Monday, June 29, 2009
In a fascinating 22-page study of money and currency, Christopher Weber shows that every government - from Athens, to pre-collapse Rome, to the Islamic countries in the Middle Ages - which stuck to the Greek standard of coins has been stable and prosperous.
Specifically, the Athenian Drachma contained 65.6 grains of silver. Even after Greece declined as a superpower, its currency remained stable.
The Roman Denarius, Byzantine Bezant, and Islamic Dinar all copied the Drachma, using around 65.6 grains of gold or silver in their coins.
For the many centuries the Romans, Byzantines, and Islamic rulers left this precious metal content alone, they had stable and prosperous money supplies and nations.
But after the Romans and Byzantines started to whittle down the precious metal content of their coins - and after the Muslims started issuing paper money - their currency went down the drain, their prosperity plummeted and their empires collapsed.
This may all sound like ancient history, except that Weber points out that:
The US dollar has been depreciating for generations. Seventy years ago it was first devalued from $20.67 a gold ounce to $35. Then 35 years ago the devaluation started gaining strength. The dollar has lost over 90% of its gold value since August 15, 1971.
History is repeating . . . Sound money is again being trashed, which is causing the collapse of the American empire.