Kristol Gets the Gold Bug?!

January 17th, 2011 at 4:55 pm | 32 Comments |

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Today, Bill Kristol blogged that it might be a good idea for the whole world to go back on the gold standard, or at least have a discussion about the idea.

Specifically:

And it’s worth further asking–as more and more people are beginning to ask–whether a modernized international gold standard, which anchors currencies to a standard outside government manipulation, wouldn’t better serve the interests of free and limited government both at home and abroad. After all, it’s the dollar’s status as a reserve currency that has allowed the U.S. government to amass huge debts, debts which the legislatively imposed debt ceiling has been unsuccessful in limiting. Fiat currency seems to be related to bloated and unlimited government, and to speculative bubbles, and to international instability. Do we just have to live with this, or simply hope for better Fed chairmen?

He also makes a prediction:

… get ready for an interesting and important debate over the next months and years on international monetary policy–which, I predict, we’ll increasingly see as something that needs to be reformed in the direction of a modernized international gold standard, as part of the broader project of re-limiting government, re-establishing sound money and a sound international financial system, and restoring stable and strong economic growth.

Fellow FrumForum contributor Ken Silber notes on twitter that this would require quite a bit of cooperation with China, an observation that is a little jarring given that the Weekly Standard (!) has reported that China is not being a very cooperative nation:

President Hu knows better: Trade, overseas investment, currency manipulation​—​all, war by other means; all, about the place of nations in the world, a key part of the “strategic direction” in which he is taking his country.

To get a sense of how much can change in under a year, consider this item from Weekly Standard opinion editor Matthew Continetti from April 7th, 2010:

Hayek’s insights into political philosophy and epistemology will endure, whereas support for a return to the gold standard, among other things, will remain a marginal position.

Marginal no longer?

Its worth noting that Kristol seems to be supporting an idea that is similar to what Manuel Hinds advocated in The Wall Street Journal.  Hinds recently received $50,000 for his work from the Manhattan Institute.


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32 Comments so far ↓

  • Non-Contributor

    Retard.

  • greg_barton

    Is this the last stage of the pump-n-dump on gold?

  • forkboy1965

    He must be friends with Beck.

    Why not a platinum standard? Platinum is more valuable by weight than gold and has plenty of roles to play in technology.

    Or how about wheat? I can’t eat gold or platinum, but I can eat wheat products. Seems to me wheat is really far more valuable than gold or platinum.

    Or am I just being a dork?

  • talkradiosucks.com

    This marks the end of any serious possibility of the US going on the gold standard. The ever-smarmy Bill Kristol is pretty much always wrong about everything, so if he’s advocating it, the idea has pretty much jumped the shark.

    Heck, it could even be viewed as a “sell signal”.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    Something like 50% of the unmined worlds gold reserves are in South Africa, a country I would not put up there as the most stable of countries. What kind of freaking moron would want to make South Africa a superpower?

    And theoretically, if we were to develop fusion power, the feasibility of extracting gold from seawater becomes possible, and the price of gold would plummet.

    Hey, who knows, maybe Kristol is being a visionary spurring new energy…or maybe he is just a tool

  • Mike Emm

    Kristol writes: ” After all, it’s the dollar’s status as a reserve currency that has allowed the U.S. government to amass huge debts, debts which the legislatively imposed debt ceiling has been unsuccessful in limiting.”

    A couple of questions, Mr Kristol, if you please:

    If our status as a reserve currency is the cause of our debt, how have Portugal, Ireland, Japan, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and 60 other countries managed to amass national debts that are larger as a percentage of GDP than the US? Are there really that many reserve currencies in the world?

    Who are what are you really shilling for when you put this proposition forward?

  • Watusie

    Why does Kristol never face any consequences for his serial stupidity and wrongness?

  • Nanotek

    “President Hu knows better: Trade, overseas investment, currency manipulation​—​all, war by other means” that … I get

    But does returning to a gold standard also mean US dollars are backed by gold that is redeemable by the bearers, such as China or Iran?

    Watusie, international finance and currency manipulation are above my pay grade … what are your thoughts?

