently absurd claim ever and coming from a Fed Chairman we are pretty confused by its implications. Surely Ben realizes that all that matters is the price equivalent ratio of conversion. There will be more than enough gold if gold is converted instead at $2,000/oz at $20,000, or failing that, $200,000 and so forth. There will be more than enough gold if one ounce is equivalent to a million piece of linen or more, or more realistically, at $6,300 as Dylan Grice quantified previously. We guarantee it. And after all, that is the whole point of a gold standard: not to dilute the currency infinitely.
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