Prior to 1971, the US dollar was backed by gold. Today, the dollar is backed by 2 things: the government’s ability to generate revenues (via debt or taxes), and its authority to compel economic participants to transact in dollars.
We are all familiar with gold’s visual beauty, which made it the precious metal of kings and emperors for thousands of years. Today, this illustrious yellow metal is no longer reserved for royalty. You rely on gold every day, as does anyone who takes advantage of modern electronics, dentistry, medicine, and…space travel?
Quantitative Easing allows central banks, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve, to pull the levers of the financial system like never before. Is this strategy effective? Fair? Smart? One thing is certain: it is powerful.
Throughout the 1980s, Japan’s economy soared past the rest of the world. The growth that once earned the envy of investors and economists now stands as a dire warning against debt, speculation, and easy money.
When Matthew wrote his gospel in 85 AD, one pure silver Denarius covered the daily wages of a skilled Roman craftsman. Three hundred years later, the coin had been reduced to a worthless scrap of copper alongside a crumbled empire.