  • Houndentenor

    @ Watusie

    Good point! Why are there never any consequences for pundits who are seriously wrong. Why do we take anyone seriously who didn’t see the housing bubble about to burst? Or why do we take anyone seriously who mocked those who DID see the housing bubble about to burst? Or those who claimed the Iraq war would be over in a year, there’s be no civil war after we deposed Saddam Hussein or that the oil revenues would pay for the reconstuction effort there? Should we go on? Over and over people who are paid for their opinions are wrong and still they get paid to sit there and act like they know any more than the average joe?

  • TJ Parker

    Wow, no better contrarian signal than Kristol. Time to sell your gold!

  • greg_barton

    @ lessadoabouteverything: You wouldn’t even need fusion. If the liquid fluoride thorium reactor ever gets developed properly (a technology that’s been available since the 50′s) and becomes ubiquitous there would easily be enough electricity to go around.

  • JimBob

    Once again the lefties on this forum show what complete blithering idiots they are.

  • Non-Contributor

    I’m glad I’m not a lefties! phew!

  • midcon

    Non,

    JimBob does not mean folks who are left of center. “Lefties” is just his term for anyone he disagrees with. Like if his son doesn’t want to clean his room, JimBob calls him “lefty.” So “lefties” includes you, his son, his wife, his friends, and even his mom. It’s almost a term of endearment!

  • overthere55

    Canadian jihadists training in North Waziristan: report http://bit.ly/etmFLU

  • COProgressive

    “Today, Bill Kristol blogged that it might be a good idea for the whole world to go back on the gold standard, or at least have a discussion about the idea.”

    Ol’ Billy could have said that it might be a good idea for the whole world to go back on the belly-button lint standard, no one listens to him anyway.

  • pnumi2

    ” more and more people are beginning to ask–whether a modernized international gold standard, which anchors currencies to a standard outside government manipulation, wouldn’t better serve the interests of free and limited government both at home and abroad.”

    I think more and more people are beginning to ask what planet Kristol is on. It sure ain’t this one.

    “A modernized international gold standard.” The meaning of the four words here are clear. But when you put them together they mean nothing. A gold standard means that the paper currency of a nation is always redeemable for a fixed weight of gold. You can modernize it and you can internationalize it, but at the end of the day, if someone walks in with an hundred dollar bill, the Secretary of the Treasury or his designee has to give that person a fixed amount of gold.

    Now Kristol knows that that is impossible, so he adds, “a gold standard, which anchors currencies to a standard outside government manipulation.” “Which anchors currencies to a standard outside government manipulation.” I told you he functions on a different planet. He wants all his troglodyte readers to think there’s such a thing as a gold standard without the possession of gold. And that there’s an undiscovered country where there is no government manipulation.

    Kristol is living in the realm of the Tooth Fairy.

    Just as talk of the hydrogen motor takes the steam out of a move in the oil market, and serious talk about the privatization of Social Security will move the Dow a couple of hundred points, so it is when an expert of William Kristol’s caliber blogs that it’s time to get back on the gold standard without any plan whatsoever, as TJ Parker and greg_barton said, it’s time to sell out your gold or open a short position.

  • Gramps

    @ forkboy1965 and significant others, here there and elsewhere… // Jan 17, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’m absolutely on yer page Sir…
    Hard red winter wheat, that you can store in the pantry or the root cellar…

    My thought might be…yah hafta more of the latter and some of the other, or your family won’t survive, hard times or the winters here in Wisconsin…

    We had five inches of snow in the deep, woods here today, that’s challenging…!

    Are you saving yer, non hybrid, natural seeds from the vegetable garden, you plant after the last frost in the spring…?

    Keep the faith…
    Persevere…!
    Olde soldier sends…!

  • Gramps

    @ pnumi2 // Jan 17, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Hey p2 both of our and SWMBO [She who Must Be Obeyed] portfolio’s have had great runs last year with respect to both gold and silver…

    I’m thinkin’ there’s still a bunch of gas left in that run, due to the multiple, European countries, issues with their currencies…?

  • pnumi2

    @Gramps

    As they say in Eau Claire: trees don’t grow to the sky. (I think I know what that means, but I could be wrong.)

