"With only twenty millions of coin, and three or four hundred millions of circulating paper, public and private, nothing is necessary but a general panic, produced either by failures, invasions, or any other cause, and the whole visionary fabric vanishes into air, and shows that paper is poverty, that it is only the ghost of money, and not money itself."Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Edward Carrington, 1788"People criticize owning bullion because there’s no yield. But there’s a reason everything else needs a yield, to compensate you for things like obsolescence risk, business-cycle risk and management risk, all of the things that gold does not have.We’re not gold bugs, but there’s a reason humanity has tended to use gold as an alternative to man-made currency – it’s the only virtually infinite-duration asset in the world."Matthew McLennan, First Eagle Funds
"But when you recall that one of the first moves by Lenin, Mussolini and Hitler was to outlaw individual ownership of gold, you begin to sense that there may be some connection between money, redeemable in gold, and the rare prize known as human liberty."
Congressman Howard Buffett (Warren's father)
The whole spectacle of the health of the global economy pirouetting on the decision of an American Banker, or perhaps more properly, the Viceroy of Wall Street, on whether to symbolically raise a benchmark interest rate, tied to an avalanche of internationally distributed paper claim checks for conceptual ephemera and political promises, must be one of the oddest things that we have come to take for granted in our modern society today. Even moreso than the atavistic significance of the merely human, in an age when soulless, corporate behemoths freely roam across the land and the seas.
At the height of the British Empire, it is not clear that even the dowager Queen Victoria held that sort of whimsical power. This sort of individual discretion is more reminiscent of the barbarity of former ages, of pharaonic Egypt, of the Mongol hordes, or of the cults of the dark gods that fed on beating hearts torn from human sacrifices.
Such is the power of the modern religion of the markets, and with those who would displace any power greater than themselves to make way for the overheated imaginings of their restless wills and fancies.
Future generation must surely think that we are mad.
Have a pleasant evening.