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"Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world" - Henry Kissinger

and yet...

"Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences" – Robert Louis Stevenson

Alan Greenspan at the Council on Foreign Relations - on the economy, the welfare state and gold

In response to an FT article by Gillian Tett on 21st November 2014, entitled 'Gold: Worth its weight?'

"I recently had a chance to interview Greenspan, 88, at the Council on Foreign Relations, regarding an updated version of his latest book.

These days the retired Greenspan speaks so clearly that some of his words are still ricocheting around the blogosphere. For what he revealed on the CFR platform was that he harbours considerable doubts about whether recent western monetary policy experiments have actually helped economic growth. He also fears that such experiments have been so wild that it will be very hard to exit from these policies in the future – in the US or anywhere else – without sparking huge market volatility. Indeed, Greenspan is so worried about future turbulence that he apparently sympathises with investors (and central banks) who are currently stocking up on gold"

Thanks Gillian

I have heard extracts from your meeting. You sounded like you had fun!

It's also interesting to note that some of Mr Greenspan's comments were 'in absentia' from the Council on False Reporting's account, no that's not right...I'm sorry of course that should say Council on Foreign Relations.

He also made a comment that a gold standard is incompatible with a 'welfare state'. What on earth did he mean I wonder? Heaven forbid that he meant 'politicians printing money to bribe electorates with promises they can't afford, and fund overseas wars that citizens wouldn't sanction if they were asked to fund them with more taxes! He wouldn't imply that would he?

Also, I wonder who he was referring to? The US a welfare state?…he's not supposed to say that is he? 

Of course we can expect more re-writing of history from the old 'maestro', as he tries to distance himself from the train wreck he sees coming, as well as opprobrium from his former acolytes…who are still on the train.

As regards the SNB being vehemently opposed to the Swiss Gold referendum - indeed they seem to be apoplectic - basically their argument appears to be that having to hold gold will prevent them from manipulating the currency - I'd say that is exactly the point! 

Governments have been saying that gold has no part in the monetary system for years. Strange then that Central Banks continue to hold it and buy it. Strange that the Fed has blocked every attempt to audit their holdings. Strange that German requests to repatriate gold from the New York Fed were met with all sorts of 'logistical problems'. Strange that moving Ukraine's gold to the US on a moment's notice faced no logistical problems at all. Strange there seems seems to be unclarity on the whereabouts of Libya's gold. Strange that China and Russia are buying as much physical gold as they can - they must not have heard that the stuff is worthless. Strange that the German regulator BAFIN described the market manipulation of gold as 'worse than LIBOR'. So much strangeness is really rather strange :-)

Governments don't like gold because it's harder to manipulate. It could be cockle shells, it could be corn, except it isn't. Why isn't it? Because over thousands of years free markets chose gold as 'money'. Governments don't like free markets either. 

I hope the Swiss vote 'yes'. This is not just about gold. It's about 36 academic bureaucrats (AKA Banker Lackies) around the world trying to take the place of the free market - central planning. The USSR tried that and called it communism. Our western version amounts to crony capitalism and socialism for the rich. It didn't work, it won't work, and eventually the free market will kick it out. I hope the Swiss start the ball rolling.

Martin Wolf says Abe should save Mrs Watanabe from her savings

Dear Japan, it's not working, please elect me again before it gets really bad, thanks, Abe