    Read greg_barton, talkradiosucks, Mike Emm, T J Parker

    When crooks move any market up, they eventually have to sell out. They want to sell into heavy buying. A good way to create buying pressure is to have ‘respectable’ dorks like Kristol come out for, in this case, the gold standard. If that happens, nations which are now not buyers of gold, will become buyers and that’s an increase in demand and in price.

    It means Tuesday the gold market opens higher and the gang Kristol is shilling for sells into that demand.

    Even if I made all that up, it doesn’t mean that Kristol isn’t a clueless cretin who got where he is because of his famous father.

    You the Mrs. can always sell half of your position guaranteeing yourself a profit if metals go down, but not a grand slam if they continue to fly.

  • dmnolan

    Isn’t this the guy we have to thank for bringing us the Shrew?

  • sinz54

    Houndentenor: Good point! Why are there never any consequences for pundits who are seriously wrong.
    Because unlike politicians, there is no “Fact Check” website that tracks the statements of pundits generally. You have partisan websites like Newsbusters and FAIR that attack pundits on the opposite side of the political fence–but those can be discounted as partisan attacks.

    Politifact.com does a good job of tracking and checking the statements of politicians in a nonpartisan way–but not statements of pundits. We ought to suggest that they expand their repertoire to pundits, columnists, and editorial writers–all of whom are frequently wrong.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    I think everyone here (Noah Green included) is missing the larger point.

    Bill Kristol hasn’t come out for the Gold Standard as a serious policy position. (Whether or not he actually supports the Gold Standard is irrelevant, and furthermore I highly doubt he cares about monetary policy period.) This is just a cynical manouver to make the Teabaggers and Beckheads more amenable to Neoconservatism.

    Kristol’s instincts seem pretty sound to me. The Teabaggers, for all their pretensions to being political neophytes, are more or less the same group that has made up the base of the Republican Party for the past couple of decades; they’ve haven’t changed in any significant way ideologically, they’ve merely rebranded themselves as libertarians. The neocons successfully whipped them up into a war frenzy eight years ago, and there is no reason to think that they couldn’t do so again, even without the causus belli provided by 9/11. The baggers are an easily manipulated and gullible group, and so Kristol figures all he needs to do to win their trust and passions is to ape the policy ideas of their new found heroes.

  • Carney

    overthere55, there are Canadians, and then Canadians. Not all those who have been idiotically given Canadian citizenship are actually Canadian in any meaningful or intuitive sense of the word.

  • larry

    Brilliant. Obviously, part of a Kristol war plan. Is Palin on board?

  • baw1064

    larry,

    I’m guessing that next week Kristol will announce that a HUGE gold discovery, equivalent to 98% of all the world’s reserves, has just been made in Afghanistan. We will have to keep occupying the place indefinitely, lest OBL gets his hands on all that gold, being that now it’s Real Money.

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    bawl: your post 6:24 is EXACTLY what I was thinking when I wrote mine above.

    Bawl, the sad thing is that, even though I know your post is meant to be satirical, Kristol could recite it almost verbatim and the baggers would believe him. They’re that gullible. All he’d have to add is that all the libruls are against his plan, and the Palinites and Becktards would fall right in line. He knows they would.

  • baw1064

    WaState,

    You may be right, after all he’s the one that started the idea that a certain person in Juneau would be a great addition to a presidential ticket.

    BTW, the fourth character in my user name is actually a numeral one (not that it has any particular meaning).

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    baw1064: I have poor eye sight. Sorry about the error.

    But seriously, it’s only a matter of time– months? weeks even?– until Bill Kristol and Fred Barnes discover vast amounts of gold in Iran and North Korea. And the West Bank, too.

  • baw1064

    I’m trying to visualize Fred Barnes with a pick and a goldpan! :P

  • WaStateUrbanGOPer

    baw1064: for some reason, after reading your comment directly above, I pictured Barnes prospecting for Gold with all his old chums from the McLaughlin Group, with he and Mort Kondracke and Eleanor Clift doing all the work while old man McLaughlin bawls”ISSUE NUMBER ONE!” and “BYE BYE!” in the background. I loved that show.

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