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Gold: The Once and Future Money Hardcover – May 4, 2007
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From the Inside Flap
In the first years of this new century, the price of gold nearly tripled. Why should today's investors take notice? Because gold is the ultimate competitor to the U.S. dollar. In this age of increasing global competition and military conflict, ignoring the gold market could be devastating for anyone seeking to build wealth over the long run. A vote for gold is a vote against the dollar, against paper money . . . and paper assets. It's a way of saying, "Yes, we know Mr. Bernanke, Mr. Bush, and Goldman Sachs are doing a good job, but it might be a good idea to have some REAL money, just in case."
The world's commercial centers have used one or another variant of a gold standard for most of the last three millennia. And for good reason: gold forces governments to be fiscally responsible and it provides a stable environment for rapid economic growth as well as a safe environment for individual investors to grow their own wealth.
For the last thirty-five years, the U.S. government has been able to "print" money at will. If history is any guide, this government will do as all governments have in the past: overprint, causing the currency to crash. Inevitably, they will be forced to return to the gold standard, but at great expense and with considerable suffering. Investors who are not prepared will suffer the most.
Unfortunately, asserts Nathan Lewis, both advocates and detractors of the gold standard grossly misunderstand the inner workings of this human institution. In making his case for a return to the gold standard, Lewis takes a whirlwind tour of money in all its forms, from the seventh century B.C. to the present day, explaining in straightforward layman's terms the effects of inflation, deflation, and floating currencies along with their effect on prices, wages, taxes, and debt.
Lewis also provides an engaging history of U.S. money and offers a sobering look at recent currency crises around the world, including the Asian monetary crisis of the late 1990s and the devastating currency devaluations in Russia, China, Mexico, and Yugoslavia. And, in doing so, explains why making gold a part of your portfolio has never been more important than it is today.
The ultimate conclusion of Gold: The Once and Future Money is simple but powerful: the gold standard produced decades, even centuries, of solid money and economic abundance. If history is any guide, we can and shouldabandon this era of easy money and return to the stability of the gold standard.
From the Back Cover
Praise for GOLD
"When it comes to international monetary economics, most economists fail to connect the dots. In many cases, they fail to even see them. Gold doesn't suffer these problems. Nathan Lewis's book is a readable account of the present in light of the past for purposes of the future."
Steve H. Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics, The Johns Hopkins University
"Gold is the ultimate hedge against crisis and inflation. You can't depend on paper money assets to protect you during a panic. Hard assets are the only guarantee as an insurance policy against bad times. This book gives you the historical perspective to prepare you for the unknown."
Mark Skousen, Editor, Forecasts & Strategies
"Gold: The Once and Future Money is a 'how-to' manual for understanding the true nature of money and a guide to the action you should take to protect your wealth."
Byron W. King, Editor, Outstanding Investments
"A money payment must involve a tendering of tangible money, gold, or silver, or of a credit instrument entitling the owner to the undoubted right of its redemption, in gold or silver. As Nathan Lewis makes clear, the world, as of the year 2007, does not possess a means of payment. That humanity is unaware of the stupendously important fact that it lives in a world without money is perhaps the most singular feature of our contemporary world."
Hugo Salinas Price, President, Mexican Civic Association Pro Silver
"In this delectable tome, Nathan Lewis describes the booms, busts, the bubbles, and the crises in the economies of dozens of countries, from centuries ago to the present day. It is a romp through history, illuminating along the way money in all its formsfrom wampum and shells to silver and goldand details the catastrophic effects of inflation, deflation, floating currencies, and every kind of tax a government functionary could dream to impose on an economy. Gold highlights the folly of human beings throughout history who think 'the economy' is but a machine to be tinkered with and fine-tuned like a Bentley, or worse, a rusty Yugo."
From the Foreword by Addison Wiggin, author, The Demise of the Dollar
Top Customer Reviews
Even under a true gold standard, where no central bank exists, paper dollars do exist, as do checking accounts, savings accounts, et al. The process would work much like it does today with the exception that a paper dollar would be in the form of a receipt on gold. Private banks would hold your gold (some percentage of it) on reserve at the bank while issing you a deposit or savings account with the right to draw on the account in question. But I'm digressing --i don't have time to outline the true classical gold standard. This book espouses no such thing as the classical gold standard ---it pushes a psuedo gold standard which I describe below:
It is a gold peg. Peg the dollar at a certain value of gold --say the current price of $660 per ounce. Currently the FED is responsible for setting interest rates, the discount rate directly and the FED funds rate indirectly through money supply adjustments.Read more ›
This is why there is an ardent group of people who want to base the value of money on a commodity rather than using fiat money (money whose value is what the government claims it to be - what we have). This book makes a pretty good case for using gold and for those interested in such things, it is something one could read and get up to speed on the issues involved. Besides a great fondness for gold, these folks have an especial hatred of central banks of all stripes and see them as tools of the forces that would undermine liberty, freedom, and personal independence. While unusual, they aren't crazy and deserve more of a hearing than they are usually given.
Still, there are some basic problems with the story as I see it. The first is that the author uses quotes from various "authorities" as proof texts.Read more ›
Because economic instability leads to political instability, an understanding of these fundamental monetary principles is essential to an understanding of world events. The student of history who follows only notable political or military changes, but fails to account for the precipitating economic changes, fails to fully appreciate the causes of the rise and fall of nations and regimes. Lewis is refreshingly non-ideological at key junctures in his narrative, asserting at one point "Good socialism is better than bad capitalism" and offering similar aphorisms along the way.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A scholarly and well researched treatise. Not so much of a "buy gold" guide, but rather a historical, global research tome. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Robert D. Bly
Outstanding review of economic history and the highly beneficial part gold has played in it.Published 4 months ago by Mark Z
A great book for those who want to have a little glimpse of gold and currency.Published 15 months ago by Todd Toller
In spite of my low rating, I think this is an important book and should not be avoided. It IS worth reading and owning. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Noah Leed
This is by far the best introduction to monetary systems you will find. It's technical, but easy to read. Obviously it has an agenda too.Published on December 12, 2013 by fourdegreesc
I felt it was an accomplishment to finish this book. It was at times a difficult read, but one I learned a lot from. Read morePublished on October 28, 2013 by RF
The gold standard is a forgotten art, vastly superior to any modern monetary system. A definite read for anybody in governance or interested in money.Published on September 10, 2013 by Andrew
Still have not finished the book, about 2/3 rds the way through but I've learned things about gold, fiat, The Keynesians I did not know before. Read morePublished on September 6, 2012 by Amazon Customer
A great insight into financial history for someone who has been never paid much attention. Very interesting and insightful worth a read.Published on September 6, 2012 by Ljm7