walter russell mead peter berger lilia shevtsova adam garfinkle andrew a. michta
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Germans Bring Home the Gold

Here‘s what happens when people start losing faith in paper money:

A German populace, worried by a potential break-up of the euro, started asking increasingly wild questions about the gold holdings. The issue was then supercharged by a report by the federal Court of Auditors that criticised the Bundesbank for having insufficient access to the gold in foreign vaults in order to test and count it.

“What I still find surprising is that we don’t have any control over our own gold,” said Rolf Baron von Hohenhau, president of the Bavarian Taxpayers’ Association, who staged an online campaign dubbed ‘bring our gold home’. “We need to know if it’s really gold or is it something covered with gold?”

The Bundesbank has bowed to public pressure and is repatriating its gold, 98 percent of which was sent west during the Cold War to stay out of range of Soviet tanks, and about 70 percent of which is still abroad.

These are signs that unease continues to stir in Europe. People understand that none of the deeper systemic problems in the EU have been solved. And when confidence in a fiat currency wavers, people want their gold close at hand.

Fiat money is like fire; a very useful tool but one that can easily turn on its users. On the whole, Via Meadia thinks that the world’s central banks took the right or better perhaps the only viable option after the crisis of 2008, but the unorthodox strategies used since then have the potential to unsettle public faith in the system as a whole.

And they wanted us to mint a $1 trillion coin…

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