The World's Largest Single Crystal Gold Nugget

The World's Largest Single Crystal Gold NuggetScientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory recently identified the world's largest single crystal gold nugget, worth an estimated $1.5M (for its rarity rather than its 217.78-gram weight). Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory Los Alamos : Revealing the inner structure of a crystal without destroying the sample—imperative, as this one is worth an estimated $1.5 million—would allow Rakovan and Lujan Center collaborators to prove that this exquisite nugget, which seemed almost too perfect and too big to be real, was a single crystal and hence a creation of nature. Its owner, …Read more

Argentina: The Limits of Populism

Argentina’s economic growth has stalled. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner’s populist power rests on a coalition that includes the nation’s labor movement. Now the labor movement is challenging the heir to the Peronist tradition; it called a general strike in mid-April. “We’ve arrived at this crisis situation – and that’s what it is, a crisis – because of this way of governing without accepting any ideas, contributions or help from others to solve the crisis,” labor leader Hug Moyano told the Wall Street Journal’s Taos Turner. “Mr. Moyano argues that Mrs. Kirchner’s government and that of …Read more

Rembrandt and The Money Changer

Rembrandt and The Money ChangerIn the Kaiser Friedrich Museum (now ), , there resides a beautiful painting by Rembrandt, The Money Changer. Image courtesy of Rembrandt captures the golden candle light and yet one is struck by the complexities implied by the books and papers surrounding the money changer himself.  Among the reasons why the classical international gold standard is superior to "floating" currencies is that gold provides a common monetary lingua franca in which all people, all over the world, may conduct honest commerce.  defines "lingua franca" as "A ... bridge language, or vehicular language, is a language …Read more

The Bad News in the Good News of the Unemployment Rate

Jobs growth leaped to 288,000 in April. Unemployment fell from 6.7 to 6.3 percent. Economists were cheered that the American winter blahs were over. That was the good news. But also in the Labor Department statistics were some storm clouds. “The jobs report contained at least one ominous note,” noted the Washington Post’s Ylan Q. Mui. “The nation's workforce shrank by more than 800,000 workers in April, sending the labor force participation rate plummeting 0.4 percentage points to 62.8 percent. The Labor Department said most of that decline was due to fewer people joining the workforce. “People …Read more

Kathleen M. Packard, Publisher
Ralph J. Benko, Editor

In Memoriam
Professor Jacques Rueff

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