The True Gold Standard (Second Edition)
When Newt Gingrich addresses the Atlanta Press Club Wednesday, here is what he's going to say: that the Federal Reserve should be audited, and that it should be stripped of its banking powers so that it is focused entirely on protecting the value of the dollar. It won't be the first time that he's spoken out on an issue associated with Ron Paul, one of his rivals for the 2012 nomination. To cite one example, he mentioned the Fed last week in his remarks to the Republican Leadership Conference.
But a whole speech focused on it? It sure seems as if the former speaker of the House is making a play for a subset of voters known for dropping money bombs on candidates without a lot of campaign staff. I say that not only due to the subject of this upcoming speech, but because Gingrich talked it up during this appearance on Hugh Hewitt's radio program in a particular way that ... well, see for yourself:
Sinister? Oh no, of course not... unless you think that giving billions to the enemy in wartime is sinister! Gingrich goes on to imply that the Fed played a lawless roll in advantaging politically connected firms during the bailout. The next exchange is kinda bizarre, but shows exactly where he stands:
There are also reports that Gingrich is joining several other candidates in addressing a "gold standard tour" of Iowa. It is difficult to imagine any of this transforming him into a viable candidate. But it's nevertheless interesting that Paul's long-running crusade is becoming a focus for another Republican candidate. If only Gingrich would turn against the War on Drugs and hawkish interventionism too.
What is money? This question might sound a little deep for Congress, but the topic was discussed today in a hearing on monetary policy. Its only witness was Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. He endured a second day of questioning after testifying before the Senate on the same topic on Tuesday. But House members often pose more interesting questions, and due to his distaste for the Fed, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) tends to ask some of the best with Bernanke is in the hot seat. He wanted to know how Bernanke would define a dollar.
Over three centuries ago on this day, Massachusetts printed America's first paper money. Before creating bills, Americans used Pine Tree Shillings and other coins as their currency. After the British shutdown a Massachusetts mint, these coins were in short supply.