FDR and the value of the dollar.

"In 1934, the government price of gold was increased to $35 per ounce, effectively increasing the gold on the Federal Reserve's balance sheets by 69 percent. This increase in assets allowed the Federal Reserve to further inflate the money supply." ("FDR takes United States off gold standard,"…

Today, when we speak of ways to fight recessions, two options inevitably take pride of place: expansionary Fed policy (meaning lower interest rates or more asset purchases or both) and expansionary fiscal policy (more government spending or lower taxes or both). But if you've been keeping up…

Watching the frenzy surrounding Judy Shelton's confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on February 13, one is led to believe that the gold standard is a "nutty" idea, for which no serious economist or monetary policymaker could possibly have a kind word. This post critiques that…

gold, bimetallism, silver, gold standard, bitcoin

When Bitcoin's price spiked in 2017, so did public mentions of the cryptocurrency, as measured by a Google n-gram plot. When William Jennings Bryan promoted bimetallism during his run for President in 1896, mentions of bimetallism similarly spiked. Noting this parallel, economist Robert Shiller compares the two…

Milton Friedman (1951, 1960) provided influential back-of-the-envelope estimates of the costs devoted to extracting gold under what he called a "strict" gold standard. I have criticized those estimates elsewhere (White 1999, pp. 42-48) for exaggerating the volume of gold reserves used by actual gold-standard economies, and thus…