Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ron Paul On the Smartest Fed Chairman and Gold

As I posted earlier, Chapter's 1 and 3 of Ron Paul's new book, End the Fed, are available for free, here.

While Chapter 1 is pretty much an introduction to the book without a lot of detailed analysis, Chapter 3 is full of awesome anecdotes from Ron Paul's life. Here's Paul on the Fed chairmen, and gold:

Being in Congress in the late 1970s and early 1980s and serving on the House Banking Committee, I met and got to question several Federal Reserve Board chairmen: Arthur Burns, William G. Miller, and Paul Volcker. Of the three,I had the most interaction with Volcker. He was more personable and smarter than the others, including the more recent board chairmen Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke.

In my second tour of congressional duty starting in 1997, I had the opportunity to quiz them. In 1980, a major piece of banking legislation, the Monetary Control Act, was passed; many considered it a prelude to the savings and loan crisis in that decade. I expressed my concern to Chairman Volcker at a hearing that reserve
requirements would be lowered to zero and the Federal Reserve could buy any
asset, including foreign debt.

Volcker invited me to a private breakfast to dissuade me from my interpretation. Lew, my chief of staff, went with me to the breakfast. Interestingly, we arrived early and were talking with Volcker’s aide when Volcker arrived. Before acknowledging Lew or me, he quickly went to his aide and asked,“What’s the price of gold?”

At the time, the price of gold was soaring, and there was deep concern about inflation and the dollar’s value on the international exchange markets. I believe central bankers are always looking at the price of gold, because they know what many of us know: in the long term, the best gauge for the soundness of a currency is the
gold price.

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